Francis Specker/CBSSam Smith's next album -- the follow-up to his Grammy-winning debut In the Lonely Hour -- is highly-anticipated, and the singer has already started working on it. But even though there are plenty of musicians out there dying to collaborate with him, Sam says he doesn't think he'll have any special guests on the record. As he puts it, "I feel like the album's my voice."
In an interview with BBC Radio 2, Sam explains why he's willing to sing with other artists, but not on his own records. "I adore [Amy] Winehouse records, and Adele records, and if you go back to even Etta James records and Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan, and I love how their album is just them, I think that's important."
"I like to collaborate, I think it's an amazing thing," he adds. "But I kind of like to do it outside of the album. I feel like the album's my voice, I should tell a story, so I don't think so. But I will collaborate." Of course, Sam has done so already, with people like Mary J. Blige and John Legend.
Sam says that like In the Lonely Hour, his next album is shaping up to be more melancholy than happy -- because he just can't help himself. However, it'll be about a different kind of melancholy than his debut.
"It's not gonna be about loneliness, that's all I know, he tells BBC Radio 2. " I'm just trying to live my life and just see what happens, but I've already managed to write some pretty sad things."
As for whether the songs will mostly be about relationships, like the songs on In the Lonely Hour, Sam says, "One song already could be, yes. I need to get with someone first for it to be about a relationship, so I'm just gonna try and kiss loads of boys over the next year!"
Sam is currently overseas, but he'll be back in the U.S. later this month for some festival dates.
Ethan Mller/Getty Images via ABCHot on the heels of the release of his new single "Levels," Nick Jonas is kicking off a solo headlining tour this Sunday, and he says he's as excited to check out the audience as they are to see him. As he tells ABC Radio, "I’m really interested to see who the fans are now."
Thanks to his smash hit "Jealous" and his warmly received self-titled solo album, Nick has attracted millions of new fans, adding to those who were already fans of his from his time with the Jonas Brothers. "I think a lot of them came with me from the time with my brothers, but [there are] a lot of new fans and it’ll be a great time to get out there and just play and have some fun," he says.
As for what we can expect from the tour in terms of production and staging, Nick says if you've seen him perform at award shows or on TV over the past year, you've gotten a bit of a sneak preview.
"You know, I’ve had the chance to really dial in to what I want the performance to be on this tour, having done a lot of these awards shows and other performances where you can do a really big scale production for a one-song performance," he explains. "So finding a way to transition some of that into the tour over the course of an hour-and-a-half of playing is gonna be the goal."
As for what songs he'll be playing, Nick says classic Jonas Brothers tunes may not be in the setlist, or the music he made with his side project Nick Jonas & the Administration.
"I will probably stick to a lot of my stuff," he tells ABC Radio. "Maybe if I play something from the past it’s something that I wrote solely by myself. You know, I think it is a really great time, though, to define myself as a solo artist now and what that means to me."
Meanwhile, inquiring minds want to know: is Nick a diva when it comes to his tour rider -- his list of backstage demands? No, especially since it's important for him to stay in shape for his role as an MMA fighter on the TV series Kingdom.
"It’s kinda boring," he admit. "A lot of nuts, you know, just like Gatorade and water. Um, I’ve got some beers on there for when I’m feeling like kicking back a little bit, but mostly it’s the healthy stuff."
Nick's tour comes a day after he headlines the Budweiser Made in America festival in Philadelphia on Saturday. Right now, the tour is scheduled to run through September 29. Then, Nick heads to Canada to open for Kelly Clarkson.
Fox/Columbia RecordsThe second season of Fox’s Empire premieres later this month, but we’ve already got a taste of the music. Fox officially debuted a song from the show’s soundtrack featuring Pitbull, who co-wrote the tune with Ne-Yo.
The song, an upbeat party jam called “No Doubt About It,” also features Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on the show. Pitbull is set to guest star on an episode of Empire this season. Ne-Yo, meanwhile, joined the show’s musical team back in May.
Another track called “Aint About the Money” was also released, featuring Jussie and Yazz, who plays Jamal’s brother Hakeem Lyon.
The second season of Empire is set to premiere on Wednesday, September 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 2 Volume 1 will be released later this year.
Big Machine RecordsIt’s snot what you think! Taylor Swift was not doing cocaine backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards -- she was just blowing her nose.
The ridiculous rumors started swirling after a video titled “Taylor Swift Doing Coke?” made the rounds online. The clip from the show’s backstage livestream shows Taylor walking through a corridor with a group of assistants. At one point, one of them hands her something and the rest of her entourage forms a wall around her as she puts something to her nose. A loud sniffling sound can be heard.
Upon closer inspection by Gawker, though, no drugs were involved in that exchange. Taylor was a handed a tissue and that sniffling sound was the singer blowing her nose. Gawker also reached out to Taylor’s publicist, who confirmed Taylor was just clearing her nasal passages. So why the protective human shield? She apparently didn’t want to be seen getting rid of her boogers on camera.
Taylor just can’t seem to catch a break. Earlier this week, she was also accused of passing gas on camera during the VMA pre-show. As she introduced her new video “Wildest Dreams,” a fart-like noise can be heard.
But according to MTV, the noise came from a production microphone. “There was absolutely no possibility of it being Taylor or anyone in her party’s microphones picking up ambient sounds,” the MTV spokesperson said.
ABC/Randy Holmes Selena Gomez will be appearing with fellow former Disney star Zac Efron in Neighbors 2, the sequel to the hit 2014 comedy.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Selena will be playing a sorority sister in the film. She was snapped on the Atlanta set wearing a tight pink dress while shooting a scene where her sorority sisters surprise her with a new red car.
The film also stars Seth Rogen, who, if you’ll remember, publicly dissed Selena’s ex Justin Bieber in the past.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising will hit theaters in May of next year. While the first film had new parents Mac and Kelly -- played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne -- contending with the fraternity next door, the sequel has them dealing with a raucous sorority.
PRMD Music/Island RecordsAvicii may have cancelled the rest of his tour dates for this year, but he’s still got two new music videos to share. The Swedish producer/DJ co-directed both of the visuals for his singles “For A Better Day” and “Pure Grinding.”
The videos, which were filmed in Hungary this summer, feature underlying social themes and violent imagery. In the “For a Better Day” video, Avicii tackles the issue of child trafficking.
“The promise of a better life often traps families and children into being used as tools for some of the most despicable people on earth,” he says. “It’s an issue about which I hope to start a louder discussion, especially now with the huge number of families on the move from war torn countries looking for safety and shelter.”
The video for “Pure Grinding” was inspired by the work of Italian director Sergio Leone and contrasts the life of a violent gang member with a man who works hard but can’t pay his bills.
Avicii's 14-track sophomore album Stories will be released on October 2. He announced this week that he’s pushing all of his remaining tour dates to next year in order to give himself "a well deserved break," according to a statement provided to Billboard.
ABC/Lou RoccoEarlier this year, Rihanna became the first-ever black spokeswoman to star in Dior's "Secret Garden IV" campaign. Now, the singer has returned for a new shoot for the iconic fashion house.
Rihanna's shared peek at the photos on Instagram, all of which will be featured in a new issue of Dior Magazine.
In the stunning pics, shot by British fashion photographer Craig McDean, she dons a mulit-colored geometric bodysuit while stretching across an translucent chair. In other shots, the red-haired singer rocks a seemingly see-through black dress. "All @Dior errthang!" she captioned one snap.
Back in March, Rihanna revealed what it means to be selected to front Dior's campaign. "It feels fantastic," the singer told MTV News. "It is such a big deal for me, for my culture, for a lot of young girls of any color, I think, to be acknowledged by Dior."
ABC/Ida Mae AstuteThe last song Demi Lovato recorded for her new album, Confident, took on a very personal matter: her father’s death. Demi tells Billboard the song, called “Father,” might surprise her fans.
“I get very, very honest about the passing of my dad,” Demi says. “My fans expect me to be honest, [but] what I think that people in general aren’t going to expect is the way that I sing the song. I took it more to a soulful, gospel kind of sound, and it’s the song that I think I might be most proud of on the album.”
Demi’s dad, Patrick, passed away in 2013. He had reportedly battled cancer and also suffered from mental illness.
"My father and I didn't have the most ideal relationship, but at the end of the day he's still my dad and I grew up with him," Demi previously told ABC’s Good Morning America. "And he's a wonderful person."
Demi, who's also struggled with mental illness, launched the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program shortly after her dad’s passing. The program aims to help others dealing with similar issues.
ABC/Kelsey McNealWill we be getting a new Ariana Grande album next month? The singer hints that her upcoming album, Moonlight, will be debuting in October.
“Babies i'm so excited for the nearby future... (also embracing and loving the present)... but I'm really effing excited for the near future,” she tweets, before cryptically adding, “Personally...... I consider October ‘nearby future.’”
She continues, “I am not teasing!!! I promised y'all I would always tell you as much as I could as soon as I could.”
In a now-deleted tweet, Ariana seemed to confirm the release month, writing, “But yes….the [moon emoji] festivities begin in October.”
A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Image Group LALady Gaga said she was giving “all of herself” to her role in American Horror Story: Hotel, and she wasn’t kidding. Show creator Ryan Murphy tells Entertainment Weekly Gaga was positively fearless when it came to her sex scenes.
“She’s the only actress I think I’ve worked with who wanted to do more explicit stuff than was written,” Ryan says. “You write a foursome for her and you expect a lot of questions. She never did that.”
In fact, it was clear from the moment Gaga showed up on set that she had no qualms about the risqué material.
“She showed up and she was wearing diamond pasties, a Band-Aid on her hoo-ha, heels, and a black veil that Alexander McQueen made for her on the day before his death,” Ryan says. “Then the crew gasped in delight and we were off!”
The foursome reportedly involves Gaga’s character, The Countess, and her lover Donovan -- played by Matt Bomer -- getting naked with another male-female duo. After their tryst, The Countess and Donovan slash the couple’s throats with sharp metal gloves and drink their blood. Sounds...intense.
American Horror Story: Hotel premieres on FX October 7.
Pamela LittkyTrain frontman Pat Monahan has been named the national spokesperson for the 40th Anniversary of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research.
In his new role, Monahan will perform at the foundation's 40th Anniversary Honors Gala in New York City October 15, and also lend his voice to help raise money for ongoing research to find a cure for those three diseases. It's a cause close to Pat's heart, since he lost his mother, to whom he was extremely close, to cancer.
"I’ve seen firsthand the good that the T.J. Martell Foundation can do, and I want to stand beside them as they celebrate four decades of life-saving research,” Monahan said in a statement. "The work they’re doing is invaluable to anyone that suffers from these devastating diseases as well as their families. I hope to spread more awareness to the importance of their fight.”
The foundation's founder and chairman, Tony Martell, added, "Pat brings a very personal story about his mother’s fight with cancer to our organization and because of that has a deep understanding of the research we have funded."
Martell added, "His artistry as a gifted musician and personal perspective on our organization makes him the perfect choice to help us launch the next 40 years of medical innovation for these horrible diseases.”
Rhythm Nation/BMGJanet Jackson has unveiled the official cover and track list for her upcoming comeback album, Unbreakable, her first in seven years.
According to her official website, the singer's 17-song project only includes two guests: J. Cole on her chart-topping lead "No Sleeep," and Missy Elliott on "Burnitup!" -- the song Janet debuted on the first night of her tour in Vancouver earlier this week. Janet also recruited producer/songwriter superstars Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for the set, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of her debut album, Control.
Unbreakable will be available in stores October 2 via Rhythm Nation/BMG with iTunes pre-order beginning today, September 3.
Here's the official track list for Unbreakable:
"Unbreakable" "Burnitup!" (Feat. Missy Elliott) "Dammn Baby" "The Great Forever" "Shoulda Known Better" After You Fall" "Broken Hearts Heal" "Night" "No Sleeep" (Feat. J Cole) "Dream Maker/ Euphoria" "2 B Loved" "Take Me Away" "Promise" "Lessons Learned" "Black Eagle" "Well Traveled" "Gon B Alright"
Peter Kramer/NBCKaty Perry may be the face of designer fashion label Moschino, but her favorite outfit for the perfect day out is decidedly less high-end. She tells U.K.’s Hello! Fashion Monthly she prefers to take her cues from Elton John’s off-duty style.
"I'd wear my Adidas black and white tracksuit," she says. "It’s the one thing I wear consistently and always have in my suitcase. I look like Elton John’s sister in it but it’s my go-to suit. It’s kind of like my armor because I don’t get stopped in it and that gives me space to grow as an artist."
But since Katy can’t just have an entire closet filled with tracksuits, she says her ideal day would also include shopping for new things -- particularly in London.
"I'd go shopping in London," she says. "I love Liberty so much because it feels like you're in the quintessentially English place. And I love Dover Street Market for their presentation and they have lots of cool young stuff like Moschino and Versace at Brown's. There's a section in the one that's by Claridge's that's a little crazy and very pop."
Last week, Katy was spotted exploring another city -- sans tracksuit. She hit up the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and took in two Broadway shows in a row: Finding Neverland and Hamilton.
PRMD Records/Island RecordsAvicii has postponed all his remaining performances this year, reports Billboard.
The Swedish DJ will move gigs scheduled this year for Las Vegas, China and Japan to next year as part of a "larger tour initiative" and to give the "Wake Me Up" hitmaker "a well deserved break," according to a statement exclusively provided to the magazine.
Representatives for Avicii cited an overly busy summer schedule and the pressure of work on his his forthcoming, sophomore album, Stories, as reasons for the move.
“In moving my tour promotional responsibilities to next year, I have a great opportunity to focus on myself and spend time trying to grow up in a way I never got the chance to -- normal, or as normal as it could get,” Billboard quoted the statement as saying.
Stories, featuring contributions from Gavin DeGraw, country star Zac Brown and rapper Wyclef Jean, is scheduled for an October 2 release.
Mark HunterBritish girl group Little Mix is having a moment. They scooped up the Choice Music Breakout Artist honor at the Teen Choice Awards last month, their song "Black Magic" has become their biggest U.S. single ever, they co-wrote the Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea collabo "Pretty Girls," and -- perhaps most impressive of all -- they became honorary members of Taylor Swift's squad when they joined her on stage at her show in Santa Clara, California. "We feel like we've made a friend for life," say the girls.
At that show, Little Mix and Taylor teamed up to perform "Black Magic," and Taylor advised the girls to stay together as a unit. Of course, Little Mix didn't need Taylor to tell them that, but Jesy Nelson says they appreciated the comment anyway.
"It’s just always lovely to hear that...especially coming from her ‘cause that’s what she’s all about," Jesy tells ABC Radio. "She’s all about girl power and girls uniting and, yeah, it was just lovely. We feel like we’ve made a friend for life with Taylor. She’s an amazing woman."
Little Mix member Leigh-Anne Pinnock adds, "It was really nice as well when she introduced us on stage, she said, 'They’re strong, they’re beautiful and they’ve got each other’s backs.' And that meant so much to hear other people say that, ‘cause it’s the truth!"
As for "Black Magic" -- the first single from their upcoming album Get Weird -- not only has it been Little Mix's most successful U.S. single to date, but it's also topped the charts in their native U.K. Jesy tells ABC Radio, "I just think it’s a great pop song and as soon as you hear it, you can’t deny that it’s catchy and it sticks in your head straightaway and I think that’s why it’s doing so well."
Along with all their other accomplishments, Little Mix recently celebrated their fourth anniversary as a group: they first got together on the British version of The X Factor. Perrie Edwards, who's been recovering emotionally from her breakup with her ex-fiance Zayn Malik, says the members of the group are proud of the way they've all supported each other over the past four years.
"I think as women now we’re a lot stronger, we’re very passionate, we’re confident and I think we bring out the best in each other as well," Perrie tells ABC Radio. "And four years I’ve been around these girls, so I feel like...it’s just...I’ve never been happier!"
In addition to releasing Get Weird on November 6, Little Mix have a song called "A Different Beat" on the newly released special edition of the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack.
Brian Bowen SmithIn hits like "Want to Want Me" and "Cheyenne," Jason Derulo sings about being obsessed with certain girls. But in real life, Jason hasn't been linked with anyone since his acrimonious breakup with Jordin Sparks last fall...and he likes it that way.
"It’s literally about finding out what makes me tick and what makes me happy right now, you know?" Jason tells ABC Radio about his current goals, which don't involve getting involved in any kind of serious relationship.
"There’s nothing too deep about it," he adds. "It’s literally just me having a great time and me enjoying life and me focusing on the things that are important: my music, my fans and my family."
But since he's a celebrity who once dated another celebrity, there will always be interest in Jason's love life -- and the second he's spotted out and about with someone, the press will pounce. Jason says that doesn't bother him, however.
"I’m not really trippin’ to be honest," he tells ABC Radio. "I mean, I think it just comes with the territory. I understand, and I’m in a great place."
Jordin, meanwhile, seems pretty content with her new man, rapper Sage the Gemini. She told Entertainment Tonight, "He's a really great guy. He's super sweet and very talented and makes me very, very happy."
Douglas Gorenstein/NBCJustin Bieber dropped by The Tonight Show on Wednesday to plug his upcoming album, dropping November 13. He also explained to host Jimmy Fallon why he got emotional following his performance on the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.
The 21-year-old pop star told Fallon, "It was just so overwhelming for me, everything. Just the performance. I missed some cues, so I was a little disappointed."
Adding to the moment was the reception he received after the performance. "I just wasn't expecting them to support me in the way they did. The last time I was at an awards show I was booed," he recalls.
Bieber also explained that the pressure of picking up his music career after several highly publicized brushes with the law also contributed to his emotional state. "I've worked so hard at this album, I've worked so hard at just becoming the man I want to become," he says. "You just can't help but feel judged."
"So I was just feeling judged and wanting to win so badly and just wanting to do what I love so badly that I just put everything on the line," he adds.
Justin's Tonight Show appearance did include some lighter moments as well. He made a surprise cameo in one of the show's popular segments, "Freestylin' with the Roots," in which Fallon goes into the crowd and gets a brief story from an audience member, which his house band, The Roots, then sing an unrehearsed song about.
Fallon also coaxed The Bieb into an impromptu country-fied version of his hit with Skrillex and Diplo, "Where Are Ü Now," which Jimmy explained Bieber had done earlier in rehearsals, as well as convincing Justin, who's last Tonight Show appearance in 2010 featured a drum-off with Roots drummer Questlove, to take part in a rematch.
Later in the show, Bieber performed the new song from his upcoming album, "Where Are You Now."
Although the troubled singer has been trying to change his image over the last several months, it didn't stop him from turning heads earlier in the day by arriving at the show taping via skateboard with his shirt curiously half off, according to Us Weekly.
Bieber also announced via Twitter Wednesday that his new album will be released November 13. The title of the collection has not yet been revealed.
Roc Nation / ColumbiaSo what if Chris Brown was featured on a bunch of other songs this summer? Rita Ora tells Billboard she’s just “very grateful” he wanted to appear on her new single, “Body on Me.”
"I respect Chris' work and I thought the tone of voice fit perfectly with the record," she says. "There's a lot more to think about than how many songs Chris has out at the moment. I'm just a fan, and I'm very, very grateful that he wanted to support me."
The sexy duet will be featured on Rita’s sophomore album. While she has yet to announce a release date, she says she's excited for people to hear her new sound. "I'm very proud of where I'm at in the moment," she says. "I recorded it all in London because I wanted to keep my roots from where I grew up and I sat down and [had] a brainstorm to make sure my message comes across."
She adds, "I was 18 when I did my first album; I'm 24 now. I was a fan of music before, and I really enjoyed being in the studio and making music about partying, but I wasn't ready to offer my own interpretation or creative vision of music. I feel I have to contribute something now."
And while she says she feels pressure to deliver, she tries not to let it consume her. "It's always there. It's just in my subconscious at all times -- that's the world we live in unfortunately," she says. "So I try not to focus on that and just do the best at what I can do."
Image Group LA/ABCSeems those crop tops and mini-skirts are really working for her. Taylor Swift has been named one of Us Weekly’s 2015 Best Dressed celebrities.
The singer, who tends to find a look she likes and then stick with it, was among 35 stylish stars chosen for the list. Others picked for their impeccable fashion sense include Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, actress Cate Blanchett, and former Spice Girl-turned-designer Victoria Beckham.
A panel of style icons -- including models Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell, designer Diane von Furstenberg, and former reality star Lauren Conrad -- helped choose the finalists. The judges placed Taylor among the best dressed because of her ability to mix high-end designers with more affordable pieces.
“She’s sophisticated and a bit retro, but still keeps it young and fresh,” Heidi says.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCThe director of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video is responding to criticism that the video glorifies white colonialism in Africa.
In a statement obtained by ABC Radio, Joseph Kahn says that the video includes black people and was produced by a black woman and edited by a black man.
"This is not a video about colonialism but a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa, 1950," he says. "There are black Africans in the video in a number of shots, but I rarely cut to crew faces outside of the director as the vast majority of screentime is Taylor and Scott [Eastwood]."
He continues, "We collectively decided it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with more black actors as the video would have been accused of rewriting history. This video is set in the past by a crew set in the present.”
Joseph adds, "There is no political agenda in the video. Our only goal was to tell a tragic love story in classic Hollywood iconography. Furthermore, this video has been singled out, yet there have been many music videos depicting Africa. These videos have traditionally not been lessons in African history."
The video features Taylor as a brunette Old Hollywood actress filming a romantic drama set in Africa. Scott Eastwood plays her love interest. Proceeds from the video are being donated to wild animal conservation efforts through the African Parks Foundation of America.
Kahn, who is Asian, also directed Taylor’s “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” videos.