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Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCTaylor Swift turns up in the oddest places.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has been named this year's NBA MVP, and his teammates tweeted out a special congratulatory video, starring none other than Tay-Tay, who's been largely absent from both social media and the spotlight for months.

"Ah, Russell, it's Taylor. Remember? I was the one who taught you how to play basketball," Taylor says in the video. "I was the one who taught you to dribble...and I remember the first time you beat me at basketball and I was very upset. And you said, if you remember correctly...‘You just have to shake it off,’ and I got an idea. So, essentially, we have each other to thank for these careers."

She goes on to say that she and Russell "go back, what, 20 years?" before correcting herself.

"Actually, we've never met and that's a fake story but I wish it were the truth," she says. "And you are amazing. You’re the MVP. I’m so happy for you. Sending you the biggest hug ever. Congratulations!"

As for why Taylor was tapped to record the video, Westbrook is a fan: he once Instagrammed himself jamming to her hit "Bad Blood."

.@taylorswift13 sings Russell’s praises! #0urMVP pic.twitter.com/5HgKeVrMsi

— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) June 27, 2017

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ABC/Randy HolmesMariah Carey is currently in Israel promoting her collaboration with Israeli skincare line Premier Dead Sea Cosmetics, which she wrote about on Twitter.  

But during a interview with Israel's Channel 2 News, the singer was asked less about that, and more about ex-fiancé Australian billionaire James Packer and his ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

In a video of the exchange, Mimi is asked if she noticed a "special connection" between James and Netanyahu while the three of them had dinner in the past.  

She curtly replies, "I was eating the food. They had some food there that was pretty good. I don't know. I was just there 'cause I was invited to a dinner. There was a lot of talk, conversation, food. Dinner."  

When the interviewer continues to press the issue, asking if she knew where Packer could possibly be at the moment, she says, "I don't know where the m*********** is! How am I supposed to know? I don't know. For real."  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mimi's former lover and Netanyahu are friends. Packer is currently wanted for questioning by Israeli police "as part of an ongoing investigation regarding alleged corruption and illegal gift giving to Netanyahu by several wealthy businessmen." 

Mariah broke off her engagement to James last year.  

 

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ColumbiaA video for "Feels," the single featuring Calvin Harris, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Big Sean, has arrived -- and it's a hazy tropical fantasy.

The clip shows Sean sitting in the jungle with a couple of parrots, a Hawaiian-shirt wearing Pharrell floating in a rowboat, and Katy, wearing a long, neon-yellow wig and yellow dress, lounging in a field of yellow flowers.  Calvin is also shown playing bass. 

The video cuts between each performer, and we see them and the landscape through colored filters that bathe them all in surreal purples, reds, greens, and blues.

"Feels" is from Calvin's new album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, due this Friday.

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Andrea Gelardin & Ruth HogbenDespite rumors, Lady Gaga will not be returning to American Horror Story for the show's seventh season.

Entertainment Weekly debunked the rumor saying it had confirmed that Gaga will not be part of the show, which is filming now.

Gaga made her AHS debut during the anthology show's fifth season, subtitled Hotel, playing a century-old vampire who runs the haunted Hotel Cortez.  The role won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress -- Miniseries or Television Film in 2016.

Not much is known about the plot of the upcoming seventh season of Ryan Murphy's series, other than that it is said to be election themed and will including returning star Sarah Paulson.  The new season is expected to premiere on FX this fall.

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UMLE/RBMG/Def Jam/Republic RecordsIt's lucky number seven for "Despacito," the smash song by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber.  The song has just racked up its seventh week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  But what is it about "Despacito" that's made it the first Spanish #1 hit since "The Macarena" 20 years ago?  Luis says, "That's probably the question I get asked the most, and I don't have a perfect answer."

Luis does have a few theories, though. One is that he "didn't write it or record it thinking that it was gonna be a crossover record," he tells ABC Radio. "I just wanted to write a great song for people to dance to, with one of those melodies that just sticks in your head and it won't leave."

"I think it has a little bit of that, to the point that it's so strong that even people who don't understand the language just kinda automatically get connected to it."

Then, Luis recruited guest artists to add something special to the mix.

"Daddy Yankee did an amazing job and obviously, five months in, four months in, we dropped the remix with Justin Bieber...who just took the song one step further," he tells ABC Radio. "So I think everything just kind of aligned and happened in a very sort of organic way."

"People are loving it," Luis says. "So I'm just honored that, after 20 years of not having a Spanish #1 song, it just happened to be my song." 

Luis will kick off a U.S. tour in September, starting in Las Vegas and wrapping in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Courtesy of EdelmanThis weekend at Chicago's Solider Field, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton will perform at the opening ceremony of the Department of Defense Warrior Games. While they're longtime friends, the two will become colleagues next year on The Voice -- and that's when Kelly says the gloves will come off.

Speaking to the Chicago Tribune about the Soldier Field show, Kelly says, "I'm a big fan of [Blake's], always have been for, I don't know, for, like a decade now, we've been friends. So yeah, it should be fun."

"But yeah, I guess it will be a precursor for The Voice," she adds. "A precursor to when I annihilate him."

Kelly will join The Voice as a coach for season 14, which airs in the spring of 2018.  Season 13 debuts September 25, with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson.  Between now and then, Kelly will release a new album.

While Kelly will be in Chicago for the performance, she tells the paper she won't be hanging out in the Windy City for too long -- she has to get back to Nashville to join her husband, Brandon Blackstock, for a huge Fourth of July bash.

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ABC/Paula LoboEver wonder what The Chainsmokers were like when they were young?  Well, you can find out now, in the new lyric video for "Young," an album track from their #1 album, Memories...Do Not Open.

The visual overlays the song's lyrics on a montage of photos of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart as babies, toddlers, little kids, tweens, teenagers and college grads.  There are also photos and video of the duo on their recently wrapped tour.

The Chainsmokers are currently overseas performing at festivals, but next month they'll return to the U.S. to resume their residency at the XS Nightclub and the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas.

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We The Best/Epic Records/Roc NationRihanna has scored yet another chart achievement: she's the first female artist in three months to appear in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100.

Rihanna did this thanks to her collabo with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, "Wild Thoughts," which just debuted at #4 on the Hot 100. The last top-five song to feature a woman was "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," Taylor Swift's duet with ZAYN, which was #3 back on April 8.

The Billboard album chart had also been female-free until just the last three weeks, when Halsey, Katy Perry and Lorde's latest albums all debuted at #1.

By the way, Rihanna is the only female artist so far to score two top 5 hits in 2017: In March, she was #5 with "Love on the Brain."  What's more, "Wild Thoughts" is her 31st top 10 hit.  The only two artists who've scored more are Madonna, with 38, and The Beatles, with 34.

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ABC/Randy HolmesImagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds is planning a benefit show in support of LGBTQ youth who feel they have to hide or suppress their identity because of religious teachings. The event is called Love Loud, and will be held August 26 in Provo, Utah.

"This Love Loud festival is going to get out people of all types -- the LGBTQ community as well as the orthodox religion community and people with no faiths," Reynolds tells Billboard. "And have them all come together to listen to music and to speakers who will talk about how important it is for families to not just accept it, but let their children know they’re beautiful the way they are, and if there is a God, then God is all for it."

Reynolds himself is Mormon, a religion that teaches, as he puts it, "if you are gay and acting upon it, that is sinful."

"That is a very dangerous and hurtful and hateful thing to preach and to teach our children," says Reynolds. "To be gay is beautiful and right and perfect; to tell someone they need to change their inner-most being is setting up someone for an unhealthy life and unhealthy foundation."

"I believe in Mormons and I believe in people in orthodox religion and I believe they have good hearts," he continues. "But I believe we all can be educated on the matter to create positive change. This is about awareness more than anything."

Imagine Dragons will perform at the Love Loud festival, as will Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn, who split with the Mormon church due to its stance on homosexuality.

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LAVA/RepublicLorde's happy  -- to put it mildly -- that her new album, Melodrama, has debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart.  She took to Twitter to thank fans in a series of tweets, reflecting on her journey from "Royals" to her current success.

"You guys, today we have the number one album in America. from the bottom of my heart, thank you," she writes. "'Royals' was, to quote David Chase, 'a moonshot, a dreadnought.' There were no such guarantees with Melodrama -- that's why this means so much."

David Chase is the creator of The Sopranos, and he described the show in those terms.

Lorde then continues, "When I was a kid I thought big records had to be made a certain way -- to be sterile & calculated in craft; that something had to be sacrificed.  I have had the divine thrill of disproving that firsthand, twice over."

Referring to her collaborator on Melodrama, Jack Antonoff, Lorde explains, "Jack and I made this in rooms alone, telling secrets and uncovering truths, and i just know that 15yo me would have been so f*** proud."

She finishes triumphantly: "SO WHAT I'N TRYNA SAY IS LET'S F***IN GEEEET IIIIIIT MORE JOY IN ALL OUR FUTURES MELODRAMA FOREVER."

Melodrama is Lorde's first U.S. #1 album; her debut, Pure Heroine, peaked at #3.

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Lorde's happy  -- to put it mildly -- that her new album, Melodrama, has debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart.  She took to Twitter to thank fans in a series of tweets, reflecting on her journey from "Royals" to her current success.

"You guys, today we have the number one album in America. from the bottom of my heart, thank you," she writes. "'Royals' was, to quote David Chase, 'a moonshot, a dreadnought.' There were no such guarantees with Melodrama -- that's why this means so much."

David Chase is the creator of The Sopranos, and he described the show in those terms.

Lorde then continues, "When I was a kid I thought big records had to be made a certain way -- to be sterile & calculated in craft; that something had to be sacrificed.  I have had the divine thrill of disproving that firsthand, twice over."

Referring to her collaborator on Melodrama, Jack Antonoff, Lorde explains, "Jack and I made this in rooms alone, telling secrets and uncovering truths, and i just know that 15yo me would have been so f*** proud."

She finishes triumphantly: "SO WHAT I'N TRYNA SAY IS LET'S F***IN GEEEET IIIIIIT MORE JOY IN ALL OUR FUTURES MELODRAMA FOREVER."

Melodrama is Lorde's first U.S. #1 album; her debut, Pure Heroine, peaked at #3.

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Kevin Mazur/One Love Manchester/Getty Images for One Love ManchesterIf you ever wondered whether or not Ariana Grande's relationship with rapper Mac Miller was the real deal, look no further than his Instagram post today, which is Ariana's 24th birthday.

Under a photo of Ariana kissing his cheek in front of the Eiffel Tower while he makes a goofy face, Mac writes, "Happy Birthday to this adorable pure soul who has reminded me what being happy feels like. Thank you for loving me so good. I think it's supposed to be 'so well' but I don't care. I love you and can't wait for all of the adventures."

Ariana has said that she's "loved and adored" Mac since she was 19.  In fact, he appeared on her debut single, "The Way," back in 2013. 

The couple recently performed together during the One Love Manchester benefit concert on June 4, which raised money for the victims of the bombing outside Ariana's concert there on May 22.

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AJ NumanConsidering she has more followers, over 100 million, than anyone else on Twitter, it's no surprise that Katy Perry has just made TIME magazine's annual list of the 25th Most Influential People on the Internet.

TIME created the unranked list by looking at the global impact their choices had on social media and their "overall ability to drive news."  Of Katy, TIME writes, "At a time when so many celebrities use social media to burnish their reputations with airbrushed photos and pithy captions, Perry is blazing a trail by ditching her script -- at least for a weekend."

The magazine is referring to Katy's recent 96-hour livestream to promote her album, Witness. Fans watched as Katy slept, ate, had a therapy session, did yoga and practiced transcendental meditation, among other things.  As TIME says, "It was the closest any major entertainer has come to giving fans the kind of 'real' intimacy that social media purports to provide."

Others on the list include Rihanna, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and, of course, President Donald Trump.

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John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCDJ Khaled's tenth studio album, Grateful, has finally arrived, featuring some seriously A-list guest talent. Two of today's biggest music stars, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj, appear on one of the tracks on Grateful, titled "Nobody." Khaled tells ABC Radio it's one of his favorite tracks from the album.

"Man, this record right here means a lot to me," he says.  "'Nobody' -- when you hear the message, it's so much pain in there, but also, so much glory and so much victory at the same time. It's gonna uplift people, but at the same time, it's a big anthem."

Khaled says he's always wanted to work with Alicia and had "an amazing time" with her in the studio. He also praises Nicki's bare delivery on the song, saying, "You could hear her pain. You could also hear her victory and her glory in her voice." 

Khaled is known for gathering A-list talent for features on his albums, but with number of big names on  Grateful -- including Beyoncé, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Nas, RihannaDrake, Future and Chance the Rapper -- he's outdone himself this time around.  For Khaled, though, he's just feeling "blessed to make great music for over ten years." 

He says, "A lot of these relationships I've had from us artists having the same dream and goal. When I reach out to somebody and I present a song or an idea or a track or a vision, we're all excited to do it. We push each other to be great and we have respect for each other."

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LAVA/Republic RecordsCongratulations are in order to Lorde whose Melodrama has debuted at number one on the Billboard album chart.

Melodrama is Lorde's first U.S. number-one album.  Her 2013 debut, Pure Heroine, peaked at number three.

The album tops the chart with 109,000 in sales and streams during the week ending June 22, of which 82,000 were traditional sales.

Pure Heroine actually sold more in its debut week, when it peaked at number three -- 129,000 in pure sales, since at the time Billboard did not count certain numbers of individual track sales and streams as equivalent to album sales, as the magazine does now.

It's been a good couple of weeks for female artists on the Billboard 200.  Melodrama is the third album in a row by a woman to top the cart following Halsey's hopeless fountain kingdom and Katy Perry's Witness

The last time women topped the album chart three weeks running was in 2012 when the run included the debuts of Rihanna's Unapologetic and Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire followed by a rebound to number one by Taylor Swift's Red.  And it's the first time three new albums by women debuted at number one in successive weeks since Reba's Keep On Loving You, Colbie Caillat's Breakthrough and Whitney Houston's I Look to You did it in 2009.

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Tim Whitby/Getty ImagesIt was eight years ago Sunday that Michael Jackson died at 50 at his home in Los Angeles.

The King of Pop, known for creating timeless music across multiple genres, died on June 25, 2009, after going into cardiac arrest.

Surviving members of Jackson's famous family marked the occasion by remembering him during live performances and on social media.

The Jacksons -- the singing group started with Michael Jackson back in 1964 -- performed at the Glastonbury Festival in England on Saturday.

On stage, his brothers dedicated two of their hit songs to him -- "I'll Be There" and "Gone Too Soon.”

Jermaine Jackson also took to Twitter before the performance to remember his younger brother in his own way.

"We'll be 4 brothers on stage joined by Michael in spirit," he wrote. "Through the music we made together, we find comfort in memories, esp this weekend."

And Michael Jackson's official Facebook page, run by his estate, remembered the music legend in a lengthy message.

"While our hearts remain heavy over the passing of Michael Jackson eight years ago, we take solace in the timelessness of his music and his message," the note began.

"'When I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature,' Michael once said. 'I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents,'" the message continued.

"For a planet in desperate need of open hearts and compassionate minds, we continue to seek joy and fulfillment in the music and entertainment he shared with us -- and express hope that Michael’s message may someday 'heal the world,' as he tirelessly strove to do," it concluded.

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Now that four out of five members of One Direction seem to be well on their way to solo stardom, it's time for Louis Tomlinson to do the same.  But the singer admits that he was the one who didn't want the group to go on hiatus in the first place, and had no plans for a solo career at all.

Speaking to the British paper The Guardian, Louis says that he argued against the group stopping for a while, adding, "It wasn’t necessarily a nice conversation. I could see where it was going.”  When he was outvoted, he figured he'd manage other acts and write songs for other people until the group reformed.

"If you’d asked me a year or 18 months ago: ‘Are you going to do anything as a solo artist?’ I’d have said absolutely not," he tells the paper.  But following the release of "Just Hold On," his collaboration with Steve Aoki, he's decided to give it a shot.

Louis says he's doing it because he wants to prove to 1D fans that he's been worthy of their love, and for his mom, who passed away last year.  But he also wants to prove something to himself because, he admits, during his time in 1D, he felt like the odd man out...or as he puts it, "forgettable, to a certain degree."

"Niall...he’s the most lovely guy in the world...and he’s fearless....Zayn has a fantastic voice," Louis explains. "Harry comes across very cool. Liam’s all about getting the crowd going, doing a bit of dancing…and then there's me...[thinking], ‘What have I really done to contribute here?'"

According to the Guardian, Louis' new single, featuring Bebe Rexha, will be out soon.

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It's a testament to Ed Sheeran's talent as a live performer that he doesn't have a backup band, dancers or costumes, yet he's able to sell out stadiums around the world.  But Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx says he's always known how great Ed is live, because when he was still an unknown, Foxx saw him win over a room that couldn't have been less welcoming.

On the season finale of BBC America's Graham Norton Show, airing July 1, Foxx talks about how he let Ed sleep on his couch for six weeks when the British singer was first starting out.  He says he thought Ed's songs were great, but he wanted to see if he could cut it as a performer, so he put him through a trial by fire.

"I took him down to this show that I was doing, a live night, every Monday in downtown L.A.," Foxx tells Norton. "It was like, 800 black people!  All black, like, just the best musicians...I mean, the level of the music is here.  And I say, 'Ladies and gentleman, Ed Sheeran!' and he pops out [with his little red hair]...and a ukulele!"

At that point, Foxx says, a pal asked him if had lost his mind.

"He said, 'Yo, Foxx, c'mon man, what's this? What you doin' to the room right now?  You gotta respect the room!'" laughs Jamie.  "And it was just like a movie. I said, 'Well, let's see what the kid has.'"

"And he went out there on the ukulele, got a standing ovation in 12 minutes," Foxx adds. "And the rest was history!"

Ed proved his skills as a performer again last night, headlining the U.K.'s premiere music festival, Glastonbury.

In case Jamie missed the show, he might want to know that Ed trotted out two classic soul covers -- Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and Bill Withers'  "Ain't No Sunshine," reports The Daily Mirror.

 

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Monty Brinton/CBSOne of the highlights of this year's Grammy Awards was Bruno Mars' tribute to Prince.  Dressed as the late legend, Bruno performed one of Prince's biggest hits, "Let's Go Crazy," with his band.  To mark the 33rd anniversary of the release of Prince's album Purple Rain this Sunday, Bruno is offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at that performance.

In newly released rehearsal footage of the "Let's Go Crazy" performance, Bruno and the band are shown bathed in purple light and dressed in street clothes, while Bruno is playing the same Prince-inspired guitar he rocked during the actual performance.

Bruno will open the BET Awards this Sunday night, but it's not known what he'll perform.  Meanwhile, newly released deluxe and deluxe expanded editions of Purple Rain are in stores now.

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Warner Bros.This Sunday marks the 33rd anniversary of the release of Prince's iconic 1984 album Purple Rain, and today sees the release of the deluxe edition and the deluxe expanded edition of the album. 

As previously reported, the Purple Rain deluxe edition includes two CDs: the original album and a second CD of previously unreleased tracks.  

As for the Purple Rain Deluxe -- Expanded Edition set, fans will get the two CDs that come with the deluxe version, plus a third CD of single edits and B-sides, and a DVD of Prince & The Revolution performing at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, on March 30, 1985 on the Purple Rain tour.

Purple Rain is the sixth best-selling movie soundtrack album in history, having sold more than 22 million units.  

Here are the track lists for both editions: 

Purple Rain Deluxe

Disc One: Original Album (2015 Paisley Park Remaster)
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Take Me With U"
"The Beautiful Ones"
"Computer Blue"
"Darling Nikki"
"When Doves Cry"
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Baby I'm A Star"
"Purple Rain"

Disc Two: From The Vault & Previously Unreleased
"The Dance Electric"
"Love and Sex" 
"Computer Blue" ("Hallway Speech" version)
"Electric Intercourse" (studio)
"Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden"
"Possessed" (1983 version)
"Wonderful A**"
"Velvet Kitty Cat"
"Katrina's Paper Dolls"
"We Can F***"
"Father's Song"

Purple Rain Deluxe - Expanded Edition
Includes Disc One and Disc Two as Listed Above, plus:

Disc Three: Single Edits & B-Sides
"When Doves Cry" (edit)
"17 Days"
"Let's Go Crazy" (edit)
"Let's Go Crazy" (Special Dance Mix)
"Erotic City"
"Erotic City" ("Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive") 
"Purple Rain" (edit)
"God"
"God" (Love Theme From Purple Rain)
"Another Lonely Christmas"
"Another Lonely Christmas" (extended version)
"I Would Die 4 U" (edit)
"I Would Die 4 U" (extended version)
"Baby I'm A Star" (edit)
"Take Me With U" (edit)

DVD: Prince And The Revolution, Live at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY, March 30, 1985
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Delirious"
"1999"
"Little Red Corvette" 
"Take Me With U"
"Do Me, Baby"
"Irresistible B****"
"Possessed"
"How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?"
"Let's Pretend We're Married"
"International Lover"
"God"
"Computer Blue"
"Darling Nikki" 
"The Beautiful Ones"
"When Doves Cry"
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Baby I'm A Star"
"Purple Rain" 

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