TIME Music

Jon Bellion Tries to Stay Humble on ‘Luxury’—Exclusive

Jon Bellion

The "Monster" hitmaker heads out on his own

He’s written for Rihanna and Eminem and been producing music since he was a teenager, but now Jon Bellion is setting out on his own with his new album, The Definition, out Sept. 23. On “Luxury,” premiering exclusively on TIME below, Bellion jumps between rapping and singing over a gummy synthesizers and celebratory horns while reflecting on fame and fortune.

“‘Luxury’ is a response record to my previous release, ‘Munny Right,’ which displays how I felt about success when I began creating this album,” the 23-year-old tells TIME about the track. “‘Luxury’ displays how I felt when I finished.”

On “Munny Right,” he sang about deserving success and earning “half a million after taxes” for penning just a few tracks. But on “Luxury,” which features vocals from Judy Garland’s great-great-niece Audra Mae, Bellion is just trying to stay humble despite checks so big they “could make [him] vomit.”

Catch Bellion in action when his The Beautiful Mind Tour kicks off next month.

TIME Music

Hear Two Gorgeous Unreleased Adele Songs to Hold You Over Until Her New Album

The BRIT Awards 2012 - Arrivals
Adele attends the BRIT Awards 2012 at 02 Arena on February 21, 2012 in London, England. Fred Duval—FilmMagic / Getty Images

They were originally recorded for her 2010 album 21

Great news, everyone: you can take a quick break from cry-singing “Someone Like You” into a mug of chardonnay, desperately waiting for Adele’s rumored new album, and instead listen to these two previously unheard tracks.

These songs, called “You’ll Never See Me Again” and “Never Gonna Leave You,” were allegedly recorded during the songbird’s sessions with producer Fraser T Smith for her 2010 album 21. They surfaced online for the first time this weekend, and they’re classic Adele: soulful, a bit sad, and probably about a man. Oh, and obviously, they’re both totally gorgeous.

Here’s “You’ll Never See Me Again”:

And “Never Gonna Leave You”:

In the meantime, fans will just have to keep waiting for something other than a vague hint about the songstress’s next album. Come on, Adele. It’s getting dire.

TIME Music

Watch the Trailer for Laura Jane Grace’s New Web Series About Transgender Life

The Against Me! frontwoman talks about her transition in an upcoming AOL documentary show

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Laura Jane Grace is the most visible transgender woman in music today, but that doesn’t mean the Against Me! frontwoman has it all figured out. In her upcoming AOL Originals series, True Trans With Laura Jane Grace, the rocker travels around the country and meets with a number of transgender men and women to talk about their hardships, coming out, transitioning and just how messy the idea of gender can be.

“The opportunity I had while shooting this show was nothing short of tremendous,” Grace says of the show, whose trailer premieres exclusively on TIME today. “Getting the chance to listen to other people tell their stories of how life shaped their identities and views on gender couldn’t help but further inform my own understanding of just how complicated and also how simple all of it really is.”

The 10-part documentary series, which kicks off with four episodes on October 10 in honor of National Coming Out Day, also takes a look at Grace’s life as a mother, wife and rock star since she came out as transgender at age 31 in a 2012 Rolling Stone profile. True Trans closes out a banner year, not just for transgender visibility in the media, but also for Grace and her band: in January, Against Me! released its sixth album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which heartbreakingly chronicles Grace’s struggle with gender identity — and whose ferocious track “True Trans Soul Rebel” also lent the show its title.

TIME Music

Jimi Jamison, Soaring Voice of Survivor, Dies at 63

Jimi Jamison performing in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2009.
Jimi Jamison performing in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2009. Beth Gwinn—Getty Images

Jamison joined, left and rejoined Survivor many times after officially debuting with the band in 1984

Jimi Jamison, 63, whose soaring tenor powered many hits for the arena rock band Survivor, died Sunday night, the band confirmed Monday.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the band said: “The entire Survivor family is very shocked and saddened by the passing of our brother Jimi Jamison. Our thoughts, love and prayers go out to his family and friends.” No cause of death was given, but TMZ quoted Jamison’s booking agent as saying he died of a heart attack at his home in Memphis, Tennessee…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME celebrities

Country Singer Carrie Underwood Is Expecting Her First Child

Carrie Underwood accepts Video Of The Year Award during the 2014 CMT Music Awards in Nashville
Carrie Underwood accepts Video of the Year Award for "See You Again" during the 2014 CMT Music Awards in Nashville on June 4, 2014 Harrison McClary—Reuters

That's what her two dogs Ace and Penny said, anyway

Country singer Carrie Underwood’s baby announcement was brought not by a stork, but by two tiny dogs.

Underwood, the winner of six Grammy awards, is expecting her first child, according to a whimsical photo the star posted to Twitter on Monday, USA Today reports.

In the photo, the former American Idol songstress cuddles her two dogs, each wearing shirts proclaiming that they’ll soon be a big brother and a big sister.

“In honor of ‘Labor’ Day…Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier!” Underwood tweeted, along with the picture.

This will be the first child for Underwood and husband hockey player Mike Fisher. Fisher retweeted his wife’s announcement, USA Today says, and also posted his own in which he ventured an unusual name for the baby boy or girl.

“We haven’t picked names yet but it’s looking like Fly is gonna fly,” he said.

[USA Today]

TIME Music

NYC’s Electric Zoo Festival Got Shut Down by Bad Weather

Electric Zoo 2013 - Day 2
A general view of atmosphere during the Electric Zoo Festival at Randall's Island, in New York City, on Aug. 31, 2013 Daniel Zuchnik—Getty Images

“We apologize to fans, but your safety is our main concern,” say organizers

New York City’s Electric Zoo Festival was shut down midway Aug. 31, with organizers citing treacherous weather conditions as the cause for cancellation.

Rolling Stone reported that there were still six hours left for the festival to end when attendees were asked to evacuate the grounds at Randall’s Island, where the popular music festival takes place. Chase & Status, Alesso, Bingo Players and Kaskade were some of the acts scheduled to perform on the final evening.

The final day of Electric Zoo was canceled last year as well, but for very different reasons: city officials forced the festival to a halt after two attendees succumbed to drug overdoses and four others were hospitalized. There were also 31 arrests made.

A flash-flood warning was issued just before the event was halted, following which the festival tweeted: “Electric Zoo NY has been shut down for the remainder of the festival due to extreme weather conditions. We apologize to fans, but your safety is our main concern.”

The organizers also made it clear that there would be no re-entry even if weather conditions improved, but have not yet revealed whether festivalgoers would be reimbursed for the canceled day, Rolling Stone said.

EDM artist Kaskade, whose show was among those canceled, took to Twitter to express his displeasure. “Soooooo…… Who has the keys to @barclayscenter???” he joked.

[Rolling Stone]

TIME Music

America’s Most Buzzed-About Music Festival Is…

Kanye West at South by Southwest 2014
Kanye West performs onstage at South by Southwest on March 12 in Austin, Texas. Rick Kern—Getty Images for Samsung

A new study says that one festival is more discussed than Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo or Governor's Ball

A study sponsored by Eventbrite and Mashwork has determined that South by Southwest — held each March in Austin, TX — is America’s most buzzed-about music festival, beating out perennial favorites like Coachella in Indio, Calif., Lollapalooza in Chicago and Governors Ball in New York City. Ranking just behind SXSW in the top five were Las Vegas’ iHeartRadio, Chattahoochee Hills, GA’s TomorrowWorld, Lollapalooza and Coachella.

Despite South by Southwest’s strong showing, Texas didn’t rank amongst the top three states in terms of most chatter — that distinction went to New York, Nevada and California. The study also confirmed what may have already been obvious: music festivals are heavily youth-dominated, with 75% of the conversation generated by those between the ages of 17 and 34.

Eventbrite

A few other interesting tidbits from the report:

  • 54% of the conversation takes place before the event itself, easily besting the 17% that occurs during the festival and the 29% after it.
  • For Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. and Hangout in Gulf Shores, Ala., it was all about the music — at both festivals, excitement about the full lineup or particular artist accounted for 65% and 63%, respectively, compared with a 47% average for the top 25 festivals overall.
  • People at Coachella spent way more time talking about style than at the average event — fashion discussion made up for 27% of the conversation there, compared with just 10% nationwide.
  • Though the ages of music festival fans closely mirrored the average age of Twitter users, a much wider spread is apparent from music fans’ taste in brands, where Starbucks, McDonalds and, of all places, Walmart proved favorites. Whole Foods, Best Buy and IHOP also scored highly.

Check out the full report here.

TIME Music

Beyoncé’s Dad Claims Infamous Elevator Fight Was a PR Stunt

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Candids
Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. Neilson Barnard--Getty Images

After elevator footage leaked showing Jay-Z and Solange fighting while Beyonce stood by, it was all anyone could talk about. Now Mathew Knowles is saying that was the whole point

The celebrity scandal of the year might not have been much of a scandal at all.

Beyoncé and Solange Knowles’ father, Mathew Knowles, told a Houston radio talk show earlier this week that Elevator-Gate may have all been an elaborate show.

After video footage of Solange attacking her brother-in-law Jay Z in a elevator at the Standard Hotel was leaked earlier this year, everyone feared the worst. The clip, which was reportedly filmed after Solange, Jay and Beyoncé had left the Met Gala after-party, stoked speculation that Jay had cheated on Bey and that their marriage was on the rocks. The rumors are still circulating, months later, even amidst the couple’s joint On The Run tour that began in late June.

But that could have been the point, according to Bey’s dad and former manager. “[They needed something to] ignite that tour,” Knowles said. “It’s called a ‘Jedi mind trick.’ The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot of the time.”

Why would his daughters and son-in-law pull such a stunt? “All I know is: everyone is talking about it. Ticket sales went up, Solange’s album sales went up 200%,” Knowles said.

Of course, it should be noted that Beyoncé and her father don’t appear to be particularly close these days. She fired him as her manager in 2011, not long after her mother, Tina Knowles, filed divorce papers citing Mathew’s extramarital affair. It’s certainly likely that he is just as clueless about the motivating factor of the clash as anyone else.

As for the three main parties — that is Bey, Jay and Solange — they’ve remained relatively mum on the subject. Shortly after the footage leaked, the trio issued a statement calling the fight an “unfortunate incident” and a “private matter.”

[Billboard]

TIME Television

Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo Has Inspired a New Sitcom at Fox

Rivers Cuomo
Rivers Cuomo of Weezer Owen Sweeney—Invision/AP

A show about a 30-something rock star from the creator of Psych got a pilot order

Say it is so: Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered a pilot of a sitcom based on the life Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.

DeToured will follow a fictional musician who decides to give up his rock-star lifestyle for normalcy, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Cuomo made a similar move several years ago when he took time off to study full-time at Harvard, where he chose to live in student housing and try out for extracurricular activities like a regular college kid.

Psych creator Steve Franks will write and executive-produce the project. Cuomo and his band, meanwhile, will release their next studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, on Oct. 7.

[THR]

TIME Music

Here Are 4 Things We Want in YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service

Google Holds Event For Creators At YouTube Tokyo Space
Google Inc.'s YouTube logo is displayed on a wall as video creators participate in a workshop as part of the YouTube Partner Program at the company's YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It seems that YouTube’s oft-delayed subscription music streaming service may soon see the light of day. The service was slated to launch by the end of the summer, the Financial Times reported in June, and Android Police recently leaked images purported to be from the new platform, which it said is currently called YouTube Music Key. The streaming service was originally expected to launch late last year, but has faced roadblocks involving royalty negotiations with independent labels, among other snags.

So far, Google has been tight-lipped about exactly what features will differentiate vanilla YouTube, this new paid service (expected to cost $9.99 per month) and Google’s other music subscription service, Google Play Music All Access. All we know for sure is that, as with most other streaming services, the paid version of YouTube will be stripped of ads. If the new service takes advantage of the reasons people already love YouTube, though, it could outshine current streaming heavyweights like Spotify and Beats Music.

Here’s what we’d like to see from YouTube’s foray into paid streaming:

Access to Covers, Remixes and Mixtapes

YouTube’s biggest advantage over other music-listening platforms is its sheer size. People upload 100 hours worth of content to the website each minute, and the vast majority of its most popular videos relate to music. YouTube Music Key is expected to take advantage of this scale by pulling in covers, remixes, parodies and unofficial singles and mixtapes to complement the record label-approved content that populates other streaming services. That means an up-and-coming artist like Chance the Rapper, who has released two acclaimed independent mixtapes you can’t access on Spotify, could be easier to discover on YouTube’s new service.

Quality Playlists

Playlists are a given function of any streaming service, but they can vary widely in quality. YouTube already has a playlist function called YouTube Mix, which automatically generates a playlist to follow any popular video based on what other users clicked after watching it. That’s a nice start, but we’d also like to see lists picked by experts, like with Beats, or organized around specific times of day or activities, like with Songza.

A Strong Social Component

One of the highlights of Spotify is its integration with Facebook, which allows users to track their friends’ listening habits and build collaborative playlists with them. Google, with its wide array of services that are linked by universal company accounts, has a similar ability to connect friends seamlessly.

Tight Integration with Google’s Other Music Services

YouTube Music Key will actually be Google’s third subscription music service, following in the footsteps of Google Play Music All Access and the recently-acquired Songza. It’s still not clear why Google needs three of these things, but they might as well let users to enjoy the benefits of all of them under a single subscription. In particular, Play Music All Access’s uploading feature, which allows people to save songs from their personal libraries in the cloud and then access them from any device, would be a killer way to make the YouTube music service catalogue essentially limitless.

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