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WBAZ News

Music notes: Irene Cara, Backstreet Boys, Donna Lewis, Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles and Madonna

Deadline reports the cause of death for Fame star Irene Cara was natural, caused by arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Mayo Clinic notes the illness stresses the heart due to high blood pressure and plaque buildup in arteries. Cara, who was 63, died November 25.

The Backstreet Boys are releasing a tribute book honoring their 30th anniversary. It'll feature tour photography, profiles of the band, memories from fans, a forward from Melanie "Sporty Spice" Chisholm and more. Backstreet Boys 30th Anniversary Celebration comes out April 11 and is available for preorder online.

Donna Lewis put a twist on her 1996 hit by teaming up with Digital Farm Animals for "ILYAF (I Love You Always Forever)." Donna said in a statement her '90s hit was reimagined and reworked, adding she is "excited about this brand new version."

Katy Perry and fiancé Orlando Bloom attended Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's surprise vow renewal, which was supposed to be a 50th birthday party for Portia. Katy and Orlando were among a crowd of famous faces at the event, which People says included Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Speaking of Katy, Miranda Kerr sang her praises on social media. Kerr was previously married to Orlando and they share a 12-year-old son named Flynn. The model shared clips of them on TikTok and wrote, "When you love your son’s step mom [sic]."

Sara Bareilles saluted her sister Jennifer on her birthday. "There is nobody more loyal, funny, fair, generous, tender, kind, intelligent, or beautiful in the damn world. I love her and look up to her more than I can say to her face because we grew up Catholic and it’s hard to talk about feelings with each other because it feels like a direct threat," she joked.

Madonna will present at Sunday's Grammy Awards, according to Variety's sources. It is unknown what award she'll present.

 

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pink reveals she sang with Kelly Clarkson for an hour for Monday's episode of 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'

ABC

Pink will be Monday's guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show and revealed the episode will delight a lot of fans. Why? They're going to sing together.

Pink shared a teaser of the upcoming episode and captioned it, "I [heart] @kellyclarkson and had so much fun singing with her for an hour of Songs & Stories on @kellyclarksonshow." 

Based on several other clips posted on the show's YouTube, it appears Pink will go over her music catalog with Kelly and explain the meaning behind some of her greatest songs. Not only that, the two will also perform them together.

One clip has Pink reflecting on her 2017 song "What About Us" and what she was thinking when she wrote it. The singer recalled thinking, "We're not listening to each other right now and it's so loud and so gross and angry. And people are being forgotten. And people are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

Pink added she didn't understand "how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that."

"I won't have it," she added of the song's significance, which is her raising her voice to make a positive difference. "One person can change a lot."

Pink revealed in another teaser what was going through her mind when she created her new album, TRUSTFALL. She spoke about how she felt the world was ending because of the pandemic and other heartaches, so she decided, "If we are sliding sideways off the axis, let's dance."

Check The Kelly Clarkson Show website for channel information and when to watch Monday's episode.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor & more: Who'll get the Grammy milestones this Sunday?

CBS/Recording Academy

The Grammy Awards are this Sunday night, and some artists are poised to make Grammy history — or win in a prestigious category that has otherwise eluded them.

Beyoncé is this year's leading nominee with nine nods, and USA Today reports she's on track to become the most-awarded artist in Grammy history. She and producer Quincy Jones are tied in second place with 28 Grammys each. The all-time winner is the late Hungarian conductor Sir Georg Solti [SHOAL-tee] with 31, so she only needs to win four awards to surpass him.

Some pundits believe this may be the year that Beyoncé finally wins either Album of the Year and/or Record of the Year. Another artist looking for a personal achievement is Taylor Swift, who's been nominated for Song of the Year six times but has never won. This year, she's up for her epic song "All Too Well (Taylor's Version)."

If Adele wins Song of the Year for "Easy on Me," she'll be the first songwriter ever to win that category three times. If she wins Record of the Year for that song, she'll be the first woman ever to win that category three times. And if she wins Album of the Year for 30, she'll be only the second woman ever to win three times.

BTS could become the first K-pop act to win a Grammy: "My Universe," their collaboration with Coldplay, is up for two Grammys. And if Bad Bunny's Un Verano Sin Ti wins Album of the Year, it'll be the first Spanish-language winner in that category.

Finally, Viola Davis is one Grammy away from an EGOT, which she could win Sunday because she's up for Best Spoken World Album for Finding Me: A Memoir.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Meghan Trainor shares the sweet moment she found out she was pregnant

ABC

Meghan Trainor shared the video she recorded of herself when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.

Taking to Instagram, the singer soundtracked the sweet video with Sydney Rose's "Turning Page," which sees her trying to catch her breath. Meghan places a hand on her chest and grins before exhaling deeply.

"Oh my God. Oh my God," she says softly before showing a positive pregnancy test and jokes how fast it told her she was expecting.

She captioned the video, "The moment I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2."

Meghan hasn't been shy about her ambition to have a large family, saying she wants to have four children. She'll be officially halfway there after welcoming her second child sometime this summer.

She and husband Daryl Sabara welcomed their first child, a son named Riley, in 2021. Meghan announced her second pregnancy on Monday and said she is four months along.

Ahead of her baby's birth, Meghan will release her first book in April, which is a pregnancy handbook titled Dear Future Mama: A TMI Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and New Motherhood from Your Bestie.

Fans can preorder the book now. It's set to be released April 25.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Frankie Jonas reveals how his famous brothers are helping his music career

ABC/Maarten de Boer

Is Frankie Jonas about to follow in the footsteps of his three famous older brothers? According to him, he's working on his own music career.

Frankie, the younger brother of the Jonas Brothers, told Entertainment Tonight, "I've been working on the project for a really long time [by] my lonesome, and hiding it for obvious reasons."

"I think I'm ready to bring it out, bring it forward, see how the response is," he continued. Frankie also said his brothers, Kevin, Joe and Nick, are happy about his upcoming solo career and supporting him.

Frankie said his older brothers provide feedback when he's workshopping ideas. "They've been a big sounding board for me," he revealed. "I mean, obviously, they're pretty established musicians, so it's been amazing to have them in my corner and as advice givers along the way."

Frankie also said his music will be unique, so it will stand on its own. "I think that there's not a lot of crossover, but there's a lot of influence," he estimated. 

"It'll be my thing, and they'll be doing theirs, and we'll be cheering each other on," he said.

Information on his new music, such as titles or release dates, was not disclosed.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Shania Twain is open to collaborating with Harry Styles: "That would be awesome"

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AB

Shania Twain doesn't want to double dip when it comes to Harry Styles, but she says she'd love to sing with him again.

Harry famously performed with Shania during his Coachella set last year and, of course, their fans are hoping to see the two collab. She told Entertainment Tonight she doesn't want to be "greedy" when it comes to performing with Harry because she "was lucky enough to already do that."

But, if she was able to get a second chance, Shania revealed what song she would love to duet with him. "I do have a dream. I do love his song 'Falling.' So if I did that, a duet with him on that, that would be awesome," she said.

While promoting her new album, Queen of Me, in an interview with E! News, she spoke of other pop icons she loves, like Cher and Madonna.

Speaking of Cher, the country icon proclaimed, "She is the most diverse artist ever ... She's great at everything she does." Shania added she's been a fan of the legend since she was a tot and loved "watching her go through all these evolutions in her life."

Shania is also "a big fan" of Madonna and said, "I always thought her vision of aesthetics were incredible."

The singer also loves Rihanna, who is set to rock this year's Super Bowl halftime show. "I just really believe that her voice is one of the most soulful voices," Shania said. "She's got some depth that is mysterious."

Queen of Me, Shania's sixth studio album, is available now.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Is Madonna giving us a peek at her Celebration Tour set list?

Courtesy Live Nation

Madonna polled her fans on what songs they most want to hear her perform on her upcoming Celebration Tour — or, as she put it, "Think of me as your waitress….. What songs would you like on the menu?" And it looks like she's giving us a peek into her appetizers and main course.

On her Instagram Story, Madonna is seen writing down the titles of some of her most beloved hits, as well as some songs that weren't singles but are fan favorites. They include "Rescue Me," "Like a Prayer," "Physical Attraction," "Papa Don't Preach," "Bad Girl," "Human Nature," "Crazy for You," "Lucky Star" and "Erotica."

Whether or not Madonna actually performs these songs is anybody's guess. According to Setlist.FM, "Like a Prayer," "Human Nature" and "Papa Don't Preach" are among her top 10 most-performed songs, so those may be a safe bet. Then again, Madonna doesn't like to repeat herself.

Madonna's Celebration Tour kicks off July 15 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


John Oates feeling “Disconnected” with new single

The Orchard

John Oates is out with a new single today. The Daryl Hall & John Oates star has released the new tune “Disconnected.”

“There are always times in our lives when we all feel “Disconnected” from some thing or someone …emotionally, physically, spiritually, or any of the above,” Oates shares, “but the important thing is to never give up hope and strive to find a way to pull it all back together.”

He adds, “'Disconnected' was an idea that I had in my digital archives that I rediscovered during the pandemic...the theme felt even more timely.”

“Disconnected” is the second of a series of tracks Oates will release each month. It follows last month’s single, “Pushin’ a Rock.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rock Hall nominee Sheryl Crow isn't her kids' "favorite artist," but they're still proud of her

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for The American Heart Association

Sheryl Crow's two sons may not be her biggest fans, but that doesn't mean they're not proud that mom may be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Speaking to USA Today in New York City on February 1 -- the day she found out she was nominated for the Rock Hall -- Sheryl revealed that while she "wouldn't say that I am their favorite artist," her 15-year-old son, Wyatt, "called me today and said, 'Mom, I'm so proud of you. I heard you're nominated.'"

Sheryl also said she's not going to tour this summer so she can spend time with Wyatt and Levi, who's 12. 

"Oh my gosh, it goes so fast. I mean, I can't stand it," she explained.  "My 15-year-old, in about three months, is going to get his driver's license, and you just feel like, they're little tiny toddlers, and the next thing they're slipping away. So I am into every moment."

"I don't want to miss anything. And I'm not even touring this summer because I want to make sure that they want to be where I am and that we can be together," Sheryl added.

And despite having worked in a wide variety of genres and collaborated with any number of legendary stars, Sheryl says it's her boys who make sure she's up to date on what's happening in music.

"They're into pop music and they're into rap music, and they're also into country music," she said. "They're both really into ['Something in the Orange' singer] Zach Bryan right now, so I'm learning. I'm getting educated on what's current and what's hitting right now."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


State Memorial Service for Olivia Newton-John scheduled for February 26 in Melbourne

Ross Gilmore/Redferns

Australia will formally say goodbye to one of its most beloved stars on February 26, when a State Memorial Service will be held to honor Olivia Newton-John.  The iconic singer, actress and activist died of cancer August 8 at age 73.

The memorial service is a free ticketed event scheduled for Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, and is being planned along with representatives of Olivia's family. There will be tributes from friends -- presumably some of the more famous ones -- and a musical performance by Australian singer Delta Goodrem.

“Dame Olivia Newton-John was an inspiration to many around the world -- her work in cancer research and treatment saved lives and changed lives and her music was the soundtrack to a generation,” said Daniel Andrews, premier of the Australian state of Victoria, in a statement.

He added, "We know Victorians are eager to celebrate the life of a driving force in medical research and an icon of film and music, with a service befitting her international acclaim.”

If you want to travel Down Under for the event, you'll need to register for the free tickets starting February 10 -- visit vic.gov.au/olivia-newton-john for details on how to do it.  If you want to watch the service online, it'll stream live at that same web address at 4 p.m. Melbourne time, which is midnight EST.

You can also make a donation in honor of the late Grease star to the Wellness Programs at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre. To donate, visit onjcancercentre.org/donate.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Three-time Grammy winners Pentatonix on why this year's nom is "very validating, exciting and fulfilling"

RCA

Pentatonix has already won three Grammys, but on Sunday they're up for yet another one: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for their 2021 album, Evergreen. The group's Scott Hoying says even though they're old hands at the Grammys by now, there's one thing about this nomination that's special.

"We've never been nominated for an album before, and we've put out so many albums," Scott tells ABC Audio, estimating they've released about 16 projects.

"Evergreen was just a really special album to us because we had been away from each other for longer than we ever had in our career because of the pandemic," he explains. "And we got to come back together ... and we went in and we built it together and, like, stripped it apart and built it more. And we just love how it turned out."

"It's probably our favorite album collectively as a band," he adds. "And so to see it be our first nomination in years" — since 2017, to be exact — "and to be nominated as a piece of work, an album, was very validating and exciting and fulfilling."

The bad news is that there's some fierce competition in that category, starting with Thank You, the first album in 15 years by the legendary Diana Ross.

"I know! Oh, my gosh. And Kelly Clarkson, and Michael Bublé and Norah Jones. I was like, 'Whoa. Stacked category,'" Scott says. Kelly and Norah are nominated for their recent Christmas albums, while Michael's up for his 2022 album, Higher.

Scott's not too concerned about winning, though.

"Honestly ... I know this sounds like a diplomatic answer, but I really mean it ... just to be nominated with such icons that I grew up loving is really, really cool."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Music notes: Kelly Clarkson, Winona Ryder, The Weeknd, Harry Styles and Ok Go

Kelly Clarkson was feeling nostalgic for the '90s, so she belted out Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack" on the Kellyoke segment of her daytime talk show. She gave the track, which is about bouncing back after a bad breakup, a more sensual twinge.

Speaking of the '90s, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard is admittedly peppering Winona Ryder with questions about all the rockstars she dated in that era — such as Dave Grohl and MCA from the Beastie Boys. Finn told GQ, "I could literally ask her what it was like knowing Kurt Cobain, and she just tells me everything."

Another project from The Weeknd is heading to HBO. He announced his concert at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium is being turned into a concert film, titled The Weeknd: Live at SoFi Stadium. It will start streaming on HBO Max on February 25.

Harry Styles felt the birthday love at his concert in Palm Springs, California, which also marked his final North American tour stop. Billboard says he told fans at the show, "Obviously, I have a fear of people not coming to my birthday party. So, I just thought I would do a show and maybe you might come."

Ok Go, the band that danced on treadmills for their "Here It Goes Again" music video, is suing Post Foods for naming a new grab-and-go breakfast option OK GO! Variety reports the band alleges Post Foods is violating and diluting their trademark, which they've had since 2008. They want the cereal option to be called something else.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nick Carter countersues woman who accused him of 2001 sexual assault, accuses her of extortion

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images, FILE

Nick Carter has filed a countersuit against a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her in 2001. Shannon Ruth, who is now 43, said she was 17 at the time.

Carter filed his counterclaim on Thursday and, per court documents obtained by ABC News, is seeking in excess of $2.35 million in damages, which he estimates is the amount of money he and the Backstreet Boys lost in canceled appearances and endorsement deals since she came forward with her claims in December.

Carter's lawyers refute Ruth's allegations that he sexually assaulted her after a BSB concert in Tacoma, Washington. They also questioned Ruth's credibility by citing previous claims she made against him that "changed repeatedly and materially over time."

His team claims Ruth's assault allegations were previously investigated and no criminal charges were recommended.

Carter's team further alleges Ruth is being coached by former Dream singer Melissa Schuman, who accused Nick of sexual assault in 2017, and father Jerome Schuman. Carter previously denied Schuman's allegation and claims in his countersuit that the father and daughter are working with Ruth as part of an extortion attempt to take advantage of the #MeToo movement. 

The singer's attorney, Michael Holtz, said in a statement, "Nick has been the target of a malicious and long-running conspiracy. He has never done the outrageous things of which he has been accused; in fact, he is the victim of a calculated and concerted disinformation campaign designed to destroy his reputation."

Ruth's attorney released a statement to ABC News about Carter's counter-claims, which said, "Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing females. A jury will weigh the evidence and decide." 

If you are affected by abuse and needing support, or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat online at thehotline.org or online.rainn.org, respectively.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Madonna vibes to Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" for 'Wednesday' dance challenge

Courtesy Netflix

Madonna danced along to Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" to join in on TikTok's viral Wednesday dance challenge.

Of course, Madge took a few liberties with the dance craze and added in a few of her own moves, such as pretending to pray and making the sign of the cross. She also embellished some of the original choreography by infusing her signature sexy flair.

Speaking of sex appeal, Madonna suited up for the dance challenge in a lacy black crop top, baggy black pants and a formal black shoulder shrug. The singer was also rocking a full head of curly red hair.

This comes shortly after Lady Gaga congratulated Madonna on how well tickets were selling for her upcoming Celebration Tour. "We love you M," she wrote in response to one of Madge's videos thanking fans for their support.

Fans are wondering if this video is hinting at a potential collaboration between the two. Others are waiting with bated breath to see if Gaga responds to Madonna's version of the "Wednesday Dance."

Actress Jenna Ortega inspired the TikTok craze last year because of the way she danced in a viral scene from Wednesday, the hit Netflix series about Wednesday Addams. While Ortega flailed around to The Cramps' 1981 song "Goo Goo Muck" in the show, TikTokers chose to soundtrack their interpretation of the dance to a sped-up version of Gaga's 2011 song.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mariah Carey's "It's a Wrap" enjoying streaming boom thanks to viral TikTok dance

Courtesy of Def Jam

TikTok is apparently becoming a kingmaker for older songs. After reviving Kate Bush's 1985 hit "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" and Lady Gaga's 2011 deep-cut "Bloody Mary," the app is now breathing new life into Mariah Carey's 2009 song "It's a Wrap."

Mariah can thank herself for the renewed interest in the track: Last month, she shared a video of her singing to the slightly sped-up track while accompanied by four backup dancers. Mariah then exits the shot and a man dressed like a chef presents a literal wrap sandwich to the camera.

The video has been seen nearly 10 million times since she uploaded it on January 15.

TikTokers have created a new dance challenge by posting videos of them doing their own choreography to the song. To date, the sped-up clip has been featured in nearly 650,000 TikTok videos.

Billboard reports the song is now enjoying a streaming boom. Since the challenge took off, streams of "It's a Wrap" have jumped by 1,000 percent. Fans streamed it 1.65 million times during the week ending on January 26.  

Prior to that, the track averaged about 17,000 weekly streams.

"It's a Wrap" appeared on Mariah's 2009 album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. It was never released as a single.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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