Smallz & Raskind exclusively for BillboardSince it began, the big criticism about The Voice has been that it hasn't created any music stars: it's simply made the show's coaches -- from Adam Levine to Shakira to Blake Shelton to Christina Aguilera -- even more rich and famous than they were before. But now, the coaches say that even if the contestants don't become stars, they're still receiving something very valuable from their time on the show: advice.
Adam, who said in 2012 that The Voice has to produce a star in order to "continue to be taken seriously," is now singing a different tune. He tells Billboard that the show is really more about helping prospective singers to be "as well-equipped as possible for reality, which starts the minute that confetti falls and people continue with their careers."
The new coach, Pharrell Williams, agrees, telling Billboard, "I just don’t like that we’re talking about this from the defense, as if there’s something wrong [with the show]. I never had a Gwen Stefani, or an Adam Levine, or a Blake Shelton to come in and tell me anything when I was 15 years old."
As for his tenure on the show, Pharrell says that while he's on board for this fall season, which starts September 22, he won't be coming back for the spring, because he's too busy producing artists like Ed Sheeran and fellow newbie coach Gwen. "I consider this another great musical endeavor," he says. "This is a studio session to me."
As for Gwen, the mom to two older boys and six-month-old son Apollo, tells Billboard, "In my life and my career, yes, I could just go back in and try to make another record right now with No Doubt, and see what happens while I’m in between breast-feedings and up all night. But this really shakes it up for me. This is inspiring in a whole new way."
Catherine Asanov/RCA RecordsThis fall, Becky G is the go-to-girl for big pop stars who are looking for opening acts. She'll be warming up crowds for Demi Lovato, Jason Derulo and Katy Perry in the next month or so; her stint on Demi's tour starts this Sunday in Miami and runs through September 28, wrapping in San Diego, California.
Becky says she's excited to be part of Demi's world tour because she admires how Demi makes her audiences a part of her show.
"I love Demi because...talk about somebody who who can connect to people like nobody else!" Becky tells ABC News Radio. "Demi talks to her fans. Like, she talks to the crowd, she talks to them as if they're were just her friends. She has conversations with them. It's not just always like a staged show."
"I appreciate artists like that, who can just be really honest and genuine, and that's what's really nice about Demi," she adds.
Becky's warm-up gig with Jason Derulo's tour begins October 21 in New Jersey. Her dates with Katy Perry are October 10 and 11.
Peter Kramer/NBCWith all of Adam Levine's extracurricular activities -- his work on The Voice, his fragrance and clothing lines, his TV production deal and his budding acting career -- it's hard to remember that the man's day job is being the lead singer in Maroon 5. But he considers it his #1 priority and has no desire to stop any time soon.
"Maroon 5 are a lot stronger than we have been in the past," he tells the British paper The Sun. "We know what we are good at and that’s pop music...Maroon 5 embrace that and are successful and we don’t think it’s uncool; we just go for it.”
As for all his outside activities, Adam says the band doesn't mind: in fact, he says they're the ones who convinced him to do a fragrance.
"I came in to the guys and said, ‘They want me to do a fragrance, how lame is that?’" he tells The Sun. "But the band said, ‘What are you talking about, man? That is awesome! You should do it’. So I said OK."
Maroon 5 is even OK with Adam acting, even though he's not sure if he's going to pursue it in the future.
"I don’t know. Maybe. I’m just looking forward to getting out on the road with my band," he says. "It’s like when people ask if I am going to do a solo record. Why would I want to do that? I’m in Maroon 5 with my buddies, and that makes me a lucky guy.”
Maroon 5 will kick off a tour in support of their #1 album V on February 16 in Dallas.
Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna has been documenting every step of the creation of her new album on Instagram, but unfortunately, we're not going to hear it this year. Billboard reports that the Queen of Pop doesn't plan to release the record until 2015.
Madonna's manager Guy Oseary tells the publication that the pop star has indeed been in the studio with top producer and rumored Katy Perry boyfriend Diplo, but would only say the singer is "having a lot of fun."
According to Madonna's Instagram feed, she's also collaborating on the album with producer and deejay Avicii, as well as some top pop songwriters, Alicia Keys and Martin Keirzenbaum, the head of Cherrytree Records. He told Billboard, "It was a real privilege to write with Madonna...we ended up writing about seven songs...we just wrote songs the old-fashioned way, just playing the piano and singing. … I don’t know what she’s gonna use from the sessions, but it was a tremendous honor.”
Madonna's last album was 2012's MDNA, which debuted at #1.
Credit: RJ RJ ShaughnessyOne Direction will travel to Universal Orlando Resort in Florida in November to celebrate the release of their fourth album, FOUR. On November 17, the day of the album's release, the band will perform on NBC's Today show, live from Orlando. The public will be able to view the concert free at Universal's CityWalk.
According to OrlandoUnited.com, Universal will celebrate the event by featuring One Direction songs on its Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster. There will also be a One Direction version of its nighttime show, Cinematic Spectacular. In addition, the park's on-site Cabana Bay Beach Resort hotel will feature a 1D theme on November 17, and guests will receive a specially recorded wake-up call from Niall, Harry, Louis, Liam, or Zayn.
ABC/Randy HolmesDespite Iggy Azalea's vehement denial that she's the star of a sex tape being shopped, her legal team now acknowledges that it's possible that she is in the tape, and the male participant in said video also insists that it is, indeed, Iggy.
In a reversal of their initial denial, Iggy's legal team told TMZ that, in fact, the rapper could possibly be in the tape, but if she is, it was shot without her knowledge or consent...AND she could have been under 18 at the time, making it illegal to release it. But now, a Houston rapper named Hefe Winetells TMZ that he's the one in the video that's being offered to Vivid Entertainment, and that Iggy was legal at the time, because, he says, he didn't even meet her until her 18th birthday.
What's more, Wine claims that Iggy is "100% fully aware" that they shot the sex tape. However, he says he didn't give it to Vivid -- he claims his computer was stolen a few months ago and that's how Vivid got it. Wine, however, is interested in cutting a deal with Vivid for the tape's release, but since Iggy would have to sign off on it, don't hold your breath.
Wine also says he and Iggy are still friendly, and claims he's about to release a new single with her on it in a featured role. Stay tuned.
Columbia RecordsThe band Train doesn't just release new albums -- they also offer you something to drink while you're listening to them. The group's latest wine, Bulletproof Picasso, named after their new album, is now available for pre-order.
The wine is a Sauvignon Blanc, and it will begin shipping September 16, the same day the album is released. According to a tweet by the band, the wine is also available now in Fresh Market stores, and will be available in other stores nationwide starting next month.
Bulletproof Picasso joins Train's other signature wines: Drops of Jupiter, Calling All Angels, Soul Sister, California 37 and Hella Fine. Proceeds from sales of the wines go to Family House, a San Francisco-based charity that provides support for the families of children who are gravely ill.
ABC/Adam TaylorOn October 14, Pink is releasing an unexpected new album called rose ave., as one-half of a duo called You Me. She may perform some of those new songs live on October 23, when she headlines a breast cancer fundraiser called The Power of Pink.
The entertainment for the event at L.A.'s House of Blues will be a live acoustic performance by what's being billed as "Pink & Friends." Judging from the first single, also called "You and Me," the You Me project is acoustic, so Pink may very well may be joined by the other half of the duo, Canadian singer/songwriter Dallas Green, for the gig.
The Power of Pink fundraiser recognizes and celebrates the strength of women who battle and beat breast cancer daily. Proceeds will go to the Cancer Prevention Program at the Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. Visit PowerofPinkEvent.org to get tickets.
Nick Farrell/Sony MusicPresidentObama and the first lady made a surprise stop at a Washington, D.C., charter school Thursday afternoon to participate in a service project, much to the dismay of a young girl who had hoped the surprise visitor would be Beyoncé.
“I understand,” Obama told the girl, named Madison. “[First daughters] Malia and Sasha would feel the same way.”
First lady Michelle Obama agreed: “It’s a disappointment.”
As they filled backpacks with toys for homeless children, Madison tried to make up for it, telling the president, “But then I realized it was going to be you and that’s even better.”
But Obama wasn’t buying it. “I appreciate you saying that in front of the press,” he told her. “I know it’s not really true.”
The first lady joked, “I’d rather see Beyoncé,” earning a big smile from her husband.
Douglas Gorenstein/NBCAs promised, Chris Brown was a guest on Thursday night's edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Dressed in a a red shirt, pants, shoes, hoodie and ball cap, and accompanied by four male dancers clad in all black with matching red fedoras, Chris performed a medley of his hit song, "Loyal," and the title track from his upcoming album, X. Fallon's house band, The Roots, backed Brown for the performance.
ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaEnriqueIglesias and Pitbull kick off their joint tour tonight in Newark, New Jersey, and Enrique says nothing will make him happier than performing his hits for his fans every night.
"Just, like, being up onstage," Enrique tells ABC News Radio when asked what he's most looking forward to about this tour. "I've always said, when I'm up onstage, I think I'm the happiest guy in the world. There's no better feeling in the world. You could be sick, you could have the worst headache, you could feel horrible -- but once you're up there and in front of your fans, it all goes away."
The tour comes in support of Enrique's current album Sex and Love, featuring the hit "Bailando." He gave fans a preview of what they can expect when he performed Tuesday night on the CBS special Fashion Rocks, singing "Bailando" along with Sean Paul. Pitbull was also on the bill, performing his new single, "Fireball."
"I mean, we're good friends and we get along so well and we've worked together so, so many times and done so many tours together," Enrique says of touring with his buddy, Mr. Worldwide. "So we know each other very well, and that helps a lot when touring."
The only downside to touring with Pitbull is that it might keep Enrique from doing the #1 thing he needs to do while on tour besides sing.
"I don't really have a regimen," Enrique tells ABC News Radio about staying in shape during a lengthy tour. "The most important thing when I go on tour for me is that I get as much rest as possible, as much sleep. That to me is crucial."
However, considering Pitbull's along for the ride, Enrique laughs, "I guess I'm not getting a lot of rest!"
The tour finishes its North American leg in late October, and then Enrique and Pitbull will move on to Europe. The last scheduled date is December 13 in Moscow, Russia, but more dates could be added.
Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor's #1 hit "All About That Bass" tells girls to be proud of their curves, and to love their bodies as they are, instead of trying to be a size 2. But the singer says that it's a lesson she herself had to learn the hard way.
Speaking to People magazine, the 20-year-old singer says that growing up, she had "pretty, popular" friends, but would always put herself down. "I would destroy myself and say, 'I'm so fat,'" she recalls. Luckily, just like she says in the song, her mom reminded her "to not worry about size and love myself." Now her song is helping others get the message.
"I got a message from a fan that said, 'I was anorexic and I cut myself...until I heard your song," Meghan tells People.
Now that she's got a #1 hit, a new EP and 50 million views on YouTube, Meghan says she can allow herself to gloat a little bit. Thinking back to a boy in junior high who told her she should lose ten pounds, she laughs, "He probably hates himself now. I'm beautiful and happy. And I'm not going to change."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCIggy Azalea's rep already has denied reports that that she appears in a sex tape, but now the rapper herself has taken to Twitter to second that denial, and to give some strongly worded comments about companies who release such tapes.
As previously reported, Vivid Entertainment announced that they became aware of a sex tape that appeared to feature Iggy, and that if it indeed was her, they were interested in making a deal to distribute it. Now, Iggy says, "obviously I've seen the news feed today and i just want to say, I don't have a sex tape but for the record, anyone who releases or attempts to make profit off someone else's intimate moments against their will is a sex offender."
She adds, "It honestly makes me sick to see the media encourage any other attitude towards those sorts of people, we should want to protect our women and i really hope that america will follow Europe and their laws to better protect peoples privacy and fundamental rights."
She concluded, "And on that note, I'm off to get a manicure. peaaaaccceeeeeee outtttttt *drops the mic.*"
It's worth noting that Vivid claims it had every intention of getting Iggy's okay to release the non-existent tape, and to share the profits with her.
Earlier this month, CBS Sports and NFL Network announced that Rihanna's guest feature on Jay Z’s "Run This Town" will open each game of Thursday Night Football this year. However, in light of the NFL's Ray Rice controversy, the song has been pulled from tonight's Baltimore Ravens game and replaced with a special report on the Rice incident.
Earlier this week Rice was let go by the Baltimore Raves and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after video emerged online of Rice knocking his now-wife unconscious in an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel elevator. Rihanna, of course, was herself the victim of domestic violence at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown.
The Thursday Night Football pregame show will air at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight, September 11.
Pamela Litky/Columbia RecordsAmerica's Got Talent has lined up quite a collection of talent for its big finale September 17.
Train, Ed Sheeran and Pitbull, as well as Jennifer Hudson and Lenny Kravitz, will all perform on the episode, which will air live from New York City's Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Ed will perform his latest single, "Don't," while J-Hud will sing "It's Your World."
Pitbull will perform his latest single, "Fireball," accompanied by Radio City's famed Rockettes, and Lenny will sing his new single, "The Chamber." It's not clear what Train will perform but since the finale is the day after their new album, Bulletproof Picasso, comes out, it'll likely be something from that.
On Tuesday, September 16, the show's six remaining finalists will perform for their last chance to win $1 million and the opportunity to headline at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas later this month.
Vincent Perini/222 Recordings/Interscope RecordsPharrell Williams' hit "Happy" is one of the most upbeat hits of the past year, but Maroon 5 has now put a very unique spin on the tune, making it almost unrecognizable.
Appearing on the Live Lounge program on U.K.'s BBC Radio 1, which encourages artists to perform acoustic versions of other artists' hits, Adam Levine and company slowed "Happy" way, way, WAY down and gave it a jazz feel.
Grand Hustle/Def Jam RecordingsWho dat, who dat? It's not Iggy Azalea, that's for sure. Contrary to rumor, the rapper's rep tells the Huffington Post that reports she appears in a sex tape are not true.
A tape featuring a woman who appears to be Iggy frolicking with an ex-boyfriend has surfaced, and top porn company Vivid Entertainment has announced that it's interested in cutting a deal to release it.
Vivid founder Steven Hirsch says in a statement, "I believe there would be a huge demand for her sex tape. Iggy has proved that she’s an amazing talent. If there is any tape out there that can rival that of Kim Kardashian, this one is it! We are conducting our due diligence and if we are satisfied with our review, we will definitely try to make a deal to distribute the tape."'
Of course, this is before the denial that it's Iggy on the tape. Her rep tells HuffPo, "It is categorically not Iggy Azalea in the video in question. She has never been involved in any sexually explicit recordings."
A Manhattan club promoter was injured during a bottle-throwing melee at a party hosted by Chris Brown Thursday, police sources tell ABC News Radio.
The incident transpired inside the Meatpacking District’s VIP Room around 2:55 a.m. during a New York Fashion Week after-party. During the brawl, bottles were thrown and shards of glass injured the eye of the 29-year-old victim, who was standing near Brown.
The man sought treatment at the Beth Israel Medical Center for minor lacerations to his left eye before being transported to the New York Eye and Ear Hospital.
Brown's rep tells ABC News Radio that the singer wasn't involved, nor was his entourage. Brown himself tweeted not long after the report surfaced, "There was no brawl involving me or anyone from my camp last night at VIP room. The devil is in full effect at all times. God is the way."
Just last week, Chris pleaded guilty in Washington, D.C. to misdemeanor assault, stemming from an incident outside of a D.C. hotel almost a year ago. he was sentenced to time served.
No arrests have been made in Thursday night's incident.
Cliff Lipson/CBSSome of the biggest British artists on the U.S. charts right now have received nominations for this year's Q Awards, handed out by the highly regarded British music magazine Q.
Sam Smith is up for Best New Act, and Best Track, for his hit "Stay with Me." Ed Sheeran is up for Best Solo Artist, and Coldplay snags a nod for Best Video, for the clip for "Magic."
As for non-Brits, Lorde, who's from New Zealand, received a Best Track nomination for "Royals" while Pharrell Williams got a nod in the most prestigious category: Best Act in the World Today. His competition? British alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys, Canadian alt-rock band Arcade Fire, British rockers Kasabian and legendary British icon Kate Bush, who recently returned to the stage after many years.
You can vote now online for your favorites in each category. The Q Awards will be handed out October 22 in London, at a ceremony which is generally characterized by all the attendees getting extremely drunk.
Credit: Jeremiah FraitesThe Lumineers, the band that brought you "Ho Hey," have begun work on their second album.
The band's lead singer, Wesley Schultz, announced on Instagram: "Well folks, we are back in the studio, chippin away at some new ideas. It's been one hell of a ride so far and we are excited to be writing again. Thanks and stay tuned."
The new album will be the follow up to the band's self-titled 2012 debut, which earned them a Grammy nomination.
We'll get a preview of the Lumineers' new music when one of their new songs appears on the upcoming soundtrack of the next Hunger Games film, Mockingjay Part 1, which is being curated by Lorde. The Lumineers are the first act besides Lorde herself to be confirmed for the album, which is coming out later this fall.
A Lumineers song track titled "Gale Song" appeared on the soundtrack of the previous Hunger Games soundtrack, Catching Fire.
In addition to their Hunger Games work, the band contributed a new song titled "Visions of China" to the most recent soundtrack for The Walking Dead, which came out last month.