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RCA RecordsWalk the Moon is riding high on the charts thanks to their platinum, top-10 hit "Shut Up and Dance"; they'll perform it on May 12 on The Voice. While the band had some initial mainstream success a couple years ago with their song "Anna Sun," the super-catchy '80s flavored "Shut Up and Dance" has taken them to the next level.  So why is it connecting?  Frontman Nick Petricca thinks it's because the track is both emotional and nostalgic.

"The song is kinda based on a true story and so it’s got a lot of heart in it," Nick tells ABC Radio. "And, you know, at the time we were listening to a lot of influences in the mid-late-‘80s, like The Cars and Pat Benatar...bands that have been timeless, you know? So we wanted to incorporate some of those elements into it. Maybe that has something to do with it."

But Walk the Moon had a feeling that the song would be a hit even before they recorded it, because of the instant reaction it got when they debuted it at a concert.

"The first time we played 'Shut Up and Dance' right before we went in to record, we were at a college show," Nick recalls. "And there was just this feeling in the room. It was the first time we had ever performed it and the kids certainly didn’t know the song, but by the second chorus they were singing along and so we knew that there was something special about it."

As for that true story, Nick says it happened when the band was in L.A. writing songs for their current album, Talking Is Hard.  They were working on the song that would eventually become "Shut Up and Dance," but they still needed a chorus.  That's when fate intervened.

"I went out with some friends to go dancing and kind of blow off some steam and maybe get some inspiration," Nick recalls. "And there was actually a girl there with a backless dress and beat-up red Chucks and she told me to shut up and dance with her. And that night I came home and wrote the lyrics for the chorus."  

The girl's outfit found its way into the song's second verse, and what she told him became the chorus.  Nick says that girl is still a part of his life, so it seems he got a romance out of the incident, as well as a hit single.

Walk the Moon continues their tour in support of Talking Is Hard in New Orleans on Wednesday.

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Trae Patton/NBCSeason eight of The Voice rolled on Monday night with the top 8 performing live after receiving a little help from three of the show's former coaches.

Usher was on hand during rehearsals to advise Adam Levine's team; Cee Lo Green assisted Blake Shelton's artists; and Gwen Stefani offered her two cents to Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera's contestants. We also saw a brief videotaped message from another former coach, Shakira, who gave birth to her second child in January and is currently in Spain.

The two-hour broadcast began with the top 8 singing a medley of Avicii hits. Here's what followed:

Team Blake's Hannah Kirby belted out the Tina Turner tune "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," from Turner's movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Christina said the performance had Cee Lo's stamp all over it, with the presence of kid dancers on stage. Blake said Hannah has become one of his all-time favorite Voice artists.

Joshua Davis, who was instantly saved last week and is the only member remaining on Team Adam, played Sting's "Fields of Gold" on an acoustic guitar. Joshua's former coach, Blake, said the artist got back to what works for him after taking a detour on the previous performance show. Adam said Joshua did something different, with class and elegance.

Team Christina's Kimberly Nichole put a soulful spin on the Radiohead hit "Creep," surrounded by lit candles and low-level fog. Pharrell called it a masterful performance. Blake added that Kimberly is a star. Christina said she was in awe of Kimberly's talent, declaring that she embodies what the competition is all about.

Meghan Linsey of Team Blake sang a slowed-down version of The Beatles' "Something," backed by strings. Adam liked what he heard, noting how much he loves the song. Blake said Meghan's singing improves with each passing week, and he believed that she'll reach the finals.

Team Christina's India Carney dazzled with The Wizard of Oz classic “Over The Rainbow.” Blake had little doubt that India would move on to next week's shows. Christina said India brought the lyrics and themes of the song to life.

Sawyer Fredericks of Team Pharrell played "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Adam said Sawyer has the ability to translate any song into something powerful. Pharrell appealed to every Sawyer fan to cast a vote in his artist's favor.

Team Blake artist Corey Kent White belted out the 1989 Bad English hit "When I See You Smile." Blake described it as a breakthrough performance, as well as Corey's best performance of the season.

Koryn Hawthorne of Team Pharrell closed the night with a rendition of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire." Adam said she came off like a grown woman. Pharrell said everyone was inspired by Koryn's performance.

Also during the broadcast, Blake performed his song "Sangria," and season-seven runner-up Matt McAndrew entertained the crowd with his new single, “Counting On Love.”

Two artists will be eliminated on Tuesday night's results show, airing on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Jason Derulo will make an appearance.

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ABC/Randy HolmesSelena Gomez has Abigail Breslin on her side. The Little Miss Sunshine actress defended Selena after the singer faced criticism for flaunting a fuller figure in recent bikini photos.

"All this stuff about Selena Gomez online in her bathing suit is RIDICULOUS,” Abigail wrote on her Tumblr page. “Everyone is always saying how we shouldn't judge each other, so why are you commenting on a gorgeous, talented and smart young girls body when she's on the beach having fun with her friends AND SHE LOOKS AMAZING.”

She went on to criticize Hollywood’s unrealistic standard of beauty and pointed out the negative effects it has on young girls. "How are young girls supposed to grow up normally and not feel bad about themselves and not develop eating disorders if it's literally national headline news that a THIN girl may or may not have put on a few pounds, and YET still remains THIN?" she asked.

Abigail encouraged people to focus on making others feel good, not tearing them down. She ended with some words for Selena. "Selena, you look amazing and more importantly look like you're having fun," she wrote. "Keep rocking those bikinis."

Earlier this month, Selena defended her curves by posting a sexy bathing suit pic of herself on Instagram and captioning it, "I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove."

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Big Machine RecordsDid Taylor Swift start hooking up with Calvin Harris while he was still dating someone else? According to the New York Daily News, the DJ-producer told a pal that he cheated on his model girlfriend Aarika Wolf with Taylor.

Calvin reportedly had been dating Aarika for six months, after they met on the set of his “Blame” video last year. The Daily News reports that in early March, Calvin confessed to a close friend that he began seeing Taylor while he was still attached.

He and Aarika eventually broke things off, and he and Taylor were first seen together in public on March 25. “He ended up breaking up with Aarika, and then just pretended that the Taylor Swift stuff happened after [the breakup],” a source said. “Aarika probably knows now that she was cheated on.”

Taylor and Calvin haven’t even officially confirmed their relationship, so it’s hard to say if there’s any truth to these rumors.

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Ben WattsSam Smith isn’t the only pop star who has slimmed down recently. In an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, Ed Sheeran revealed he’s lost more than 40 pounds.

Ed and 60 Minutes reporter Peter Stefanovic stopped at a Subway sandwich shop during their chat, and Ed jokingly called himself “fat.” When Peter pointed out he’s actually looking quite thin these days, Ed admitted that he recently dropped some serious weight.

“No, I lost a lot of weight,” he said. “I was like 15 stone, and now I'm 11 -- well, almost 12."  A stone is 14 pounds, meaning Ed, who's about 5' 8" tall, was 210 pounds, but now is around 168 pounds.

Ed previously revealed to The Sun that he started drinking green juices in an effort to get healthier. But that doesn’t mean he’d turn down a romantic dinner. Ed described himself as a “hopeless romantic” during the 60 Minutes interview and said he comes from a family where “you find a partner and stick with them.” He said his parents have been together for 30 years and his grandparents were together for 66 years.

One place he won’t be looking for love is with pal Taylor Swift. He said the two are great friends and “very similar people,” but they’ll never date. “She’s a brilliant wingman, anyway,” he said.

Ed recently finished a March/April arena tour of Australia and New Zealand, and he’s set to begin another U.S. leg of his tour in May.

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Michelangelo Di Battista/RCA RecordsThis wasn’t your ordinary Las Vegas wedding. David Krawsek and Woody Arenas met on the opening night of Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me” residency in 2013, and returned to the Planet Hollywood venue to get hitched last week.

Mashable reports that the couple said “I do” in front of a minister Friday, with two faceless mannequins -- one dressed in the stewardess outfit from Britney’s “Toxic” video and the other clad in the red lion tamer costume from “Circus” -- serving as their “bridesmaids.” They then received the best wedding gift two Britney mega-fans could ask for: a video message from the pop princess herself.

"Hi, David and Woody. I’m so excited to have you back at my show where the two of you met on the first night on opening night in 2013," Britney said in the video, according to Mashable. "I’m honored to be a part of your love story. Congratulations and all the best for an amazing life together."

The newlyweds also reportedly got to meet Britney backstage before her 90-minute show, and she kindly autographed their marriage certificate.

Britney also got married in Vegas back in 2004, but it didn’t end so well: her quickie marriage to pal Jason Alexander was annulled 55 hours later.

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Josh ShinnerSam Smith now has a permanent reminder of his fans. The singer posted an Instagram photo Sunday of his new tattoo: a small anchor on his forearm that pays tribute to his so-called “little sailors.”

Sam officially dubbed his fans “little sailors” last year in reference to his song “Little Sailor,” which he wrote when he first moved to London.  "For you, my little sailors," he captioned the Instagram photo of his fresh ink. He also posted a video of the tattoo in progress.

Sam, who recently slimmed down with a new weight-loss regimen, is currently touring Australia.

For you, my little sailors ????

A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on

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Norman SeeffNate Ruess is trading "oh whoa ohs" for "ah ha has." The fun. frontman has released "AhHa," a new track from his forthcoming debut solo album, Grand Romantic, which will be released June 16. You can listen to "AhHa" now on YouTube.

"AhHa" is the second song to be released from Grand Romantic, following the lead single, "Nothing Without Love."

"Since releasing 'Nothing Without Love,' it's been interesting reading speculation on what the album sounds like," writes Ruess on his Facebook page. "I wanted to release 'AhHa' next cause I'm pretty sure it keeps you guessing."

"AhHa" shares a number of similarities with fun.'s big hit, "Some Nights" -- both include the line "It's for the best you didn't listen/It's for the best we get our distance." In fact, Ruess refers to his new solo song as "'Some Nights'' evil twin."

Ruess will be touring in support of Grand Romantic with headlining dates beginning May 31 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The trek will make its way through Europe before coming to North America for shows in New York City, Toronto and Los Angeles. Ruess will also play a variety of summer festivals, including Outside Lands in San Fransisco. Visit NateRuess.com for all ticket information.

Here are the new Nate Ruess headlining dates:

5/31 -- Utrecht, Netherlands, Cloud Nine
6/1 -- Hamburg, Germany, Schmidt Tivoli
6/3 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Sodra Teatern
6/8 -- Paris, France, Le Reservoir
6/10 -- London, UK, Wilton’s Music Hall
6/17 -- New York, NY, Webster Hall
6/22 -- Toronto, ON, The Opera House
6/24 -- Los Angeles, CA, Teragram Ballroom

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Epic Records/Sony Music EntertainmentOver the weekend, Mariah Carey debuted a new song: "Infinity," lifted from her upcoming album, #1 to Infinity.

In the mid-tempo cut, posted on YouTube, Mariah finds inspiration from a failed relationship, a topic that has many fans wondering if it's inspired by her estranged husband Nick Cannon, who filed for divorce in January.

"Why you mad/Talking 'bout you mad/Could it be/That you just lost the best you/Ever had/That's yo bag/Yep that's too bad," she sings to an ex-lover.

While she doesn't name-drop anyone, Carey lets it be known that a reconciliation isn't happening. "Close the door/Lose the key/Leave my heart on the mat for me/I was yours/Eternally/There's an end to infinity," she sings in the chorus.

#1 to Infinity, which will feature 18 of Mariah's #1 hits, arrives May 18. The video for "Infinity, which was directed by Mariah's buddy, film director Brett Ratner, will premiere April 27.

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Image Group LA/ABCMaroon 5 recently wrapped up the North American leg of their V world tour, and their opening act, MAGIC! -- who'll continue with Adam Levine and the guys next month in Europe --  says it was a real learning experience for them, in terms of realizing that they can aspire to the same level of success.

It was inspiring, MAGIC! guitarist Mark Pellizer says, "seeing these guys have a career that's spanned over 10 years," noting that Maroon 5 is made up of "good friends from the past coming together [and] staying together."

"They're very nice people" he tells ABC Radio. "It was great to connect with them and to learn about their history. And so I think what we learned is that it’s possible for us to do this too. You know, we just gotta stick with it and have that sort of same mentality."

During the tour, the "Rude" hitmakers also learned a lot about how to make their own live shows better. 

"This was our first tour where we actually got to be on a bus and not fly every day," lead singer Nasri tells ABC Radio. "So we got to really spend a lot of time with our crew together and get to know our own music, get to know our own show and start developing it. It’s just been a whole crazy time for us, really."

It wasn't all work though:  Nasri says he and MAGIC! drummer Alex Tanas got to spend some downtime with Adam Levine and Maroon 5 keyboard player PJ Morton.  "[We] played basketball with Adam and PJ a bunch of times. We played a lot of H-O-R-S-E. with them," says Nasri. "They’re [always] kinda goofing around the same way we are."

Of course, the main attraction for any opening act is to win over new fans who may be hearing their music for the first time.  So, did MAGIC! manage to do that during this leg of the tour?  Nasri says it's hard to say how many Maroon 5 fans they've turned into MAGIC! fans.

"You know, Maroon 5 fans are a bit of an older crowd, so we hope that they’re gonna come out [for us]," he tells ABC Radio. "We think they are. I mean, we did get a standing ovation by the end on every show, or most of them." 

MAGIC! has just release a new single and video, "No Way No."  They'll perform at the Rock in Rio USA festival next month, and then head to Europe to join Maroon 5 starting May 26 in London.

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Ben WattsJustin Bieber never got a chance to attend his high school prom, but he made up for that on Saturday when he crashed the senior prom of Chatsworth Charter High School outside Los Angeles.

Bieber also brought some friends along, including model Hailey Baldwin, according to the news website Inquisitr.

Several students posted videos on Twitter, showing Justin dancing with a number of girls. "I DANCED WITH @justinbieber AT MY PROM," one girl wrote, while another declared "THANK YOU @justinbieber FOR THE BEST PROM."

A post on the Twitter account for the Chats Senior class read, “Justin Bieber showing up at our prom? I think we know who had the best prom this year."

Another post read, "No other prom will ever be as turnt as #ChatsworthProm2k15 !! Did @justinbieber go to your prom??"

Bieber retweeted several of the messages to his 61.3 million followers.

For the record, Justin never attended his prom, but he did graduate from St. Michael Catholic Secondary School in his native Stratford, Ontario, in 2012. He also didn't attend the graduation ceremony.

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Cal AurandRenowned physicist Stephen Hawking delivered a lecture Saturday on a number of important topics, including the mysteries of the universe, the future of our planet and how One Direction fans should cope with the departure last month of Zayn Malik from the group, according to BuzzFeed.

Hawking, who suffers from ALS, appeared onstage at the Sydney Opera House in the form of a 3D hologram from his physical location at England's Cambridge University.

After Hawking commented on a wide range of topics, one attendee asked the physicist, “What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world?”

“Finally, a question about something important,” Hawking replied.

“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes," Hawking said.

“It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe,” he explained, adding, “And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”

Hawking told the audience, “This girl may like to know that in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married.”

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ABC/Adam TaylorPink's songs of self-empowerment would seem to make her an ideal role model for young girls, which is why it's bizarre that a father recently asked a judge to declare his ex-wife a bad parent for taking their 11-year-old to see the Grammy-winning star.  However, a family court judge said there was no harm done to the girl, and agreed that Pink's songs have great messages for kids.

NJ.com reports that Superior Court Judge Lawrence R. Jones handed down a 37-page decision in which he ruled that the mother "in no way, shape or form exceeded the boundaries of reasonable parental judgment" in taking the girl to see Pink perform in Newark, N.J. on December 11, 2013.

The father's main complaint was that Pink's show contained "sexually suggestive" themes and dances, as well as "alleged profanity" in the lyrics.  The mother contended that before she took the girl to see the show, she watched clips on YouTube to make sure the show would be OK, and noted that Pink's show contained lots of gymnastics and aerial stunts, which the girl is specifically interested in.

Judge Jones noted that decisions about which acts are appropriate for kids to see are based on how mature the child is, and whether the act's songs contain profanity or might incite violence.  He then specifically mentioned Pink's songs "Perfect" and "The Great Escape" as containing positive messages for adolescents.

"The lyrics in many of the songs are not only age-appropriate for teens and pre-teens in [modern-day] America, but from an artistic standpoint are particularly noteworthy in addressing important social themes and messages which are objectively relevant and very relatable to young Americans," wrote the judge, who also noted that a few curse words here and there "does not logically disqualify the entire work or performance as 'age-inappropriate' for a teen or pre-teen’s ear."

He added, "When all the smoke from the custody litigation clears, it will be self-evident that all which happened here is that a young girl went to her first rock concert with her mother and had a really great time."

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Bruce Jenner came out as transgender on Friday night, telling ABC's Diane Sawyer, "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman."  He inspired many of music's biggest stars to take to Twitter to express their support for the former Olympian-turned-reality show star's willingness to speak openly about who he really is.

"Absolutely [floored] at how courageous and brave Bruce Jenner is. So inspiring and so powerful," wrote Sam Smith. "Shame on anyone who dare judge."  Ariana Grande gushed, "bruce jenner is beautiful. we all need to commit to making this world a more loving, supportive, SAFE /non judgmental place to be ourselves."

Before the interview aired, Lady Gaga tweeted that she prayed the interview "will be met with compassion," adding, "We have the chance to write this moment in history together. Let's empower people like Bruce all over the world by being loving & not mean." 

Afterwards, a pleased Gaga wrote of Jenner, "Now that is bravery."

Miley Cyrus, a supporter of LGBT issues, tweeted, "I LOOOOVE LOOOVE LOOOVE Bruce Jenner!!!!!!!," while Demi Lovato, also a supporter of the cause, wrote, addressing Jenner, "so beyond brave... You're going to save lives by sharing your story.. God bless you and your heroic soul."

Demi reportedly also dedicated a performance of her song "Warrior" to Jenner during a show in New Zealand over the weekend. According to E! she told the crowd, "It's so cheesy that I'm even doing this, but whatever. I want to dedicate it to someone who became an even bigger hero last night — Bruce Jenner!"

Rapper Macklemore, whose hit with Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert, "Same Love," is a gay empowerment anthem, tweeted, "I am inspired by anyone sharing their truth in the face of judgement and fear. Bruce Jenner is a brave human." 

Jennifer Lopez wrote, "Once a champion always a champion," adding the hashtags #beyourself and #loveyourself.

An estimated 17 million people watched the ABC special, according to Variety.

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Courtesy Caesars EntertainmentWant to witness Mariah Carey’s grand Las Vegas entrance, but can’t make it to Sin City? You’re in luck! Periscope, Twitter’s live-streaming app, will be broadcasting her entire welcome event live from Caesars Palace.

The event will take place Monday to mark Mariah’s Vegas arrival and the start of her Mariah #1 to Infinity residency, which kicks off May 6. It will also celebrate the release of Mariah’s new single, “Infinity,” and its music video, directed by Brett Ratner.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. PT in front of the fountains at Caesars Palace. Following the event, Periscope will be broadcasting Mashable’s live interview with Mariah at 8 p.m. PT.

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Florent Dechard“Uptown Funk” has, in a sense, turned Mark Ronson’s career upside down. It took him from a particularly low point straight to the top of the charts. In an interview with The Jewish Chronicle Online, the powerhouse producer speaks about his struggle to break out of a career slump.

"It was a lull," he says. "I was 'cold', in industry parlance. I could see the other producers getting the calls to work on certain projects, and it was like, 'Oh, OK, that's cool… I had a good run, right?'”

But it was this time of rejection that spurred him to create something great. He ended up making Uptown Special, featuring the smash hit with Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk." “I think when I buckled down to make this record, it wasn't like, 'I'll show them!' but more like a pragmatic feeling of, 'You'd better make the best record you've ever made or no one will give a s**t about you for the rest of your life,'" he says.

People certainly care, now. Earlier this month, “Uptown Funk” became Billboard's longest-running #1 single of the 2010s. While Mark is happy with the success, he’s also content with his behind-the-scenes producer role. "Listen, I'm 39, I'm not a pop star age,” he says. “I can still take the subway in New York and the tube [in London], it's not like a frenzy. I get recognized, but with a kind of nod. It's not like a selfie catastrophe every time I go out. It's cool. It is a bit of a thrill seeing your name on top of the charts as opposed to in parentheses, but those are superficial kicks."

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Michelangelo Di Battista/RCA RecordsNow you can hear Britney Spears' cover of Suzanne Vega’s 1987 hit “Tom’s Diner.” The song, which is featured on Italian disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder’s upcoming album, has leaked online.

Instead of going a cappella like the original version, Britney and Giorgio recorded an electronic, futuristic-sounding interpretation of the song. SPIN has the leaked full version.

In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Giorgio said the “Tom’s Diner” cover was Britney’s idea. "Britney came to my management company with the idea to do a particular song with me, which was interesting because usually it's the other way, with the producer offering a song," the 74-year-old producer said.

Britney’s not the first one to reinterpret the song. Fall Out Boy sampled the tune last year in their single, “Centuries.”

Giorgio’s album, Déjà Vu, is his first solo released in 30 years. It also features Sia and Charli XCX. It’s set for a June 16 release.

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Kaitlin Christy/Atlantic RecordsIf Taylor Swift is pop music’s eternal optimist, Charli XCX might just be the opposite. In a recent interview with Maxim magazine, Charli admits she’s “not very good at being happy all the time.” In fact, she says most of the time she’s really quite bored.

“I’m not going to lie and say everything’s amazing, because sometimes it’s really f**king tough,” she says. “I’m not good at being a picture-perfect pop star, happy all the time. If I’m having a bad day, I can’t pretend. I’m always a bit unhappy, but that’s just me. I like dwelling in my sadness.”

You’d never know it from her bouncy hits, like “Boom Clap,” and her crazy, colorful wardrobe. “Just because I might be bored doesn’t mean I have to look boring,” she says. “I’d rather look fabulous, like I’m having a great time. There’s nothing that says boss more than a belly chain and snakeskin trousers. My dad always used to encourage me to dress weird.”

And, she says, her parents used to drop her off at all-age raves in London, where she’d perform as a young teen. “I remember one time my mum came to pick me up at, like, 5 a.m., and some guy threw up all over her shoes,” she says. “But I loved it. I was like, ‘Mum, when I grow up I want to live in a warehouse.’”

Now, she lives in the next best thing: a house in the English countryside decked out like “Miami ‘70s porn pad.”

Between the house, her Grammy-nominated hit “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea and a stint opening for Katy Perry this year, Charli's doing pretty well for herself. But she has even bigger plans for the future. “I have a business mind, I have a real drive -- I want to have an empire,” she says. “I want to have more of a legacy, and I think just because I wear what I wear, and am a pop star, doesn’t mean I can’t have that.”

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Warner Bros. RecordsWill Adam Lambert be going on tour this year in support of his upcoming album, The Original High? "Yeah, if people like this record!" the singer tells Billboard.

The last time he did a full solo U.S. tour was in 2010 in support of his 2009 debut album, For Your Entertainment. He admits that his last album, 2012’s Trespassing, didn’t quite have the success to warrant a big tour.

"There was a couple of freestanding [American] dates," Lambert says, "but unfortunately… I mean, you know, it's common knowledge Trespassing wasn't quite the commercial success that we all had hoped it would be, which would have supported a tour.”

But, he adds, “I'm really, really thankful that the fans ate it up, and that we debuted at No. 1 on the [Billboard 200] chart. That was lovely. I stand by the album."

While he didn’t tour solo, he did hit the road with rock band Queen. He toured with them in 2014 and just wrapped the European leg of the tour on February 27. Queen’s guitarist, Brian May, is featured on Adam’s new album.

The Original High is due out June 16.

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Courtesy of Glamour UKThere are tons of young girls who think Taylor Swift is the coolest gal around. But in the new issue of Glamour’s U.K. edition, which Taylor guest-edits, the singer tells the mag that “looking cool” just isn’t high up on her list of things to do.

“I just don’t place much priority on looking cool, and I think at 25, I’m finally OK with feeling that,” she says. “I’ve said this before. I think there’s this priority on having this persona of being edgy or cool or bored. And those things are all sexy. All those things are chic, when you seem not to care about anything other than yourself. And I just don’t buy into it. I’m really excited by lots of things.”

Taylor adds, “I think enthusiasm is the best protection. It can protect you from anything. And I don’t feel bored by any of this, so I don’t strive to look bored by any of this.”

Taylor says she counts on her friends and family -- particularly her mom, Andrea, who was recently diagnosed with cancer -- to keep her grounded. “My mom is really good at putting things back into perspective for me," says Taylor. "And it’s really nice when she says, ‘I know there’s no way I could possibly understand what you’re going through, but here’s what I think.’ And sometimes it does feel unfair, but then I walk into my apartment that I can’t believe I could afford to buy and it doesn’t feel so unfair anymore.”

One of the injustices of being a mega-pop star, though, is having your love life on display for all to see. Taylor says she’s happy she got to explore life as a single woman, but feels she was forced into it. “It’s kind of a sad way I got there though, being shamed into it,” she says. “What else is it when you have two boyfriends in one year and everyone’s calling you boy crazy, making jokes about you at awards shows? That’s public humiliation. And I don’t think it’s fair.”

Luckily, Taylor’s songwriting is her therapy, but there are some topics that likely won’t make it on to her next album. “Every woman has different things that make them feel strong and powerful. For me, I don’t have any need or urge to write about overt sexuality,” she says. “It just never occurs to me. I appreciate girls who sing about whatever they want, because that’s what they want to sing about.”

And for Taylor, staying true to yourself is about as "cool" as it gets.

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What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
College Football Season
Anniversary
Spring Break
Birthday
Divorce
Super Bowl
Summer Vacation
Holiday Season
2016
Other
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