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Music notes: Britney Spears, Niall Horan, Kesha, Ava Max, Zedd and more

Britney Spears' ex-husband Jason Alexander -- who infamously broke into her house during her wedding --pleaded no contest to aggravated trespassing and battery. Rolling Stone reports a plea deal allowed for the felony stalking charges to be dropped. Alexander will serve 128 days in jail.

Niall Horan is a proud fan of Harry Styles' music and says his "favorite song at the moment" is "As It Was," reports Billboard. He said the #1 hit is a "great song."

Kesha celebrated the fifth anniversary of her Rainbow album. "This was a moment in my life that was so f***ing scary. Everything was changing and I had to take a leap of faith. Who I was before was irrelevant and who I was becoming was a stranger to me and to all of you," she penned on TikTok, thanking her fans for always being by her side. 

Ava Max teased more of her upcoming album Diamonds & Dancefloors -- sharing some glam photos of her in a '90s-inspired purple tank and low-rise jeans. "turning tears to diamonds," she captioned the post, leading fans to believe it's for her upcoming single "Million Dollar Baby."

Speaking of new music, Zedd released "an exclusive preview of my upcoming single" on Instagram -- but he didn't reveal its title or release date. He just played a second of the new song.  

Jessica Biel shared some throwback photos of her, husband Justin Timberlake and the NSYNC boys, as well as Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Justin, who is sporting ultra-curly hair, is posing with bandmates Joey FatoneLance BassJC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick.

If you suspected TikTok is helping songs go viral, you are correct. Billboard reports influencers are helping determine what songs race up the charts -- and the songs' labels are even paying influencers, alternatively called "music curators," to recommend the tracks to their followers.

 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Kid LAROI pays tribute to mentor Juice WRLD: "I know you're watching me from up there"

Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena Di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The Kid LAROI tore up the stage at Milwaukee's The Rave / Eagles Club on Thursday, then explained in a sweet Instagram post why it was a full-circle moment for him.

LAROI penned a message on the venue's wall in dedication of his late mentor Juice WRLD and shared a photo of it to his Instagram, along with memories of their time together and video of his sold-out show that night.

"3 years ago I came to this venue with you on the Death Race For Love Tour (our signatures are upstairs)...," LAROI wrote in black marker on the walls. "I remember watching you take the stage and feeling so inspired. 3 years later I'm back here playing my own sold out show."

The singer called the night a "full circle moment" and paid tribute to his mentor, saying, "None of this would have happened if it wasn't for you."

"Although you can't be here to physically see it, I know you're watching me from up there and I hope you're proud," the Australian hitmaker continued. "Thank you for inspiring me and millions of others."

LAROI closed out the tribute by writing, "You will always be the greatest in my eyes."

Juice WRLD died in December 2019 from an accidental drug overdose. The late rapper was 21 years old.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lizzo turns heads by filming herself at the beach in a wedding gown

ABC

Did Lizzo get married?

That's what some fans believe after the Grammy winner shared a brief video to Instagram of herself in a wedding dress. Lizzo's hair is done in long braids that cascade down the lace bodice of her flowing gown. 

Soundtracked to her new tune "2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)," the hitmaker stands barefoot on the beach before she lifts her dress so she can splash in the clear ocean water.

She then releases the dress and raises her arms up high, facing toward the horizon as the camera pans toward the sun.  

Lizzo further increased speculation that she may have tied the knot with boyfriend Myke Wright by captioning the short clip, "DID I SAY YES?" She also added the wide-eyes emoji at the end.

Lizzo is currently on vacation in the tropics and has been regularly sharing photos of her getting downright cheeky in the ocean -- as well as a few thirst traps.

Fans are begging the "Truth Hurts" rapper to clear the air about what the video means. While some believe this is a promo for a new music video -- for "2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)" to be exact -- others think this is Lizzo's special way of confirming she is off the market.

Lizzo was romantically linked with Wright back in February. In April, when speaking with Andy Cohen, the singer confirmed she was seeing someone and that her fame was "not even a factor" in their romance. 

The singer also documented her blooming relationship with Wright through her new album, Special.   

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Do yoga and meditate alongside Dua Lipa with her new summer (mini)series

Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Dua Lipa is getting ready to bid goodbye to summer with a new, three-part series for her At Your Service podcast.

Dua unleashed the "Summer (Mini)Series," which will tide fans over between the recently wrapped first season and upcoming second season of her mindful podcast series. The mini arc allows the Grammy winner to let fans in on the go-to activities she uses to stay calm and rejuvenate. 

The first of three episodes is a 30-minute yoga flow class with her yoga teacher, which you can tune into now on YouTube. Fans of all experience levels can join Dua on this guided yoga session.

So, what will the next two episodes be about? The second installment will contain a 10-minute guided meditation session, while the third will be a cooking class, where the "Levitating" singer will share her famous roast chicken recipe.

"I thought to do a little experiment in the meantime and launch a 3-part summer series of unique episodes," she explained on Instagram. "I can’t wait for you to try it for yourself wherever you are this month!"

Dua's At Your Service podcast is an expansion of her newsletter.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New Music Friday: Charlie Puth, Bella Poarch, Sean Kingston, Carly Rae Jepsen and more

It's Friday! Let's see who's out with new tunes ...

Charlie Puth released a new version of his and Jung Kook's "Left and Right" today, which was remixed by EDM artist Sam Feldt. This new spin transforms the song into a dance track.

TikTok sensation Bella Poarch released "Living Hell" and its creepy music video, which sees her submerged in yellow slime and being at the mercy of an invisible force that treats her like a plaything. This is the latest single off her just-released Dolls EP.

Sean Kingston also released a new song and its accompanying music video, this time for "Side." The hypnotic track features heavy percussion as Sean sings about not being able to get a girl out of his head. The track will be featured on his upcoming album Road to Deliverance, which is due out later this year.

Carly Rae Jepsen released the music video for "Beach House," a tongue-in-cheek track about her standards getting in the way of finding true love when, in reality, the dating pool is filled with duds. The video flips gender roles, with Carly acting like a boss as dancing men surround her.

Joshua Bassett released "Smoke Slow" and its music video today. He said of the track, "This song is about savoring those moments together with a person you feel close to, but know you can’t be with. Since I couldn’t say it aloud, of course, I had to write a song about it."





Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


GAYLE debuts new single, announces upcoming EP

Courtesy Atlantic Records

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of her breakout single "abcdefu," GAYLE is ready to embark on her next chapter in music. She just dropped an all-new single and confirmed her forthcoming EP.

The teenage sensation dropped the experimental new track, "indieedgycool," as well as its grunge-inspired music video. The song does channel '90s grunge elements -- reminiscent of HoleVeruca Salt and Garbage.

GAYLE sings -- and sometimes shrieks -- in the track about how she thinks she's such a trendsetter and "everybody is copying me." Her voice is masked with a soft, low tone as she lists all the reasons why she isn't mainstream.

"I'm too cool for the radio/ Got vintage kicks, I'ma let you know/ Got champagne bottles in the bathtub/ That my best friend stole from the yacht club," she chants in the chorus. "Parents got money, but they ain't rich/ I got Gucci, but I prefer to thrift/ I'm hot s***, you know how it is/ I'm an indie, edgy, cool kid."

That's not the only new offering we got from GAYLE. The singer announced her new EP, a study of the human experience volume two, that's coming out October 7 -- the day before her new North American headlining tour is set to take place.

Preorders for the new EP are now live. You can also buy tickets for her upcoming tour on GAYLE's official website.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Michelle Branch arrested for slapping estranged husband Patrick Carney

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Following the news that Michelle Branch and her husband of three years, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, are separating, comes the news that Michelle was arrested early Thursday morning for slapping Carney.

According to a police report viewed by ABC Audio, officers were called the couple's home about a possible domestic disturbance, and Michelle said she'd slapped Carney in the face one or two times. Carney confirmed that, though he had no visible injuries, and Michelle was taken into custody.

TMZ reports that Michelle's bail was set at $1,000. She was subsequently released from custody early because she's currently breastfeeding the couple's 6-month-old daughter, Willie.

As previously reported, Michelle issued a statement to People about the split, which read, "To say that I am totally devastated doesn't even come close to describing how I feel for myself and for my family. The rug has been completely pulled from underneath me and now I must figure out how to move forward."

Michelle and Carney share two children, Willie and 4-year-old Rhys. Michelle has a 17-year-old daughter, Owen, from her previous marriage. She and Carney wed in 2019.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Why don't you just meet me on Broadway?: Maren Morris "in tears" after scoring Wicked callback

ABC

Maren Morris has made it no secret that a lifelong dream of hers is to star in Wicked, and "The Middle" singer is officially one step closer to turning her Broadway dreams into a reality.

Maren celebrated some very good news on her Instagram Stories, writing in lime green letters against a white backdrop, "I got a callback for Wicked.  I am in tears.  What the hell."  

The singer also shared the excellent news on Twitter, which earned her a round of applause from none other than Kristin Chenoweth, who originated the role of Glinda in Wicked's Broadway debut. "You go baby!! Told ya you could do it!!!" the Broadway legend cheered.

Soon after, "The Bones" singer took to her Instagram Story to talk about the significance of the moment.  "Ya'll, I literally don’t even care -- yes I do -- if I go beyond this callback because this is, like, 14-year-old Maren's getting to achieve something that was never in reach," the singer said, adding her Broadway dreams "just never felt possible."

"We'll see where it goes," the Grammy winner emotionally declared. "I'm just really happy. I love Wicked. I love Elphaba. I love Kristin Chenoweth. Thank you, Kristin, for inspiring me to just buck up and just send the self-tape in."

Maren revealed in May she had made an audition tape where she sings "The Wizard and I," a solo number sung by the character Elphaba, in hopes of being cast in the beloved musical.

The singer previously revealed she wants to play Elphaba, who becomes the infamous Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.  The hitmaker said she identifies "heavily" with the green-skinned character.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nicky Youre drops 'Sunroof Remixes' EP with 24kGoldn, Thomas Rhett & more

Columbia Records/Thirty Knots Records

Nicky Youre is expanding his "Sunroof" universe by dropping an EP of remixes featuring artists of multiple genres.

The Sunroof Remixes EP includes the original version of the song, a stripped-down acoustic take and remixes featuring country music superstar Thomas Rhett, "Mood" rapper/singer 24kGoldn, reggaeton artist Manuel Turizo and Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury, best known for their hit "Body."

Nicky's also dropped a live performance video of "Sunroof," which was shot in Malibu, California. He plans to release more original music later in 2022.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Joe Jonas reveals how he balances his career and family life

Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

Joe Jonas not only has a busy singing and entrepreneurial career -- he recently welcomed his second child with wife Sophie Turner.  So how does the "Cake By the Ocean" singer balance his family and professional lives?

"It's an adjustment period," Joe told People in a new interview. "Just something that I'm learning as I go, I think I can now work a little bit harder to take time off. I'm still trying to figure it out."

In addition to managing a family of four, Joe holds down two bands -- DNCE and, of course, the Jonas Brothers -- and has started pursuing acting with the upcoming Korean War drama Devotion. The singer also partnered with the canned mimosa company Ohza and has been crowned the new spokesman for corrective lenses company STAAR Surgical.

That in mind, Joe explained that he isn't exhausted by his full plate. In fact, he finds it fulfilling. "Some weeks are a little bit more challenging than others, but it makes it a lot easier when you enjoy your gig," he said. "I wake up every day just thrilled to be able to go make music or act and create different projects and have a beautiful family, so it feels like a dream come true."

He also said it's "very freeing" to set his own schedule to pursue his passions.

Joe noted moving to Miami has allowed for life to be more manageable. "We went to come visit and we just loved it. I saw a whole different side of Miami that I've never experienced -- really quiet areas, and the food's amazing. I feel like it's the best-kept secret," he said. "It's not far from Europe and it's not far from New York. My parents live in North Carolina, so they're a lot closer."

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Watch Ed Sheeran's new video with Paulo Londra, "Noche de Novela"

Warner Music Latina/ BUENA Productora

Ed Sheeran's latest international collaboration -- a song and video with Argentinian rapper Paulo Londra -- has arrived.

Called "Noche de Novela," the song and video are out now. This marks the second time Ed and Paulo have worked together: They previously teamed up for a 2019 track called "Nothing On You," from Ed's No. 6 Collaborations Project album.

"So happy to be collaborating with Paulo and his project ... He’s just the sweetest guy," Ed says in a statement.

Paulo adds, "Recording with Ed once again is a privilege, I admire him a lot! During the whole recording I was very excited and grateful and whenever I can I try to tell him how much I admire him. I feel that God put Ed in my path to learn a lot from him."

In the video, Ed and Paolo drink beers with friends on the street in London; Paulo raps in Spanish while Ed sings in English.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


After three years of marriage, Michelle Branch and husband Patrick Carney are separating

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Triller

Michelle Branch is gearing up to release her new album The Trouble with Fever, which she made with her husband, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. But now it appears their music will outlast their relationship.

In a statement to People, Michelle says she and Carney are separating after three years. "To say that I am totally devastated doesn't even come close to describing how I feel for myself and for my family," Michelle says.

"The rug has been completely pulled from underneath me and now I must figure out how to move forward," she adds. "With such small children, I ask for privacy and kindness."

According to People, on Wednesday night, Michelle had tweeted and then deleted a note in which she accused Carney of cheating on her while she was home with their six-month-old daughter, Willie.  The couple also shares a four-year-old son, Rhys.  Michelle has a 17-year-old daughter, Owen, from her first marriage.

Michelle and Carney wed in New Orleans in April of 2019.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


All I Have to Give: 25 Years Ago, Backstreet Boys released their US debut album

Legacy Recordings

Twenty-five years ago today, Backstreet Boys released their self-titled debut U.S. album ... and they're still performing most of the songs from it every night on tour.

This 1997 album was actually a compilation of two international albums: a 1996 release also called Backstreet Boys and a 1997 release called Backstreet's Back. It initially debuted at #29, but thanks to the success of the group's first big U.S. hit, "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," its popularity continued to grow.

In five months, the album had climbed to its peak -- #4 -- and sold 2 million copies. By the end of 1998, it was the third best-selling album of the year, with more than 5.7 million copies sold. To date, it's sold more than 14 million copies.

In addition to "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," Backstreet Boys also included many of the group's most beloved songs, including, "All I Have to Give," "As Long as You Love Me," "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," "I'll Never Break Your Heart," "We've Got It Goin' On" and "Get Down (You're the One for Me)."

The success of Backstreet Boys helped set the stage for the release of their next album, Millennium, which set a record for most copies sold in a single week -- 1.124 million -- when it arrived in 1999. Millennium went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, with 24 million copies sold.

And while BSB has gone on to release many more albums since then, the impact of Backstreet Boys can be seen in the group's current set list, which includes no less than seven songs from that album. Their current DNA World Tour is set to wrap up this November; their first holiday release, A Very Backstreet Christmas, arrives October 14.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Music notes: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ava Max, Dove Cameron, Sara Bareilles, Madonna and more

It's August, which means Taylor Swift's song of the same name is back on the Billboard charts. People are Googling its lyrics in droves -- a rise of 3,753% in the U.S. to be exact. The song was streamed 3.8 million times in the first few days of August.

Someone hit Lady Gaga with a teddy bear during her concert in Toronto. Her Twitter fan page shared the video and stated, "Please DO NOT throw items on stage at The Chromatica Ball. This not only is dangerous to Gaga, but items may also catch on fire in the jets as well and cause damage."

Ava Max teased her new single, "Million Dollar Baby," on TikTok and hinted a music video is also on the way. "Shes comin to life," she captioned the video.

Speaking of music videos, Dove Cameron says her one for "Breakfast" is coming soon. "Do you want to see a magic trick," she teased on Instagram

Sara Bareilles apologized that she's not doing "pictures or signing or anything right now." The singer explained she's trying to stay healthy for her Broadway run, noting she can't risk catching COVID-19. "Please forgive me," she begged on her Instagram Story. "Thank you for understanding. It's not personal."

Madonna celebrated the forthcoming release of her dance remix album Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones with an old-fashioned roller disco party. She was joined by Nile Rodgers, who co-produced her breakthrough album Like a Virgin, as well as Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose, designer Christian Siriano, her son David Banda and Questlove, who played DJ at the Central Park bash in New York City.

Hailey Bieber and Lil Nas X have teamed for the Vogue World fashion event this fall, which will celebrate the fashion mag's 130th anniversary on September 12.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Selena Gomez earns critical backing from Serena Williams for upcoming mental health platform

Disney General Entertainment/Jeff Neira

Selena Gomez's upcoming mental health platform, Wondermind, secured some critical funding with a hefty donation from Serena Williams.

The Grammy winner took to Instagram to share the good news, noting her mental fitness startup was granted $5 million in a series of funding that was led by Serena Ventures -- the tennis pro's investment portfolio. Her venture fund was joined by several organizations, including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, for this fundraising round.

"This is only the beginning for @officialwondermind and our mission to democratize and destigmatize mental health" she celebrated. 

Wondermind's official Instagram soon shared a statement from its co-founders: Selena, Mandy Teefy and Daniella Pierson. "This funding will be used to accelerate the building of Wondermind’s mental fitness ecosystem across our daily online content, CPG products, and original storytelling for all platforms," it read.

The good news doesn't end there. Bloomberg announced Thursday that this latest fundraising round has boosted Wondermind's valuation to $100 million.

Selena announced Wondermind, which she hopes will help normalize conversations about mental health, back in November 2021. The platform's main objective is to make "mental fitness exciting and accessible to all."

"Mental health is something that is very close to my heart, "Selena shared on Instagram when announcing her new venture. "It is so important to have places where people can come together and understand that they're not alone in their mental fitness journey."

As for Serena Williams, the pro athlete recently announced in a first-person essay on Vogue's website that she plans to "evolve" away from tennis. She reshared Selena's post to her own Instagram Story.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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