Carlos SerraoJohn Mayer may be a hugely famous pop star who's dated some of the world's most desirable women, but he's also a total guitar geek. In a new video for IGTV, Instagram's app for watching long-form vertical videos, he explains in excruciating detail how he recorded his latest single, "New Light." Along the way, he also reveals that he used a late, great superstar's guitar to do it.
During the video, John plays a part of the bridge of "New Light," and explains, "This guitar part right here is played on Prince's guitar. and I'm not making that up. It was an incredible day, because we were working on this part of the song -- which was definitely Prince-tastic -- and the guitar magically came across the table in the studio from a friend....it just appeared. For an hour."
"We didn’t know it was coming and we were working on this part of the song that needed this part. It was one of the strangest, most beautiful, serendipitous moments," John continues. "Prince’s guitar showed up. So we sort of got into the spirit of the way Prince would’ve done it."
"New Light" is a stand-alone single from John which was released back in May.
Courtesy Eagle Rock Entertainment & AXS TVIt's the first official day of summer so sooner than later, you're going to need an escape from that hot weather. Luckily, the high-def network AXS TV is here for you, with a whole day of your favorite stars singing Christmas songs.
Yes, you heard that right: On July 28, the network is doing a star-studded "Christmas in July" programming event.
On that day, AXS TV will air 11 holiday concerts, including Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby, Michael McDonald: This Christmas, and the Royal Variety Performance 2017, which features Seal and James Blunt. There's also a Christmas special from Chris Isaak, best known for his hit "Wicked Game" -- in that one, he duets with Michael Buble, Stevie Nicks and Brian McKnight.
That same day, AXS TV will also air Heart & Friends: Home for the Holidays from Benaroya Hall, starring Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart and guests Richard Marx, Train's Pat Monahan, and Shawn Colvin.
The rest of the day is rounded out by Christmas specials from everyone from Faith Hill and Jessica Simpson, to Brian Setzer, Twisted Sister and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Here's the full "Christmas in July" lineup airing July 28 on AXS TV. All times ET:
8:00 a.m. -- The Royal Variety Performance 2017 10:30 a.m. -- Band Against Cancer Presents Jennifer Nettles: 'Tis the Season 11:30 a.m. -- Chris Isaak Christmas 12:30 p.m. -- Michael McDonald: This Christmas 1:30 p.m. -- Jessica Simpson: Happy Christmas 2:30 p.m. -- Faith Hill: Joy to the World 3:30 p.m. -- Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby 4:30 p.m. -- The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks! 6:30 p.m. -- Heart & Friends: Home for the Holidays from Benaroya Hall 7:30 p.m. -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve 8:30 p.m. -- Twisted Sister: A Twisted Christmas: Live in Vegas! 10:00 p.m. -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve 11:00 p.m. -- Heart & Friends: Home for the Holidays from Benaroya Hall
Joan MarcusSupergirl star Melissa Benoist is making her Broadway debut in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, playing CaroleKing, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer behind hits like "So Far Away," "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend." While she's done musical theater in the past and sang every week as one of the stars of Glee, Benoist didn't expect to be on Broadway at this point in her career.
"It sort of just fell together," she tells ABC Radio. "I had a break from Supergirl and I wasn't planning on doing anything...I kinda wanted to relax...and this came about. I had always been a big fan of Carole, so it sorta just felt like I wouldn't forgive myself if I hadn't take the opportunity."
Though just 29, Benoist is a fan of King's music. "It was played around my house," she says. "Both my parents were fans...it always reminds me of my mom. And the emotion, too, is something I've always connected to."
Benoist continues: "What I think is the most surprising about [King] is this sort of duality she holds. She is a 'square,' and very reserved, and not your typical rock and roll writer...[but] she has this inner strength and confidence -- she can command a room of 20 musicians, and she did it when she was 16!"
Melissa also hopes her Broadway stint will inspire Supergirl fans.
"So far, I've seen a few little girls in Supergirl capes [at the show] and it's really nice, because theater was so important to me growing up," she says. "I hope if there are some Supergirl fans who haven't seen live theater or Broadway, maybe they['ll] fall in love with it now."
Benoist will star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical through August 4.
Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor got big plans for the rollout of her new album, Treat Myself, due August 31.
The pre-order for the disc, Meghan's third, goes live today, and she's just released another new track, "All the Ways." If you pre-order, you'll get an instant free download of that song, as well as previously released songs "Can't Dance," "No Excuses," and "Let You Be Right."
"All the Ways" will soundtrack a new marketing campaign for Target that's launching June 24, highlighting the chain's new fulfillment services -- as in, here are "all the ways" you can shop there. The pre-order for a Target Exclusive version of the album is also live via Target.com. That version features exclusive remixes of "All the Ways."
In a statement, Meghan says, "This album is my best work yet and I’m so proud of what we made. I say 'we' because I made this entire album with my family, my friends, and my fiancé. It’s everything I stand for and I’m excited to put an upbeat happy album out for the world.”
Meanwhile, Meghan is taking over your TV. Tonight, she appears on her reality singing competition The Four, while on Saturday, she'll be seen on the Radio Disney Music Awards. Then Monday, she'll co-host NBC's Today show and appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Steve Jennings/WireImageDaryl Hall and John Oates are currently in the middle of a successful tour with Train. Though the duo has been together for 48 years, and both are over 70 years old, Daryl at least has no plans to retire. In fact, he says he thinks it's "weird" that stars like Elton John and Paul Simon have announced "farewell" tours.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Daryl says, "As long as I like doing it [I'll keep touring]. I don't understand announcing retirement. I don't get it. It's weird. I ain't buying it. They have their reasons, but I don't share them."
He explains, "It's one thing I can do that I completely control my own environment. It's good energy; physically it's good. I'm a singer, man. I like to get in front of people and sing. It works for me just fine. I don't love going out for long periods of time, but it's all part of the game."
In addition to shunning retirement, Daryl says he also has no plans to do what rock stars from Rod Stewart to Bruce Springsteen to Keith Richards have done: write his life story.
"I'm not interested in autobiographies," he tells the publication. However, Daryl does say that before John Oates published his autobiography, Change of Seasons, in 2017, he "made sure I was O.K. with it."
Hall & Oates' tour with Train continues this Friday in Tampa, Florida, and is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 11 in Seattle. Meanwhile, the two acts' joint single "Philly Forget Me Not" is a top-15 hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
Mert & MarcusDuring the 2016 election, when many celebrities were supporting one candidate or another, some people were upset that Taylor Swift didn't do the same, and merely encouraged people to vote. Since then, though, she's donated to the March For Our Lives campaign for gun reform. It was also reported she gave $100,000 to the legal defense fund for victims of sexual harassment. But that evidently isn't enough for one particular rock star.
Speaking to the New York Times, Trent Reznor, Oscar and Grammy-winning frontman for alternative rock band Nine Inch Nails, says that in the '90s, he was told that because he has influence, it's his job to "call out whatever needs to be called out," and he's tried to do so.
"And I think about that today, because it seemed like it was a lot easier to just keep your mouth shut and let it go back then," he continues. "You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth, because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot."
Meanwhile, Taylor's out on her Reputation World Tour, and is likely unconcerned about what Reznor thinks of her.
Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty ImagesIf you're going to have a movie about Elton John's rise to fame, Bernie Taupin, his songwriting partner of 50 years, has to be a part of it. Now comes word that the filmmakers have someone in mind to portray the master lyricist in the upcoming Elton biopic Rocketman.
Variety reports that British actor Jamie Bell, perhaps best known for starring in the movie Billy Elliot, is in negotiations to play Taupin in the movie, which stars Taron Egerton as Elton.
It's not surprising that Bell would be involved in the project, considering the script was written by Lee Hall. Hall not only wrote Billy Elliot the movie, but he also collaborated with Elton on Billy Elliot The Musical.
Bell was most recently seen as Abraham Woodhull in the AMC series Turn: Washington's Spies, and in the 2017 movie Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool. He's also appeared in the movies King Kong, Snowpiercer and Fantastic Four.
Meanwhile, Taron Egerton has posted the first on-set image from the movie on Twitter. The photo is of a shadow that's being cast on the ground that shows a figure sporting a pair of huge wings.
As previously reported, Rocketman, directed by Dexter Fletcher, will arrive in theaters May 17, 2019.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicPink’s daughter Willow is down a tooth, but up a hundred bucks.
Carey Hart, Pink’s husband and Willow’s dad, posted about the seven-year-old’s fierce Tooth Fairy negotiating tactics.
“Willz is gonna be the next major investment banker,” he wrote. “We settled on 100 buck[s] for 1 shot at pulling her tooth out. Was the best money I ever spent, and she got 20 weeks' worth of tour per diem in 5 seconds.”
He included a picture of Willow holding her tooth in one hand and the hundred-dollar bill in the other.
Willow celebrated her seventh birthday on June 2 and Carey posted a special message for her on Instagram.
“I love this little girl more than life itself,” he wrote. “She is becoming such a strong, smart, sensitive, little girl. I’m so proud of everything you are and I enjoy every moment we are together. Even when you are giving me a hard time!”
He added, “Happy 7th big girl, your mamma, little brother, and papa love you around the moon 10 million times and back.”
Def Jam RecordingsAlessia Cara makes adulthood seem like a nightmare she can’t escape in the new video for “Growing Pains.”
The video starts with Alessa laying on a circular platform wearing a hospital gown and clutching a bouquet of flowers. She gets up, her face streaked with tears, and begins wandering through a group of masked, gray-suited figures.
These masked people jostle Alessia and put her on an operating table as they prepare to fit her for her own “adult” grey suit -- the one she’s sporting in the cover art for the single. If you look closely in the background of the scene, you'll see the red flannel shirt she wore on the cover of her first album, Know-It-All, being wheeled away by the scary grown-ups.
Lights begin to flash as a huge curtain spins around her. We then see Alessia ditch the hospital gown, and the final scene is of her floating underwater as she wriggles into the grey suit.
Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesOn Tuesday night, James Bay opened for The Rolling Stones at London's Twickenham Stadium, and then he stuck around to join the rock legends on stage.
James joined Stones frontman Mick Jagger for a duet on the band's classic tune "Beast of Burden." Afterwards, he wrote on Instagram, "This band have probably shaped the way I make music and perform more than anyone else. Their relentless passion and energy on stage is so inspiring. I can’t believe last night was real. THANK YOU X."
Prior to the gig, The Stones' iconic guitarist Keith Richards posted footage of himself hanging out with James backstage and showing him what appears to be a shrine to Richards' early rock and roll heroes.
This isn’t the first time James has opened for The Stones: Back in 2013, before anyone really knew who he was, he warmed up the crowd when they played London's Hyde Park.
It isn't even the first time he's performed onstage with a member of the Stones: In 2015, he asked guitarist Ronnie Wood to join him at a London show to perform a song by Ronnie's former band, The Faces.
The event will feature a career-spanning list of classic tunes and gems selected by Simon especially for the show, which will be the first concert held at the park in decades.
"It seems more like fate than coincidence that I should do the final show on this final tour at Flushing Meadows Corona Park," Simon says in a statement. "I could have ridden my bike from home to the park in about 20 minutes, when I was a kid. But this is less a goodbye than a farewell. Thank you all for the ride, I had a great time."
The 77-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will donate all the net proceeds he earns from the event to a charity that will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the concert go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 29, at 10 a.m. ET at AXS.com. American Express card members will be able to buy pre-sale tickets starting this Monday, June 25, at 10 a.m. ET. Visit PaulSimoninthePark.com for more info.
Simon wraps up the current North American leg of his Homeward Bound trek with a show tonight in Nashville. He'll then head to Europe for a summer trek before kicking off a final U.S. leg of the tour September 5 in New Orleans.
Here are all of Paul's upcoming North American tour dates:
6/30 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena 9/5 -- New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center 9/7 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena 9/8 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, BB&T Center 9/11 -- Orlando, FL, Amway Center 9/12 -- Atlanta, GA, Cellairis Amphitheatre 9/14 -- Washington, D.C., Capital One Arena 9/15 -- Newark, NJ, Prudential Center 9/17 -- Pittsburgh, PPG Paints Arena 9/20 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden 9/21 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden 9/22 -- New York, NY, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Warwick Saint for EssenceThese days, Janet Jackson is happy, but in a letter written for Essence magazine, the 52-year-old icon writes that it's taken decades for her to find a sense of inner peace, and acknowledges there've been many struggles along the way.
In the revealing note, Jackson admits that her 30s were especially challenging as she battled depression. The struggle, she writes, "was intense."
"I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority," she explaina. "It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And, of course, there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it."
Now mother to one-year-old son Eissa, Janet writes that her greatest happiness comes from being a parent.
“Now the height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness. When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep," she writes. "During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God."
The singer, who will headline the 2018 Essence Festival in New Orleans next month, writes that "hard work -- focused work, positive work -- makes me happy," and adds that she's also inspired by "the commitment of young people on justice causes," as well as the #MeToo movement.
"We are living at a time in history when women all over the world are refusing to be controlled, manipulated, exploited or abused. Heart and soul, I stand with these women," Janet writes. "We have found our strength, and we will not relent."
The 72-year-old singer/actress joined Corden for a game of "Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts" -- his spin on Truth or Dare, in which they challenged each other to give honest answers to personal questions or eat disgusting things.
At one point, Cher, known for being outspoken about her disapproval of the president, was asked to say something complimentary about him. "There's nothing nice about him," she admitted, following a long pause. "I can't say one nice thing about him."
Instead, Cher opted to fill her guts -- with a cow's tongue.
Cher also preferred eating dried caterpillar to spilling dirt on her top five lovers, besides Tom Cruise, whom she once allegedly ranked as her favorite.
Later, Cher recalled the time she, along with Mama Mia co-star and longtime friend Meryl Streep, saved a woman being assaulted on a New York City street and were almost attacked themselves.
"We come around the corner, and this gigantic man is ripping the clothes off of this girl," she began. "And Meryl starts screaming and I start screaming, and we run towards this gigantic man, and he turned and starts running towards us."
"And just out of, I don't know, we split, and he ran through us," she continued.
Afterward, the grateful woman responded with, "Oh my God, I was saved by Meryl Streep and Cher. I'm an actress and I work in a cafe where we sing and oh, my brother would be so jealous."
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again opens nationwide July 20.
Mark SurridgeEd Sheeran's gone from "Lego House" to Lego Head: He donated a Lego sculpture of his own head to a local charity shop in his U.K. hometown.
As The London Economicreports, Ed often donates his personal possessions to the St. Elizabeth Hospice shop in Framlingham, Suffolk, and they sell the items to raise money. This time around, Ed has given the shop two Lego likenesses: a huge one of his head and a smaller, full-body one.
He's also given the shop his first record player, a skateboard, clothing, shoes, some of his school music books and music stands he kept in his childhood bedroom.
Speaking to the BBC, the hospice spokeswoman, Helen Owen, said, "He's been really generous...as Framlingham is his local shop, he thinks of us. Normally it is a few [sweaters] and Hoax t-shirts he wears on tour, which are great, but this time we got the head."
She added that it was "really lovely" that the Lego sculpture is "of him, [and] made by him".
Some of the items were immediately put on sale in the store -- a hoodie and a t-shirt have already been sold for more than $200 each -- but some of them will be put on eBay in an attempt to raise as much money as possible.
In 2016, Ed donated 13 bags of clothes to the store, and between in-person sales and online sales, more than 46 thousand dollars was raised. The hospice helps improve life for those living with progressive and terminal illnesses.
ABC/Kelsey McNeal"Meant to Be," the collaboration between Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, has been one of the biggest hits of the year. FGL is now dreaming of collaborating with other pop stars -- and they're setting their sights pretty high.
"Bruno Mars...that'd be somebody to spend a couple days with in the studio and try to create something from nothing," says Florida Georgia Line's Brian "BK" Kelly. "Y'know, get in the studio and make it really come to life. But I think Rihanna would be cool [too]......I think it'd be cool to hear our voices together."
According to FGL's Tyler Hubbard, they're pretty much down to work with any number of stars outside of the country genre.
"I think every time we go to an awards show, BK and I are always [saying], 'That'd be cool to do a song with them!' or 'That'd be awesome to do a song with them!'" he laughs. "There's so many talented artists out there, it's pretty unreal."
Meanwhile, Tyler says that the message of "Meant to Be" has not only resonated with music fans, but with him and BK as well.
"It's been over a year since we wrote that song and we've been living with it way before the world had it, so I think we were learning the day we wrote it," Tyler explains. "And learning how to kinda look at the world that way, and look at life that way, and just kinda let go of some control and just let things happen."
Tyler adds, "I just think that's something that we've continued to be reminded of, with...every bit of success that this song has had...and then it's cool to kinda see the world be reminded of that as well and really connect with that."
Courtesy NetflixLady Gaga has talked about making new music on social media recently, but she now confirms that she is, in fact, working on her sixth album.
Gaga won the Best Music Documentary Award at the MTV Movie and TV Awards for her Netflix doc Gaga: Five Foot Two, and afterwards, she told Variety, "I’m just always making music, I’ve always been that way and I think you see in Five Foot Two that I’m a studio rat."
The new album, when it arrives, will be the follow up to 2016's Joanne. This year will also see Gaga make her movie debut in A Star Is Born and kick off a Las Vegas residency. It'll mark a return to the spotlight for the singer, who's been laying low since she wrapped up her world tour early this year.
Gaga, who told Variety that contrary to the title of her documentary, she's actually "five-foot-three and three quarters," also spoke about her battle with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes her chronic pain and forced her to cancel a number of concerts in February.
Addressing the fact that many people doubt the condition is real, she told Variety, “To anyone that doesn’t believe in fibromyalgia: I dare you to spend five minutes in my body on a day when I’m in pain, and then try and say it again."
But despite her pain, the singer said what keeps her going is "being inside the vortex of my art and creating and making things that are not only meaningful to me but hopefully to other people."
She added, "When I’m with Tony Bennett, and we hang out, we always joke that we never work a day. Because we love what we do.”
Joseph LlanesAndy Grammer and Pentatonix are two of the musical acts who'll be performing on the 38th annual edition of A Capitol Fourth, which will air live on PBS Wednesday, July 4th.
Andy will perform his hit "Back Home" on the show, though what Pentatonix will perform hasn't been announced yet. Joining them on the bill are The Beach Boys, Motown legends The Temptations, country star Luke Combs, American Idol runner-up and country star Lauren Alaina, and gospel legend CeCe Winans.
In addition, Jimmy Buffett and the cast of Escape to Margaritaville, the Broadway musical based on Buffett's songs, will take the stage, while opera star Renee Fleming will perform a number from the musical Carousel.
The show will air live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 4 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET. It'll also be live-streamed on PBS.org, YouTube and Facebook, and will be available as Video on Demand through July 18.
Solaiman FazelFresh from winning the ICON Award at last month's Billboard Music Awards, Janet Jackson will receive yet another big honor.
Ms. Jackson will be presented with the inaugural "Impact" Award at this year's Radio Disney Music Awards, which air Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the Disney Channel and associated platforms.
She'll be the third top female pop star to receive a special honor at this year's ceremony: Kelly Clarkson is getting the "Icon" Award, while Carrie Underwood will take home the "Hero" Award.
According to Radio Disney, the "Impact" Award comes in recognition of Janet's "influence on society and the world of entertainment -- particularly women -- across generations of fans."
Janet's State of the World tour continues in the U.S. this summer starting July 11 in Austin, TX. She's also playing the Essence Festival, the Panorama Festival and the Outside Lands festival. Her dates wrap up August 7 in Tampa, FL.
Performers at this year's RDMAs include Carrie Underwood with Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, and American Idol winner Maddie Poppe.
The show will be recorded this Friday at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor's got a real treat for her fans: a new album announcement.
On Instagram, the singer posted that her third album, Treat Myself, will be out August 31, and will be available for pre-order Wednesday. The post included a clip of a brand-new song titled "All the Ways."
So far, Meghan has released the tracks "No Excuses" and "Let You Be Right" from Treat Yourself. She told Entertainment Tonight that the album is "really special," adding, "My entire family sings on every song and [my fiancé] Daryl [Sabara] sings on every song."
“It’s obviously me being in love and happy, and reminding myself to choose happiness and love myself," Meghan told ET about the inspiration for the new music.
Treat Myself follows Meghan's #1 debut, Title, and her sophomore album, Thank You, which reached #3.
Matthew MurphyDavid Cook feels like getting Kinky again.
The American Idol champ is returning to the starring role in the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, starting July 17. He'll continue in the role through September 9. He's taking over for Neon Trees front man Tyler Glenn, who'll deliver his final performance July 15.
David will star as Charlie Price, a British guy who inherits a failing shoe factory from his dad and is able to save it by producing customized boots for a very niche market: drag queens. He initially played the role from April 3 to May 5.
“I am so honored and excited to get to come back to the factory!” David said in a statement. “Kinky Boots is such a great show, made all the better by having an incredible cast, crew, and staff, and I can’t wait to help tell the story again!”
Kinky Boots features songs written by '80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper. It won six Tony Awards in 2013.