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Ed Sheeran's the Collaboration king of the British charts

Mark SurridgeIt's official: Ed Sheeran's new album No. 6 Collaborations Project has made him the ruler of the British charts.

The album has become the fastest-selling release of the year so far in Ed's British homeland, debuting at #1 on the chart with sales of 125,000 units. As the Official Charts Company notes, the album has sold more copies than the rest of the top 30 albums combined.

Not only that, but Ed is also #1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Beautiful People," one of the tracks from the album, which features Khalid. The album's first single, the Justin Bieber-assisted "I Don't Care," had already reached #1 on the chart.

Two other songs from the album are in the top five: "Take Me Back to London" and "Cross Me."

Finally, Ed's previous three albums have all jumped back into the British top 40: Divide is #7, Multiply is #18 and Plus is #37.

On Instagram, Ed showed off his trophies that the Official Charts Company gave him to mark the success of the singles and his album, and wrote, "Great great news, thanks for everyone supporting it ! Love you all."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

MAX debuts soulful track, "Acid Dreams"

Colour Vision RecordsMAX has debuted his new single, a soulful funk-inspired track called “Acid Dreams.”

On the song, which features a guest verse from rapper Felly, MAX sings about his appreciation for the woman in his life.

“You’re beautiful/Something like these acid dreams/Acid dreams/You’re something I ain’t used to girl/And I’m gon’ give you everything/Everything,” he sings on the chorus.

In a statement, MAX says he wrote the first verse to the song “instantaneously” in front of his wife while she was in the room and that he “knew immediately that this was a special record.”

He describes the follow-up track to "Love Me Less" as “one of the most soulful tracks" from his upcoming sophomore album.

MAX will perform "Love Me Less" on Live with Kelly and Ryan on July 25.  He's currently in the middle of his Intimate AF tour -- visit his website for details.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Natasha Bedingfield is skating back into the spotlight with new album, "Roll With Me"

We Are HearNatasha Bedingfield returned to the spotlight last month via a new remix of her iconic hit "Unwritten," which now serves at the theme song for The Hills: New Beginnings.  Now she's released a brand new single and has a new album on the way.

Roll With Me, her fourth album, will be out August 30.  It's the follow-up to her 2010 album Strip Me.  A new track called "Roller Skate" is available now; another song, "Kick It," is coming August 2.  More tracks will be released in the coming weeks.

Pre-orders of Roll With Me come with an instant download of "Roller Skate."

Roll With Me was produced by hitmaking singer/songwriter/producer Linda Perry, and will be released on her label We Are Hear.

In a statement, Natasha, who welcomed her first child in 2017, says, "I wanted to make music that moves people and makes them move. It's bright and bold but in a way that is also raw and honest."

Linda Perry adds, "I wanted to work with Natasha because she is one of the best live performers I have ever seen and has one of the most versatile voices I have ever heard. It was important to both of us to capture the true spirit of who Natasha Bedingfield is and we nailed it!"

This Saturday, Natasha will perform Frank Sinatra's classic "Fly Me to the Moon" with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  Other performers include country star Kacey Musgraves and Pharrell Williams, and Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins will be in attendance as well.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift now offering cat-themed new album bundles, because of course she is

Universal PicturesAfter the trailer for her new movie CATS dropped Thursday, Taylor Swift is capitalizing on the buzz by offering "Cat Edition" new album bundles.

The bundles, which are only available until Saturday at 12:29 p.m. EDT, come in seven different variations, and they all include Taylor's new album Lover, plus merch from her line of items inspired by her cats Meredith and Olivia.

The first bundle features pins that look like Olivia, pins that look like Meredith and two sets of patches featuring each cat. Bundle two includes two sheets of cat stickers, and two pens decorated with the cats' likenesses. Bundle three has the stickers, plus a pillow that looks like Meredith's face. Bundle four is the same, except with an Olivia pillow.

Bundle five features a gray Meredith and Olivia onesie; bundle six has a pink one. And finally, bundle seven features a black and white cat print t-shirt and a sticker sheet. 

You can buy all the bundles via Taylor's online store.

The reaction to the CATS trailer has been decidedly mixed, with many wondering why the actors have been turned into cats via CGI, but still have human mouths and, um, other parts. The movie opens December 20.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alessia Cara announces new EP "This Summer," new single "Ready"

Walt Disney Television/Paula LoboNot long ago, Alessia Cara told ABC Radio that while on tour, she'd been writing new songs, and predicted that the next thing she'd release would be something brand new, rather than a track from her 2018 album The Pains of Growing.  Now, she's made good on that prediction.

On her socials, Alessia wrote, "caught the writing bug out of the blue and made an EP. It’s called This Summer. I’ll be releasing a new track every couple of weeks until its release. the first song, 'Ready,' will be out July 22nd."

Meanwhile, the "Scars to Your Beautiful" singer continues her tour with fellow Canadian Shawn Mendes. The two will perform in Kansas City, MO tonight and in Tulsa, OK on Saturday. The dates wrap up August 31 in Uncasville, CT.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rihanna schedules annual Diamond Ball gala with Pharrell, DJ Khaled and Seth Meyers

Jon Pack/NBC

Looks like all those drinks that Rihanna and Seth Meyers shared a few weeks ago have led to something other than a really funny Late Night segment.

The singer has announced that her annual Diamond Ball gala, in support of her Clara Lionel Foundation charity, will take place September 12 in New York City, and Meyers will host the event.

Performers include DJ Khaled and Pharrell Williams, artists with whom Rih has worked in the past. There are also rumors that Pharrell is working with the singer on her long-awaited ninth album, but that's not confirmed.

"Our 5th Annual #DIAMONDBALL is just 2 months away!!!" Rihanna wrote on Instagram. "I’m so excited to announce our host @sethmeyers ... and for the main event, the one and only @pharrell is performing!!! To support the #ClaraLionelFoundation and learn more, follow @claralionelfdn! #CLF."

The Clara Lionel Foundation, named after Rih's grandparents, was founded in 2012 to support education and health programs globally, as well as emergency response programs worldwide. The first Diamond Ball was held in 2014.

One-hundred-percent of the proceeds from Fenty Beauty's Killawatt Highlighter go to the foundation.  And speaking of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna's super-successful cosmetics line is launching in Asia in September, including Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul and Jeju, South  Korea.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lauren Daigle releases hopeful new track, "Rescue"

ABC/Eric McCandlessAfter the massive success of “You Say,” Lauren Daigle has premiered the follow-up single from her Grammy-winning album Look Up Child.

The track, called “Rescue,” contains a message of hope.

“Rescue’ is probably the most personal song from Look Up Child,” Lauren says in a statement. “It was written for someone very close to me who was going through a difficult time. I wanted something that would comfort them in their time of need.”

She adds, “That’s the purpose of the song, to give hope to people who feel lost.”

The video for the song, which debuted on Apple Music, was shot on Knik Glacier in Alaska and features the singer in the middle of the stark yet beautiful landscape.

“The landscape is synonymous to the depth of healing that can take place where you feel void or empty,” Lauren explains. “When hope arrives in such an expansive way it can rescue you.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ed Sheeran's latest "Collaboration" heading for #1 on the "Billboard" chart

Atlantic RecordsEd Sheeran's new album No. 6 Collaborations Project is on track for a number one debut on the Billboard 200.

According to industry experts, the album could sell over 170,000 album units, giving Ed his third #1 album.  He previously topped the chart in 2014 with X (Multiply), and in 2017 with ÷ (Divide).

No. 6 Collaborations Project features Ed duetting with everyone from Bruno Mars and Camila Cabello, to Cardi B, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper, to Eminem, 50 Cent and country star Chris Stapleton.

The album is already #1 on the Irish charts, and is on track to hit #1 in the U.K. as well.

Meanwhile, Ed's tour in support of Divide continues in Europe. He plays Moscow on Friday, and Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday and Wednesday. The tour wraps at the end of August with four shows in Ed's hometown of Ipswich, England.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Disgraced boy band mogul Lou Pearlman to be focus of new biopic, "Transcon"

Mark Weiss/WireImageFollowing the release of the Lance Bass-produced documentary The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story comes news that the disgraced boy band mogul will be getting the biopic treatment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a film about Pearlman’s rise and fall, called Transcon, is in the works. It will be based on the Vanity Fair article “Mad About the Boys” and Tyler Gray’s nonfiction book The Hit Charade.

Producers on the project include hit songwriters Desmond Child and Andreas Carlsson, who will reportedly write new music for the film, as well as incorporate songs associated with Pearlman’s artists for the film’s soundtrack.

Pearlman created the boy bands *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, among other pop acts, and ultimately swindled them – and investors in his company Trans Continental – out of millions of dollars.

He was convicted of fraud and money laundering and died in prison in 2016 while serving a 25-year sentence for multiple felonies.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Katy Perry offers to perform live in courtroom on day one of "Dark Horse" copyright trial

ABC/Eric McCandlessBack in 2014, Katy Perry was sued over her smash hit "Dark Horse": A Christian rapper claimed that she'd used the beat in his 2008 song "Joyful Noise" without permission. The copyright infringement trial started on Thursday, and Katy herself took the stand to testify...and even offered to sing.

Billboard reports that when Katy's lawyers tried to play "Dark Horse" in the courtroom, they couldn't get it to work, prompting Katy to say, "I could perform it for you live.”  Eventually, though, the song was able to be played.

Katy's team argues that she and her co-writers on the song had never heard "Joyful Noise," and that the beat itself is too simple to be copyrighted. The rapper, Marcus Gray, claims that his song could have crossed their radar, given that its parent album was available online and in stores, and had received a Grammy nomination.

When it was suggested that because Katy used to be a Christian artist, she would have been more likely to hear "Joyful Noise," the singer argued that even early in her career, she was “mostly always listening to…secular music anyway.”

As Billboard reports, Katy explained exactly how she and her co-writers created "Dark Horse," and defended the fact that she'd cut the disputed beat out of the song when she performed it at the Super Bowl.  The prosecution insinuated that cutting out the beat -- seven months after the lawsuit was filed -- was an acknowledgment of the infringement.

Katy's response was that every song she performed that night had been edited for time.

“For the Super Bowl I was allotted [just] 12 minutes, and I wanted to perform as many songs as possible,” she said.

The trial continues today; it's not clear if Katy will return to the stand.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sam Smith asks "How Do You Sleep?" in new single & video

Capitol RecordsAs promised in a series of cryptic social media posts over the past two weeks, Sam Smith late Thursday night released his new single, "How Do You Sleep?," and a video to go with it.

The mid-tempo ballad has Sam calling out a lover for being untruthful to him.

"Baby, how do you sleep when you lie to me?/All that shame and all that danger/I’m hoping that my love will keep you up tonight," Sam sings in the chorus.

The video opens with a pensive-looking Sam sitting listless and alone in a video studio, before he's literally dragged off of the set.  But he comes to life as the music starts and ten male dancers surround him, moving to the music -- Sam even busts out some sultry moves himself.  The video ends with him embraced by the dancers as he pointedly wipes away a tear, as if he's over the drama.

“This year, both personally and musically, I feel so free," Sam says in a statement.  "More than ever I have had so much fun making this record and this video. Time to dance darlings x.”

"How Do You Sleep?" was co-written by Sam with famed songwriter/producer Max Martin, as well as frequent Ariana Grande collaborator Savon Kotecha and songwriter/producer ILYA, who's worked on hits like Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" and Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."

It's not clear if this song is a stand-alone, or a release from a forthcoming album. Sam's last album, The Thrill of It All, came out in 2017. His most recent single is his current hit "Dancing with a Stranger," a duet with Normani.

"How Do You Sleep?" is available now from all the usual digital outlets.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Sabrina Carpenter says "Singular: Act II" is a "pulled-apart version" of "Act I"

Walt Disney Television/Paula LoboAfter releasing her Singular: Act I album last year, Sabrina Carpenter is ready for Act II. Her second installment in the Singular series is out today.

While the first collection of songs exuded confidence, the singer tells ABC Radio this time around she’s showing a more vulnerable side.

“I see Act II as kind of like a pulled apart version of Act I,” she says. “It's a little less precise and a little less perfect.”

She adds, “I think we have those moments where we feel really confident and everything is put together and we feel on top of the world, and we have moments where we don't feel as much of that. But at the end of the day…we can always get back to that place and that state of mind.”

Act II features Sabrina’s latest release, a danceable track about anxiety called “In My Bed,” and the emotionally raw “Exhale.” She says being more open about her feelings in these songs was a way of repaying the fans who have been so open with her.

But she’s having fun, too – as evidenced by the quirky “In My Bed” video, in which she sports a set of googly eyes.

“At first I was like, ‘Well I just hope this doesn't look like a bad Snapchat filter,’” she says of her video look. “And it turns out it does…but it works. You know, it looks like just enough of a bad Snapchat filter that it's mesmerizing.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

See Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, hear Jennifer Hudson sing "Memory" in new "CATS" trailer

Universal Pictures"I am a cat now and somehow that was everything."

That's what Taylor Swift wrote as a caption as she posted the first official trailer for her new movie CATS on Instagram.  It's also posted on Twitter and YouTube.

The trailer, which runs more than two minutes, gives us the first look at Taylor in character as Bombalurina: We see her lying in a hammock, sprinkling catnip from a sequined canister.

We also see Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, James Corden and Rebel Wilson all digitally covered in fur, yet still recognizable, dancing and doing cat-like things in London, which seems enormous because everything is seen from a cat's point of view. 

Jennifer Hudson, as Grizabella, belts out the movie's best-known number, "Memory.

Based on the wildly popular musical of the same name, CATS follows a group of "Jellicle cats," who vie to be selected by their leader, Old Deuteronomy, to travel to the "Heaviside layer" to start a new life. 

CATS hits movie theaters December 20.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bazzi sings about summer love on new track, “I.F.L.Y.”

Atlantic RecordsBazzi has released a new summer love song called “I.F.L.Y.”

Over an acoustic beat, he gushes over a girl and proclaims his love.

“Tan lines and some memories, guess summer got the best of me,” he sings, adding, “I guess what I'm saying is I f*****g love you.”

“I.F.L.Y.” follows a string of recent standalone releases from the singer, including “Paradise,” the politically-charged “Caught In The Fire”, and “Focus” featuring 21 Savage.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift and Madonna are world's most admired musicians, says new poll

Michael Kovac/WireImageTaylor Swift and Madonna are not only among the world's most successful musicians -- they're also among the most admired.

A new poll conducted by the market research firm YouGov, which surveyed 42,000 people in 41 countries, ranked Taylor and Madonna at #10 and #11 respectively on the list of the World's Most Admired Women.  They are the only musicians on the list.

On the list of World's Most Admired Men, there are a few Indian and Chinese celebrities who sing, but that's not what they're primarily famous for -- which means Taylor and Madonna are the only musicians overall on the survey.

The World's Most Admired Woman, according to the poll, is Michelle Obama, followed by Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Queen Elizabeth II and Emma Watson

Bill Gates in the World's Most Admired Man, followed by Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Chinese businessman Jack Ma.

Interestingly, in the YouGov survey of the Most Admired within the U.S., neither Taylor nor Madonna make the cut, nor does any other singer, male or female.  Barack and Michelle Obama top that particular poll.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tyler, the Creator wants to collaborate with Billie Eilish

ABC/Randy HolmesShe's already teamed up with her idol Justin Bieber, but now another one of Billie Eilish's musical heroes wants to collaborate with her: rapper Tyler, the Creator.

Speaking to Apple Music's Beats 1, Tyler reveals that he's a fan of the "bad guy" singer.

"I want to work with her," he says. "I don't know what the f*** we would make. Even if it don't come out, if it's trash, I still just want to see what we could do."

Billie has yet to respond to Tyler's offer.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch Taylor Swift's pals gush over their cameos in her "You Need to Calm Down" video

TAS Rights ManagementItching to see even more behind-the-scenes action from Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” video? People has a new exclusive clip, showing some of Taylor’s pals and co-stars as they geek out over being part of her LGBT-friendly video.

The clip features internet personality Hannah Hart, plus-size model Dexter Mayfield, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and entertainer Todrick Hall as they film their respective cameos in Taylor’s rainbow-colored trailer park.

“I literally thought I was gonna get a [shot] from a camera for just a moment, so all this sounds amazing,” Hannah tells Taylor, after finding out she’s going to have her own dancing moment in the video.

Later, while getting ready to film a group scene, Taylor compliments Adam’s sheer crop-top.

“You look phenomenal. Love that your nipples are making a cameo,” she tells him. “That’s a separate cameo. That’s amazing.”

In between shots, Todrick, who co-produced the video with Taylor, gushes over the experience.

“This is maybe the best I’ve felt since maybe I came out,” he tells Taylor. “I came out of my mom’s body, I came out of the closet, and now I feel like this is my third coming out.”

Taylor’s new album Lover comes out August 23.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Seems like Dolly Parton's down with an "Old Town Road" remix

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesIs there anyone who doesn't want to join Lil Nas X on another "Old Town Road" remix?

After X joked on Twitter that he wanted to do another version of his chart-topping smash with country music legend Dolly Parton and rising rapper Megan Thee Stallion, Dolly responded in a low-key way: She tweeted a picture of the "Old Town Road" artwork, which features two horses, with a pink horse with a blonde mane added in. She also added horse emoji and a unicorn emoji.

To which Lil Nas X responded, "YEE YEE GANG!" with three horse emojis and some hearts.

In the past few days, Bruno Mars has also expressed a willingness to participate in a remix, as has "All Star" band Smash Mouth.

It's now become an ongoing joke that Lil Nas X will be releasing "Old Town Road" remixes for decades.  As one Twitter user described it, "The year is 2090. Every song in the Billboard Top 100 are Old Town Road remixes. Lil Nas X is president. Every American has been required to send in a 1-minute freestyle to add to his upcoming Old Town Country single. Area 51 has been overrun. You have a pet alien. Life is good."

Right now, the young rapper, who retweeted that post, just seems to be trolling people. Earlier this week, he tweeted artwork of no less than nine horses, with the caption, "WHO READY?!??!?!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

This'll "Blow" your mind: Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars are now rock stars


Between them, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran have dominated the pop album and singles charts this millennium, but now the two Grammy-winners are venturing into new territory: the rock charts.

Thanks to their hard-rocking new collaboration "Blow" -- which they recorded with country star Chris Stapleton for Ed's new album, No. 6 Collaborations Project -- both Bruno and Ed have landed on three of Billboard's rock charts.

"Blow" debuts at #3 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart.  It's the first time that Bruno and Chris have appeared on this chart, while Ed hasn't been there since 2013, with his song "Lego House." 

Meanwhile, "Blow" is number one on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.  Ed was on it in 2013, again with "Lego House," but it's the first time for Bruno and Chris -- and the first time any of them have reached #1 on it.

"Blow" is also #40 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart.  It's the first time Ed and Bruno have been on that one, but Chris appeared in March of 2018.

In the in-depth interview Ed did with media personality Charlamagne Tha God to promote the album, he says he loves "Blow" because nobody expected him, Bruno and Chris to make a heavy rock song.  He even says this song may be the thing that will make him do what he's never done before: tour with a band.

"Throughout my whole career, I've never had an excuse to get a band, and now maybe that's an excuse to tour with a band," Ed says. "'Cause I think playing that live would be different level." 

"People like my loop pedal, and no one's seen me with a band," he points out. "And I think it's time to have a show that incorporates both of them, personally."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

One Direction’s "Scooby-Doo"-inspired tour van going up for auction

ABC/Fred LeeAttention die-hard One Direction fans: You could be the proud owner of the group’s custom Scooby-Doo-inspired tour van.

The vehicle, which was designed specifically for Louis Tomlinson and former member Zayn Malik in the group’s early days, is going up for auction at the U.K.’s Classic Car Auctions on August 3.

The 2012 Volkswagen Crafter sports a groovy blue and green car wrap with the words “The Mystery Machine” -- the name of the Scooby-Doo crew's vehicle -- emblazoned on the side. It comes outfitted with CCTV cameras, a PA system, a roof-mounted laser show and an “earth-shaking sound system.”

And if you get bored while riding around, you can have fun with the on-board Sony PlayStation, Xbox 360, Super Nintendo, Wii, classic Atari console and a 55" Sony Bravia plasma TV. The seats feature Zayn and Louis’ initials embroidered in white.

The van is expected to sell for as much as £40,000, or nearly $50,000.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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