ABC/Ida Mae AstuteFor one little boy, Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” is more than just a song: it’s his anthem. Seven-year-old cancer patient Jeremiah Succar has used the empowering tune to give him courage since he was diagnosed with a stage-four tumor in May. He recently had his dreams come true when Rachel herself surprised him at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
According to the hospital’s website, the singer learned of her young fan through the power of social media -- and the hashtag #RachelMeetJeremiah -- and decided to do something extra special for him. She surprised him in his hospital room and the two sang “Fight Song” together. Not surprisingly, Jeremiah knew all the words.
“Jeremiah loves ‘Fight Song’ -- he memorized the lyrics after three or four times of listening to it,” his father, Jerry Succar, said. “He used to sing it when he got a lot of headaches, but now he sings it in the morning, before bed and during shots he has to get.”
Jeremiah was hardly speechless after the duet with his idol -- he knew exactly what he wanted to ask her. “I have one question,” he said. “Can I have your autograph?”
Learning via social media how "Fight Song" has inspired her fans is nothing new for Rachel, though -- it's been going on since earlier this year.
"We noticed that people were reaching out in the comment section of the YouTube lyric video and on Twitter and on Facebook and writing these incredible stories about how the song had affected them," she tells ABC Radio. "We decided we wanted to do more with that." That led to her and her team creating an online movement called #MyFightSong, to allow people to easily share stories of their own struggles.
"[We wanted to] try to rally everyone to understand that there was this common thread of 'We’re all feeling this, we’re all feeling like we need a fight song, we need to be heard,'" explains Rachel. "And when you declare that publicly, there’s this rush of support you get."
Rachel wrote "Fight Song" when she was feeling discouraged about her career, but she says she never could have predicted that others would be inspired by it too.
"I don’t think I could have, no," she tells ABC Radio. "I don’t know if in my wildest dreams I could’ve understood what it would do and how it could help people."
SYCO/Columbia RecordsOne Direction's "Drag Me Down," the first single they've released since Zayn Malik departed the group, was an instant success, scoring the highest debut of any single this year on the Billboard Hot 100, and selling more in its debut week than any of the group's prior singles. The song sounds a bit edgier than the band's previous work, and 1D's Harry Styles says it gives a hint as to what fans can expect from their upcoming album.
"It’s a little grittier than, I think, a lot of the things we’ve done before," Harry tells ABC Radio. "It’s a little bit dirtier and almost kind of aggressive in a way...you know, we definitely wanted to say [something] with the single and I hope we’ve done that. It kinda feels that way. So I think it’s definitely edging that way with the album."
At first listen, the lyrics to "Drag Me Down" sound like something you'd sing to a supportive girlfriend or romantic interest: "All these lights/They can't blind me/With your love, nobody can drag me down." But 1D's Liam Payne says the song is really a tribute to their ultra-loyal fans, penned specifically to reflect their current situation.
"You know, when the writers -- who are our friends -- kind of got together....you know, a lot’s happened with us and they kind of wrote around that, I guess," Liam tells ABC Radio. "And it’s kind of a nice statement, I feel, for us to come out with: that we’re still holding together strong, and without the fans we wouldn’t be here and, you know, nothing can drag us down when we’ve got those guys."
Louis Tomlinson also feels that the song is about the members of the group, who've supported each other through the six years they've been together.
"Drag Me Down" is the first single from One Direction's still-untitled fifth album, due this November.
Lloyd Bishop/NBCThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is kicking off its fall season next week with a lineup of big musical guests, including Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Justin, Jimmy’s pal and frequent collaborator, returns to the show on Wednesday, September 9. It’ll be his first visit to Fallon's Tonight Show since its premiere week. On that same night, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are scheduled to perform. The episode will be displayed on a huge digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square, on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets.
Then on Friday, September 11, Pharrell Williams will appear on the program to treat fans to a special never-before-seen performance.
Columbia RecordsIs Calvin Harris actually the lion Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video? A new fan theory seems to think so.
Allow us to explain. In the video Taylor plays a brunette actress who harbors feelings for her onscreen love interest, played by Scott Eastwood. She wishes their love affair was real, but in the end, Scott returns to his wife and Taylor is heartbroken.
Throughout the video, Taylor and Scott shoot scenes on an African savanna among the wild animals -- including a majestic lion. In the beginning of the video, the lion is seen watching over Taylor, then in another scene, the lion sits beside Taylor after she has a fight with Scott.
To top things off, Calvin’s current Instagram profile picture is of a lion that looks suspiciously similar to the one in the video. According to E! News, he is believed to have changed it during the VMAs Sunday night -- the same night Taylor premiered the video.
So what does all this mean? Fans seem to think the lion is a representation of Calvin and his love and protection over Taylor.
ABC/Ida Mae AstuteWith their MTV Video Music Awards performance on Sunday, Demi Lovato and Iggy Azalea gave us a taste of what they sound like together with a "Cool for the Summer" remix. Now in a new interview with Billboard, Demi gives us hints about their other collaborative track, "Kingdom Come," from her upcoming album Confident.
“It sounds awesome, and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it,” she says. “[Iggy] was really excited too -- she was like, ‘I’m really excited with where your music is going.’ And to me, that meant a lot, because before I even knew Iggy I was a big fan, and so it was really cool to hear her say that. Our sounds really meshed well.”
Demi says she knew from the moment she heard the song that Iggy would be a great fit for it.
“My music is taking a more mature and older route, and with ‘Kingdom Come,’ it’s definitely more of a rhythmic song,” she says. “I wanted [Iggy] to be on this album from the first time that I heard that song, even before we knew each other. And then we became good friends, and so it was kind of a situation where it was like, we have to work together."
We’ll get to hear the song when Confident arrives October 16. But Iggy previously revealed in a Twitter Q&A with fans that it would not be released as a single.
Zayn Malik via Interview MagazineZayn Malik knows the power of social media. The former One Direction member has been involved in his fair share of Twitter feuds and has shared many an Instagram selfie of his ever-changing hair color. So it seems only fitting that his first major solo magazine cover would be for Interview magazine’s social media-themed September #ME issue.
Zayn's cover is one of eight alternate covers featuring celebrity self-portraits -- a.k.a. selfies -- from the likes of Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez and fashion photographer Mert Alas.
They’re among the magazine’s choices for the 150 most powerful personalities on social media from the worlds of fashion, entertainment and music. Also featured inside the mag are exclusive selfies of Diplo, Snoop Dogg, Cher, Kendell Jenner and Willow Smith.
ABC/Lou RoccoRihanna is planning her own beauty line.
While promoting her new RiRi perfume at a meet-and-greet Monday at Macy’s in Brooklyn, New York, The Barbadian singer said a line called Fenty Beauty is next in her business plan.
"That is definitely something I am going to have my hands on and would love to do,” she told Refinery29.com. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve always had so much on my hands. But, this time, I’m going to make sure it happens. I'm going to find some time between albums and fragrance to do that. I promise."
Rihanna has enjoyed great success in a variety of endorsements, including a MAC lipstick collection, a fashion line with River Island, and serving as the face of Christian Dior. As she envisions her own beauty line, she already ideas for the perfect products.
“Lashes that could just put themselves on,” she says. “Lipstick that doesn’t move, but doesn’t dry your lips out, that you don’t need a liner for."
ABC/Fred LeeIn addition to Taylor Swift, Hozier's got another celebrity fan: Sam Smith.
Appearing on BBC Radio One's "Live Lounge" on Tuesday -- which features artists doing their own versions of current hits by other singers -- Hozier took on Sam's hit "Lay Me Down," and Sam just loved it. He tweeted, "Brother @Hozier -- f**ing love the Live Lounge cover!!!! Anything you sing makes me heart jump xx Big kisses sir xx."
Hozier replied, "Ahh! Thrilled you like it!! Was an absolute joy to cover - hope you're keeping well man x ."
In other Hozier news, he's just announced a slew of new European and U.K. tour dates for 2016, starting January 8. He'll be all done touring at the end of February -- for pretty much the first time since "Take Me to Church" became a worldwide hit.
Hozier will spend the rest of this month playing at festivals all over the U.S.; he starts a new U.S. headlining tour in October.
Brooke NiparAfter canceling her M Train tour earlier this summer due to a hemorrhage on her vocal cord, Meghan Trainor has now made it through surgery just fine.
The singer posted "before" and "after" pictures on Instagram on Tuesday. One shows her in a surgical gown and cap, while the other shows her looking exhausted but happy, wearing a hoodie and making the "OK" sign.
"I look so hurt haha I survived tho!," she wrote. "Thank you Dr. Nasseri for being my hero. Now just napping all day long on the couch with mama and getting free head rubs. any movie suggestions?"
Meghan will now have to recover for about six weeks before she returns to the stage.
ABC/Fred LeeNo matter how many glitzy awards show parties Taylor Swift and her younger brother Austin attend, they never forget where they came from. Taylor’s pal Lorde witnessed a humbling moment between the two siblings at the after party for the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.
“At the after party austin leaned down from the banquette heaving with models in vip to whisper in taylor's ear ‘we grew up on a FARM!!’” Lorde tweeted, adding, "way cuteeeeeee."
Taylor retweeted Lorde’s observation and then responded in the best way possible: with a photo of her and her brother as kids, sitting on a tractor with their dad.
ABC/Fred LeeWhat do One Direction, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift have in common? They’ve all earned a place in the 2016 Guinness World Records book, according to the Guinness website.
One Direction managed to score six entries. The boys are recognized for being the first group to debut at number one with their first four albums in the U.S.: Up All Night, Take Me Home, Midnight Memories and Four. They’re also the first U.K. group to debut at number one in the U.S. with a debut album and they scored the highest debut by a U.K. group on the U.S. singles chart with “Live While We’re Young,” which premiered at number three.
1D also set records for most followers on Twitter for a music group, most subscribers for a band on YouTube and most popular dance game track. Their song “What Makes You Beautiful” was featured on Just Dance 4.
Ed set the record for the longest climb to number one on the U.K. singles chart. His 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” took 19 weeks to reach the top. It debuted at number 26 on the chart on July 5, 2014, before eventually peaking at number one November 8, 2014.
Taylor, meanwhile, broke the record for most million-selling weeks on U.S. album charts. She’s the only act to have achieved three million-selling weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.
She accomplished this feat with first-week sales of her third, fourth and fifth studio albums. Speak Now sold 1.047 million copies in 2010, Red sold 1.208 million copies in 2012, and her latest album, 1989, scored 1.287 million in sales in 2014.
Taylor’s used to breaking records, though. In 2010, she set the record for the most simultaneous U.S. Hot 100 hits by a female, by having 11 separate tracks on the U.S. Hot 100 chart. Then in 2012, her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” became the fastest-selling digital single when it hit number one on the iTunes singles chart, just 50 minutes after it was released.
The 2016 Guinness World Records book will be available September 10.
ABC/Bob D'AmicoBritney Spears isn’t the only pop star who’ll be guest-starring on The CW’s Jane the Virgin. Kesha has announced on Twitter that she’ll also have a role on the show’s upcoming second season.
“Stoked!!!!! I’ll be making a guest starring appearance on @CWJanetheVirgin on @CW!” she tweeted.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Kesha will appear in the season’s second episode as a colorful musician named Annabelle, who becomes Jane’s new neighbor.
Last month it was revealed that Britney would be appearing on the show’s fifth episode as the “nemesis” of Rogelio, Jane’s biological father. Britney also announced the news on Twitter, calling Jane the Virgin “one of my favorite shows EVER.”
Jane the Virgin, starring Gina Rodriguez, returns October 12 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
NBCUniversalThere are only four red chairs on The Voice, but if the show ever added another, who should sit in it? In a new video on TVLine.com, this season’s coaches reveal their dream picks for a fifth coach.
Both Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani think Bette Midler would make a great addition to the show. Gwen says the Divine Miss M is “somebody we’d love to get to know a little better,” and Adam agrees.
“She looks like the kind of lady that doesn’t take any s***, and I like that,” Adam says.
Gwen also suggests Barbra Streisand because, she says, “that is an artist that can do everything.”
The other two coaches, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams, are a little sillier with their fantasy choices. Blake wants model Kate Upton as the fifth judge -- because he’s “a fan” -- and Pharrell says he’d pick either Kermit the Frog or Krusty the Clown.
The ninth season of The Voice premieres Monday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Dana Edelson/NBCWe already knew that Miley Cyrus will be hosting Saturday Night Live’s 41st season premiere, but now it’s been revealed she’ll be the musical guest as well.
Fresh off her wild MTV Video Music Awards hosting gig last Sunday, Miley will likely perform new songs off her surprise free album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, when the NBC show returns October 3. The episode will mark her third time as host and second as musical guest.
The Weeknd will serve as the musical guest for the October 10 episode, hosted by Amy Schumer. And on October 17, Demi Lovato will be the musical guest, while former cast member Tracy Morgan hosts for the second time. Demi’s album, Confident, will be released the day before, on October 16.
Brian Bowen Smith/NBCWant to learn how to belt out a song like Christina Aguilera? Well, you're in luck. The Grammy winner will be teaching an online singing class this fall. Christina has signed on to be the newest instructor for MasterClass, a San Francisco-based company that makes it possible for everyone to learn a craft directly from an expert in that field.
“I’m excited MasterClass has given me the opportunity to truly share all I have learned about my craft with the world,” Christina said in a statement. “Coaching in this capacity not only gives me a chance to connect with my fans but lets me explore one of my true passions.”
According to the co-founder of MasterClass, Aaron Rasmussen, Christina’s class will show students the “tips, tricks, exercises, and some of the surprising mental techniques behind having one of the most impressive vocal ranges in music today.”
Each MasterClass is priced at $90 and includes 10 to 25 video lessons from the instructor, interactive exercises, learning materials and lifetime access to the lessons. MasterClass currently offers an acting class from Dustin Hoffman, a tennis class from Serena Williams and a writing class from author James Patterson.
Production on Christina’s class will begin in September. The class will be made available later this fall.
Credit: Eliot Lee HazelIf you're an Imagine Dragons fan and a Citi/AAdvantage cardmember, you're in luck. Dan Reynolds and company are playing a private concert at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on September 28, and the only way to get tickets is with a Citi/AAdvantage credit card.
Tickets to Imagine Dragons' private Hollywood Palladium show will go on sale September 1 at 10 a.m. PT via CitiPrivatePass.com.
Imagine Dragons completed their North American tour earlier this month in support of their sophomore album, Smoke Mirrors. Aside from the private L.A. show, the band's lone remaining U.S. date this year is their headlining set at the Life Is Beautiful festival September 26, held in their hometown of Las Vegas.
Last week, Imagine Dragons debuted a new track called "Roots." The non-album single is the band's first new song since releasing Smoke Mirrors back in February, where it debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200.
Hollywood/Island/SafehouseMonday night, Jimmy Kimmel welcomed Demi Lovato as both his musical and interview guest, fresh from her performance at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards.
Demi, who also appeared opposite Roseanne Barr in a game show sketch, sat with Jimmy and joked about Kanye West's rambling MTV Video Music Awards speech, and the shade thrown by Nicki Minaj at show host Miley Cyrus. "I'm Switzerland," Lovato joked, meaning she's neutral in the conflict, although admitting that after attending a designer's after-party, she and Iggy Azalea, with whom Demi performed Sunday night, quickly decamped back to Demi's house and the cozy comfort of sweatpants.
"One pair between you?" Kimmel asked. "I don't think our butts would fit into one pair," Lovato laughed. "All we did was we went back, we ate pizza, and watched the VMAs back, and basically was like, 'What the f*** happened?!"
As for her new album, Confident, Kimmel asked whose idea it was to have Demi pose in a latex top and sheer underwear on the cover. "All mine!" Demi exclaimed. "I've been on a meal plan for like a year, and I've been training my butt off for this album," she said to applause. "And I'm really loving my body now for the [first] time in my life, and I just wanted to show it off!"
Demi also played her new hit, "Cool for the Summer," as part of Kimmel's Summer Concert Series.
The Fray -- Joe King, far left; Epic RecordsTheFray guitarist Joe King and his wife, The Vampire Diaries actress Candice Accola, are expecting their first child together, the couple announced Monday on Instagram.
“Sometimes a Saturday is best spent painting t-shirts and taking an awesome family photo. Happy Monday everybody! #ThatAintNoBurritoinMyBelly," Accola, 28, captioned an Instagram pic of herself with King, 35, and his two daughters from a previous marriage, pointing to her baby bump.
Joe shared the same picture on his Instagram page with the caption, "Baby King on the way!!!! So proud to welcome this new life into the world with my beautiful wife and daughters. I truly am a lucky man & dad."
King and Accola first met at a Super Bowl event in 2011 and were later set up by Accola’s co-star, Nina Dobrev, according to People magazine. They tied the knot in 2014.
The Vampire Diaries returns for its seventh season October 8 on the CW network.
Atlantic RecordsEarlier this summer, Meghan Trainor was forced to cancel her M Train Tour because of a hemorrhage on her vocal cord, telling her fans she was "devastated, scared and so sorry." Now her friend, duet partner and opening act Charlie Puth is updating us as to how the Grammy-nominated singer is feeling.
"Well, I haven’t been talking to her, I’ve been texting her. She isn’t allowed to talk," Charlie tells ABC Radio. "She’s just chillin’; she’s gonna get surgery soon." He added, " It’s good that she’s getting the surgery now to avoid further problems and then, I mean, [in] six weeks she’ll hop right back on the road."
Sam Smith was able to do the same after he had vocal cord surgery earlier this year, so hopefully Meghan will do the same. Meanwhile, you can hear Charlie and Meghan singing together on the hit duet "Marvin Gaye." The song references the late Motown star Marvin Gaye and his classic hit "Let's Get It On," but Charlie says he realizes that many of his fans are too young to have even heard of Gaye.
"I was reading YouTube comments and I saw a 12-year-old post -- what I assumed was a 12-year-old --- [writing]'What’s a Marvin Gaye? And can anyone explain to me what that is?'" he tells ABC Radio. "And I just posted the Wikipedia article to 'Let’s Get It On.' I was like, 'This is the little hint.'"
In addition to Charlie's song, Marvin Gaye's name has been in the news in the past year because his family successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in court over their hit "Blurred Lines," which they claimed was too similar to Gaye's hit "Got to Give It Up." Gaye himself was tragically shot to death by his own father in 1984.
ANDREW MACPHERSON /RCA RecordsAs if near-universal acclaim for her performance at Sunday night's MTV VMAs wasn't enough, Tori Kelly has now made a new fan in someone she herself is a huge fan of: Pink.
After seeing Tori rock the stage with her performance of "Should've Been Us," Pink tweeted, "Ok @ToriKelly - fan for life. Great freaking performance tonight, you live singing, guitar playing accapella sanging woman."
A delighted Tori replied, "this tweet makes me emotional. you're such an inspiration to me & a role model for young women. thank you so much!!"
Tori's performance also won approval from actor John Stamos, who replied to another tweet praising her performance with the hashtag "#TALENT."