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Aftermath RecordsEminem not only serves as an executive producer on the upcoming flick, Southpaw, but he also will contribute to the official soundtrack.

The rapper has recorded a song called "Phenomenal," which will be the first single from the film, starring actor Jake Gyllenhaal. A clip of the song can be heard in a commercial for Beats by Dre, in which Em raps: "When you feel like you’re running out of fuel / I’ll show you how to use doubter’s fuel / I am phenomenal."

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Southpaw follows Gyllenhaal's character, the reigning light heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The film hits theaters July 24, co-starring 50 Cent, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Rita Ora and Tyrese Gibson.

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Brian Bowen Smith His ex-girlfriend Jordin Sparks may have moved on with rapper Sage the Gemini, but Jason Derulo tells Billboard it would take “a miracle” to get him back into a relationship.

The singer has been single since he and Jordin broke it off last fall after dating for three years.  While at first the split appeared to be amicable, Jordin has since publicly hinted at some lingering bitterness. She implied Jason had leased, not bought, the BMW he gave her as a gift. He responded by posting the bill of sale on Instagram, a post he's since deleted.

“I do get tired of playing nice,” Jason says. “Especially when people think I did something wrong, or that she broke up with me. But it’s so behind me.”

Now, he jokingly says his love life looks like “a deck of cards” and says he’s “having a good time getting to know people.” He rejects Tinder as a way of meeting people and instead believes the gym is the best place to meet women. Hint for the ladies: He prefers the Equinox in L.A.’s Encino neighborhood.

Jason also adds that the celebrity dating scene in rife with publicity stunt matches. He says the show Empire gets that aspect of the biz exactly right. “That happens all the time,” he says, but doesn't elaborate further.

Jason’s not looking to date as a publicity stunt -– in fact, he’s not looking for anything serious at all. He’s married to his career at the moment. “You can’t pull me out of the studio,” he says. He estimates he wrote more than 100 tracks for his new album, Everything Is 4, though he managed to whittle that number down to 11.

“Songwriting is a muscle,” he says. “The more you do it, the better you get at it.”

The tracks on Everything Is 4 include collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Keith Urban, Meghan Trainor, and Jennifer Lopez. It comes out June 2.

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Douglas Gorenstein/NBCSam Smith is finding ways around his post-surgery talking ban. His friend and music producer, Jimmy Napes, tells the BBC Sam is using an app to help him speak after undergoing vocal cord surgery last week.

"He's got an app that speaks for him and it's like Stephen Hawking, where you type something in, except it's in a girl's voice -- which is hilarious,” Jimmy says.

Aside from having to stay silent for the next couple of weeks, Jimmy says Sam is doing well and getting some rest. The singer had the operation at Boston's  Massachusetts General Hospital last Thursday. Doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

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ABC/Randy HolmesGood news, Katy Perry fans. The singer’s manager reportedly revealed that Katy’s next album will be released next year.

According to Indian website Radio and Music, manager Steven Jensen spoke about Katy’s intentions for her new album at the All That Matters music and entertainment conference in Singapore this week. “She plans to release her next album by 2016,” he was quoted as saying.

Jensen also hinted that after the new album is released, Katy would likely tour Asia again, and include dates in India.

Katy's winding down her long-running Prismatic World Tour in October. Her last album, Prism, was released in 2013.

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ABC/Kelsey McNealNick Jonas and Jason Mraz will both be featured on the upcoming season of DIRECTV’s Guitar Center Sessions.

The show features intimate live performances and interviews with different artists, and is hosted by music journalist Nic Harcourt. Its nine-episode 10th season will debut on May 29.

Nick will be featured on the June 26 episode, while Jason will appear on the July 24 episode. This season will also feature Lifehouse, The KillersBrandon Flowers and country icon Dwight Yoakam.

Guitar Center Sessions airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. exclusively on DIRECTV’s Audience Network.

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Ben Watts"Red Nose Day," a three-hour live event designed to raise money for charity organizations that focus on helping children and young people in the U.S. and around the world lift themselves out of poverty, aired Thursday night on NBC.

The star-studded event included a performance from Ed Sheeran, who teamed up with Kermit the Frog for a version of "The Rainbow Connection," from The Muppet Movie.

One Direction was also on hand to urge viewers to donate, but did not perform.

The telecast also featured celebrities from film and TV, including Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Anna Kendrick, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

"Red Nose Day," which began in the U.K. 30 years ago, is making its American debut this year. The event will benefit 12 charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National Urban League, Save the Children, and United Way.

 

 

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Michael Becker / FOXNick Fradiani has been your new American Idol for just over a week, but the fact that he won at all surprised a few people.  After all, he's from Connecticut, and nobody from the Northeast had ever won the competition before.  Not only that, but Clark Bentson, the eventual runner-up, had been the frontrunner all season.  So how did Nick do it?  With the support of his hometown, and the compelling nature of his Idol journey.

"When I tried out, you start looking up all the Idol stuff and I remember telling my mom, 'Mom...They say if you’re from where we’re from, there’s just no shot,'" he tells ABC Radio.  "I’m like, 'I just hope I can hang around a little bit.'...and I think what happened was Connecticut, especially my hometown, just got behind me so intensely. It was almost amazing. I mean, my hometown visit...12,000 people showed up in Guilford."

"I think people really just connected well to what I was trying to do, and I guess I overcame that stigma of being from a certain place where you can’t win Idol," he adds.  As for overcoming the obstacle of being the dark horse to Clark's frontrunner, Nick says he had an edge because viewers enjoyed watching his journey, and saw him improve week after week; Clark, meanwhile, was amazing right off the bat.

"He came out of the gates and it was just like, boom, Clark won. You know what I mean?" Nick laughs. "Or boom, Jax won. And they both were at this high level and I kind of started out as like, 'I’m good too, but I’m gonna do this for a couple weeks and it’s just OK.' People want to see growth. It wasn’t a planned thing, it just kind of happened, and I’m just so happy it did."

Of course Nick is happy: he gets to make an album, and release it on Big Machine Records, home to Taylor Swift.  He says he's spoken "very briefly" with Idol mentor and Big Machine boss Scott Borchetta about the project, adding, "I’m gonna be in Nashville for a lot of June, so I think we’re gonna really start focusing on the writing at the point -- who I’ll be writing with, who will be writing for me."

"I’ve been a songwriter for many years and Scott knows that so he’s looking to get me into some good co-writing sessions and I think I’ll have a better idea in a couple weeks," he adds.  Nick says he'd love to write with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and has been "really pushing them to try to have him help co-write."  As for what the project will sound like, he says his coronation single, "Beautiful Life," is a good indication of the sound he's going for.

This Sunday, Nick will be singing the national anthem at the 26th annual National Memorial Day Concert, airing on PBS, live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET, and coming up, he'll appear on the CMT Awards.  These special gigs are things that only the winner of American Idol gets to do -- a bonus that Nick says he never actually considered before.

"At first I was just like, whatever, I’m in the top three, whatever happens, happens," he tells ABC Radio. "But I’m seeing how important it was to win. The things that are happening right now, all these different things I’m doing, it’s really incredible."   

You can see Nick on the American Idol Live tour this summer, starting July 7.

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCThere were a few famous singers in the cast of Taylor Swift's new all-star video for "Bad Blood," but now there's another one.  Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld -- aka "The Trinity" -- has just signed a recording deal with Republic Records to make her own album, and she'll be turning to you-know-who for advice.

Hailee, who at age 14 earned an Oscar nod for her role in True Grit, is now 18 and is one of the featured singers in the smash hit movie Pitch Perfect 2.  She's currently in the studio working on her debut album.  The label's co-founder says in a statement, "Hailee is a multi-talented artist and among her many gifts, her voice is both unique and undeniable. It’s exciting to have her join the Republic family.”

This past weekend at the Billboard Music Awards, ABC Radio asked Hailee if she'd thought about a potential record deal, and she was coy, not wanting to give away the fact that she already had one.  "I mean, I’d love to make music. I think making an album is a little far down the road, but, um, sure," she told ABC Radio. 

As it turns out, it was only about five days down the road.  As for what genre of music Hailee will be making, she said she's conflicted. "I’m so indecisive when it comes to that," she told ABC Radio. "I love all types of music and finding my own sound I find will be a very complicated process."

Perhaps someone she knows might be able to give her some advice to lead her in the right direction?  Someone whose initials are T.S.?  "Yeah, absolutely. She’d be the first person I’d go to," Hailee said of Taylor. 

And who knows?  Taylor and Hailee may one day end up as co-stars in Pitch Perfect 3.  The movie's Anna Camp tells E!, "I think that Taylor Swift would make a great [Barden] Bella. I really think she would. I think it would be an even bigger movie!"

If you're wondering what Hailee's voice sounds like, check out Pitch Perfect 2, in which she performs the song "Flashlight."  We wouldn't be surprised if she showed up as a special guest star on Taylor's just-launched 1989 world tour.

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Interscope RecordsSwipe right on Tinder and you could end up with a date with Zedd. The DJ-producer is offering his Tinder-using fans a special deal on his new album, and he’ll personally invite some lucky Tinder matches to his upcoming fall tour.

Tinder users who find Zedd’s profile and swipe right will receive a message with details on how to purchase True Colors for a special exclusive price of $3.99. Matches will also be entered to win a limited edition True Colors Package which includes a signed poster, vinyl copy of the album and a sticker. The album deal is available until Monday, May 25.

Starting Tuesday, May 26, Zedd will be chatting with fans on Tinder and giving away free tickets to each one of his True Colors tour dates across the U.S. Later this summer, Zedd also will release an interactive music video through the app.

Zedd’s True Colors album was released this past Tuesday.

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Michael Becker/FOXKelly Clarkson is officially a free agent. Her latest album Piece by Piece was the final release in a six-album deal she signed with RCA Records right after becoming the first American Idol winner in 2002. Kelly tells Rolling Stone she’s embracing her hard-earned freedom.

"Man, I have no frigging clue what's coming next, but it's going to be fun," she says. "I haven't ever been able to pick who to work with as an artist, so it's nice now that it's a choice. It'll be cool to 'Breakaway,' for lack of a better term, and see what's out there.”

She says her exploration might lead her to make a country record, or an R&B record. The possibilities are wide open. “I've made enough money in my career,” she says. “This is just the cherry on top.”

For now, though, she’s still in familiar pop music territory -- at least until her Piece by Piece tour concludes. She begins that trek July 11 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And speaking of familiar territory, Kelly’s single “Heartbreak Song” may have sounded a little too familiar to some. People have pointed out the similarities between that song and Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” but Kelly says she was surprised by the comparison.

“I didn't write the song, I just sang it,” she says. “But I didn't catch that. Nobody behind the scenes did. What's funny is that I was a huge fan of that Jimmy Eat World album! We actually thought our song sounded like the Postal Service -- that was our big concern.”

Jimmy Eat World didn’t take issue with the comparison, something Kelly says she appreciates. “There are only so many chords,” she says.  Adding about the "Blurred Lines" copyright infringement lawsuit won by Marvin Gaye's family, “I felt so bad for Pharrell when he got sued -- he's a huge fan of Marvin Gaye, and you know he didn't mean to rip him off. And he's the sweetest guy ever. It sucks.”

Another thing Kelly thinks “sucks”? The fact that marijuana isn’t legal. She recently spoke out in favor of legalizing the drug. “I'm not even a pothead, I just think it's funny that we legalize something as destructive as alcohol or pills and not that,” she explains. “…We legalize things that are so disturbing for our bodies, but one that's completely fine, we say, ‘No, that's bad for you.’ I'm like, ‘Okay, enjoy your scotch. Enjoy your Xanax.’”

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Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSLady Gaga and her Born This Way Foundation were honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s Making a Difference award Thursday. Gaga accepted the award via video message, calling it “an incredible honor.”

“Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” the pop star said of the ADL. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on the inside is very important to everyone. We want to do everything we can to make them feel strong and happy, and know that they deserve a kinder and braver life.”

Her video was shown at ADL’s No Place for Hate ceremony in New York City, which was attended by hundreds of children from 85 schools in New York State and northern New Jersey. The students were recognized for their efforts in combating bigotry, bullying and bias. Similar ceremonies will be held across the country this year as ADL recognizes more than 1,600 schools that completed the organization’s No Place for Hate program.

“Youth for me represent a kinder and braver world because their stories have the ability to change things,” Gaga said in her speech. “It takes just one story to inspire someone to be nicer in class. It takes just one story to inspire someone who wants to give up. It takes just one story to change somebody’s life.”

She concluded, “So thank you so much for everything you have been doing over the past 100 years, and congratulations and thank you to the millions of student in New York and across the country who have committed to taking a stand against bias and bullying through ADL’s No Place for Hate program.”

Gaga founded the Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in 2011.

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Image courtesy Republic RecordsThe Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith are just some of the artists who scored nominations for Canada’s 2015 MuchMusic Video Awards.

The Weeknd leads the pack with six nominations, including Video of the Year for "Often," and Most Buzzworthy Canadian artist for his Fifty Shades of Grey track, "Earned It," which is also nominated for Fan Fave Video of the Year.

Ed, who’s also co-hosting the June 21 ceremony, nabbed three nominations including Best International Artist, Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group, and the previously announced Fan Fave International Artist/Group of the Year.

Taylor, Sam, Justin and Sia each scored two nominations apiece. Nick Jonas, Hozier, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo and Taylor's rumored beau, DJ Calvin Harris, also received nods.

Last week, organizers confirmed The Weeknd, Ed, Nick and Jason are set to perform at the show, which is Canada’s equivalent of the MTV VMAs.

Visit MMVA.MuchMusic.com for the full list of nominees. Here are some categories of note:

Video of the Year
Arcade Fire -- “We Exist”
Grimes f. Blood Diamonds -- “Go”
Kiesza -- “Giant in My Heart”
Majid Jordan -- “Her”
The Weeknd -- “Often”

Best International Artist
Ariana Grande
Calvin Harris
Ed Sheeran
Hozier
Kendrick Lamar
Nick Jonas
Rihanna
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift
Sia

Most Buzzworthy Canadian
Drake
Justin Bieber
Kiesza
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group
Ed Sheeran
Fall Out Boy
Iggy Azalea
Jason Derulo
Sia

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCEd Sheeran and Hozier are now the proud owners of Ivor Novello songwriting awards, the BBC reports. At today's ceremony in London, Ed was named Songwriter of the Year, while Hozier won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Take Me to Church.”

Ed accepted his prize from Sir Elton John. "This is the one award that really counts because it comes from people you respect,” he said. "No offense to all the other ones, obviously."

After winning his award, Hozier said, "This time last year I was completely unknown and this music was written alone in my attic. I'm so encouraged. This is a huge deal for me."

Clean Bandit was also a big winner of the night. They nabbed Most Performed Song and Best Contemporary Song for “Rather Be,” featuring Jess Glynne. The band thanked their piano and saxophone teachers. Co-writer Jimmy Napes, who also wrote Sam Smith's “Stay with Me,” dedicated the award to his wife, who inspired the lyrics.

The Ivor Novello awards, which celebrated its 60th year this year, reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. The awards are voted on by fellow songwriters.

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCWant to feel like you’re in a jungle paradise with Nick Jonas? Just watch his latest video for the song “Good Thing” with rapper Sage the Gemini.

The colorful visual is the perfect accompaniment to this sexy summer jam about having a casual fling. Surrounded by beautiful women in the tropical setting, Sage raps the verses while Nick sings soulful the chorus.

Earlier this week, Nick announced dates for his fall solo tour. It’s scheduled to kick off September 6 in Hershey, PA and is currently set to wrap September 29 in Silver Spring, MD. After that, he’ll open for Kelly Clarkson during her October dates in Canada.

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Big Machine RecordsTaylor Swift's star-studded video for "Bad Blood" is pretty epic, and now it's racked up some pretty epic viewing numbers.

After premiering Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards, the video debuted exclusively on VEVO, where it broke the record for most views in a 24-hour period: 20.1 million.  The previous record holder was "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj, which grabbed 19.6 million views back in August.

Together, all of Taylor's videos have amassed nearly five billion total views.

In other Taylor news, she kicked off her 1989 tour Wednesday night in Bossier City, Louisiana.  According to USA Today, the set list featured every song from her 1989 album, plus re-imagined -- "in the vibe of 1989" -- versions of "Love Story," "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."  Between songs, Taylor talked to the audience quite a bit, and even shared her "fangirl moment" at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards with actress Molly Ringwald, whose number she appeared to be putting into her phone while the two were standing in the front row together.

"I had such a hard time forming words when I was talking to her," Taylor told the audience, according to USA Today, and added that Ringwald's classic films The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles helped "define my ideas of what love and romance should be."

There was also plenty of merchandise on sale at the show, but every fan also got a free souvenir: a bracelet with LED lights that flickered in sync.

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PRNewsFoto/Live Nation EntertainmentMadonna has rescheduled the first three dates of her forthcoming Rebel Heart tour due to production issues.

"As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect," she says in a statement.  "Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans.  I can promise you this show will be worth the wait.  Can't wait to share it with all my Rebel Hearts out there."

The August 29 opening night in Miami has been moved to January 23rd.  An additional show scheduled for August 30 will take place January 24, while the September 2 show in Atlanta has been rescheduled to January 20, and two shows in San Juan, Puerto Rico, originally scheduled for September 5 and 6 will now take place January 27 and 28.  Tickets for all dates will be honored for the new dates.  Refunds will be available at point of purchase.

The Rebel Heart tour will now kick off Wednesday, September 9 in Montreal. 

Visit Madonna's website for the updated itinerary.

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCBy next month, Jennifer Lopez will be in full-on preparation mode for her Las Vegas residency show. The show is set to premiere at the Axis at Planet Hollywood on January 20, but J.Lo isn’t wasting any time. She tells the Las Vegas Sun she’ll begin work on the setlist and music for the project on June 1.

“By July, we will have started to conceptualize the show,” she says. “By August, we’ll start work on the costumes, and rehearsals will begin late September or early October. It’s going to go very fast, although it may seem a long time out.”

She adds that by late October or early November she’ll be moving to Vegas so she can start working in the Axis theater. She’s still not sure if she’ll find a home there, or live out of a hotel. Her biggest concern, though, is her kids: 7-year-old twins Max and Emme.

“I realize that I have parental responsibilities with the twins, and they are the most important in my life, so the decision will really circle around them,” she says. “It’s been hard when you’re out on tour, so this is a nice way to cut back and still do lots of shows for the fans.”

And based on what she’s hinting, fans will definitely be pleased with the show. “It’s going to be the best J.Lo show you’ve ever seen and heard,” she says. “It will be with all my hits. We have a lot of different things to try to do on that stage. There’s so much there in Las Vegas…Think of it as one super party you’ve wanted to go to your entire life.”

The residency deal will include 40 shows a year for two years. But Jennifer says she’s not worried about performing. “The only thing that worries me is that I love all the great restaurants and shopping on the Strip,” she says. “So I’m going to have to be very careful not to eat too much or to shop too much. That’s the only problem I think I’ll have!”

By the time the residency kicks off,  J.Lo will have wrapped episodes of her new TV series, Shades of Blue. She’ll be juggling her Vegas shows with her judging duties on the 15th and final season of American Idol. “That will involve commuting back and forth between Las Vegas and Los Angeles,” she says. “But I don’t think about what that involves. I’ll just do it, and we’ll get both done perfectly.”

Tickets for her residency at Axis at Planet Hollywood, current home to Britney Spears’  Britney: Piece of Me show, are now on sale for her first set of shows running January 20 through February 9 and May 22 through June 12, 2016.

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Michael Tran/FilmMagic; ABC/Ida Mae AstuteVin Diesel isn't letting his less-than-perfect singing voice deter him from paying tribute to his late Fast & Furious co-star, Paul Walker.

Last month, the actor sang the Walker tribute song "See You Again," by Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, at the MTV Movie Awards.  Now, he's posted to Facebook a video of himself singing Tove Lo's hit "Habits (Stay High)."

Diesel's version of the song is slower and features piano accompaniment.  He captioned the video, "The ever continuing process of healing...All love..."

As for why he chose this song, he was likely attracted to the lyrics, which are about numbing yourself with a variety of things -- including drugs, alcohol and sex -- to get over the loss of someone.  "You're gone and I gotta stay high all the time/to keep you off my mind," sings Diesel. "Spend my days locked in a haze/trying to forget you babe/I fall back down/Gotta stay high all my life/To forget I'm missing you."

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Methane StudiosTrain kicks off their summer tour, dubbed Picasso at the Wheel, tonight in Marysville, California, and they're bringing The Fray and Matt Nathanson along for the ride. So what can fans expect?  A lot of fun pre-show activities off stage, and on stage, fewer bells and whistles, and more focus on the songs that fans love.

When Train toured overseas earlier this year, they didn't have a lot of over-the-top production, and Train frontman Pat Monahan says it taught them a valuable lesson.  "It pays off," he tells ABC Radio. "Because then it’s about music and people being together, instead of a Katy Perry performance, which is incredible, but it’s so pop and over-the-top that I don’t know how you would out-do that kind of thing."

"So for us, just sticking to the basics is always best because it’s what people really want, is songs they can connect to," he adds.

Getting the opening acts involved in the fun is also something that Train does on their tours, and Monahan says that's because they want to encourage an "all for one and one for all" feeling while on the road.

"We feel like a headliner is obligated to create the vibe of the tour," he explains. "And we always...try to include everybody, so that everybody knows that we win together. This isn’t about us kicking your a** or you kicking our a** -- this is about all of us kicking a**. And so that’s the goal and I hope everybody will join us on stage."

As far as the set list goes, there'll be a nice mix, says guitarist Jimmy Stafford. "You know, we’ve got a lot to pull from now," he tells ABC Radio. "And of course we’d like to play a handful of songs from the new album, ‘cause that’s what we’re out there promoting, but I think we’ll mix in a lot of old stuff and we’ll still play all the hits for everybody."

Deep cuts from Train's current album Bulletproof Picasso are also on the agenda, Monahan says, since they went over so well with fans overseas.

"The songs that are really connecting with people from the Bulletproof Picasso album are songs that are not on the radio," he tells ABC Radio. "The three songs that really were surprising, that we had to do every night because of the connection that was being made, was 'I Will Remember,' 'Just a Memory' and 'Give It All.' Those three songs...we’re like, 'Man we can’t really take those out.'"  A touching video for "Give It All" was released earlier this week.

In addition to the main attraction -- the concert -- there will also be some fun pre-show activities for fans.  "We always try to do something different every tour," says Pat.  This year, at each venue, a tent will be set up in the parking lot so that fans can get involved in Monahan's weekly podcast.  The Patcast Tailgate Tent, featuring giveaways, a deejay and sporadic appearances by the singer, will be open at every show from 3 p.m. 'til doors at the venue open.

"People can come in and do liners and we’ll do live performances out there or live interviews," he tells ABC Radio. 

In addition, each show will feature a scavenger hunt: cool prizes will be hidden in the parking lot or in the venue, and the band will offer clues on their Twitter and Instagram accounts.  Plus, the band is bringing back their Mermaid contest, in which fans are encouraged to dress as sea creatures: the fans with the best costumes get ticket upgrades, and also get to appear on stage.

The Picasso at the Wheel tour is currently scheduled to run through July 25.

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCEd Sheeran wants to be more successful than Taylor Swift. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the red-headed Brit reveals he and his pal Taylor have a healthy competitive relationship. That is to say, they both strive to be the best.

“At the moment, Taylor is a benchmark in America and a lot of other countries,” Ed says. “In America, I want to catch up with her.”

Ed admits that it’ll probably take a lot more work to surpass her in sales, because Taylor’s been in the biz about 10 years longer than him. But, if he ever did, he doesn’t think she’d be mad. In fact, he thinks it would just motivate her even more.

“If I passed her, I think she’d then get more competitive and do more stuff,” he says. “I think it would only be healthy. Like her surpassing me in sales in the U.S., that’s healthy for me because I now want to get up to that point.”

But first he’ll have to start thinking of his new album. His last two albums were [plus] and x [multiply], so does that mean - [subtract] or ÷ [divide] could be the title of the next one?

“They’re the two choices,” he says. “But I don’t know what direction the album’s gonna go in yet. Every title has its own theme. Multiply was called Multiply because it made everything that was on plus bigger. From the venues to the songs to the radio plays to the sales. I don’t know what the theme on the next album is yet because I haven’t made it.”

But if the title was going to be Subtract, Ed says the idea would be to strip things down and make it an acoustic record.

That would certainly be another achievement for the singer, who likes to get tattoos to mark important moments in his life. He’s already got his next one picked out. “I wanted to get a dancer for the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ video, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it,” he says.

While he admittedly wants to take his career to new heights, he can’t deny that his global fanbase is massive -- and made up mostly of young girls. But would he ever date a fan? “I think the thing that’s impossible to do is date someone that isn’t aware that I make music,” he says. “So whether they’re a fan or not, that changes people’s perceptions of you. I don’t really date people in my sphere.”

No matter how many fans he has, though, Ed’s still just a music fan himself. He’s dying to meet Bruce Springsteen. Ed says he sent the New Jersey rocker an email recently inviting him to a show. “He’s someone I’d love to meet,” he says. “You don’t ask, you don’t get, you know?”

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