:: Pharrell argued that Marvin Gaye‘s family “smelled money” during the ongoing courtroom battle over whether Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” plagiarized from Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” Ouch. [Billboard]
:: Nick Jonas says that his new solo album will boast “alternative pop with soul-based vocals,” and that it’s due out this fall. Look out for his video for “Chains,” starring Dylan Penn, coming soon. [THR]
:: Demi Lovato and Cher Lloyd will perform “Really Don’t Care” at this year’s Teen Choice Awards on August 10. Hilary Duff, Lea Michele and Fifth Harmony will also make appearances. [FOX]
:: A Johnny Rockets server recently yelled at Aretha Franklin for trying to eat a to-go hamburger inside the restaurant. A spokeswoman for the chain has since apologized. [Billboard]
:: A fan wrote to Taylor Swift asking for advice on unrequited love – and to her delight, Swift wrote back. “Feel good about being the kind of person who loves selflessly,” Swift said. [Los Angeles Times]
:: Uh, Katy Perry really likes Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” single art. [Twitter]
Find out what music you can catch on TV today after the jump. More »
Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe tells a story of a magical boy learning to use his superpowers for good. Turns out, Nicki Minaj will star in a future episode to show the dangers of a power trip.
The “Pills N Potions” rapstress plays Sugilite, the menacing creature that emerges when two of Steven Universe’s guardians, Amethyst (Micheala Dietz) and Garnet (Estelle, as in the singer) decide to join forces. “I forgot how great it is to be me,” Sugilite says once the transformation is complete. Surprisingly, Minaj doesn’t transform her voice as she used to in songs, for her alter egos like the prissy Harajuku Barbie, the ever-panicked Roman Zolanski or his stern mother Martha — but she does sound ready to raise hell. More »
Vine superstar Shawn Mendes has revealed a preview of his debut self-titled EP, out July 28.
Earlier this month, Mendes released the four-song EP’s lead single “Life of the Party” and became the youngest artist to have a debut single premiere on the Top 25. The Ontario native, age 15, started gaining attention last year by posting covers of pop songs — from Justin Bieber‘s “As Long As You Love Me” to Rihanna‘s “Stay” to Lana Del Rey‘s “Summertime Sadness.” Based on his EP preview, featuring 90 seconds of each song, Mendes has come closer to finding his voice. More »
Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer will likely sell big with their self-titled debut album. Just in case, though, the pop-punk band decided to pose as Target employees – complete with fake names – in an elaborate prank to boost sales. The band’s mission, according to drummer Ashton Irwin: “We’re going to be pretty much trying to sell our album to middle-aged men.”
Ultimately, 5 Seconds of Summer ended up aiming for a broader audience. The band dropped CDs into random carts. Guitarist Michael Clifford “helped” another customer search for microwaves by mentioning that they were likely by the CDs. Fellow guitarist Luke Hemmings told one customer that he smelled nice, before he placed a CD next to a child sitting at the DVDs section. (She pushed it away.) More »
Charli XCX confessed last month that she initially wrote her hit “Boom Clap” for Hilary Duff, only to to be told it wasn’t cool enough. The news “crushed” Charli XCX, though based on a new interview, Duff sounded bummed as well. Turns out, she had no idea that The Fault In Our Stars single could have been hers. “I didn’t know that I had an option to have it,” Duff says to Popjustice. “It’s my favorite song on the radio right now.”
Duff does recall that while prepping her new album, plans to write with Charli XCX didn’t pan out. She has ended up instead with “folkier-type” music, as inspired by Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. Meanwhile, Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap” rose this week to No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100, making for her biggest solo hit to date. “If she wants to give it to me now, I’ll still take it!” Duff joked. Until they do work out a collaboration, here’s to hoping that the Metamorphosis star covers the song live. More »
Austin Mahone took cues from ’90s boy bands (Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC) on his debut EP The Secret. To kick off his headlining tour, though, Mahone also decided to cover The King of Country.
While performing in his hometown of San Antonio, the pop heartthrob performed a faithful cover of George Strait‘s 1995 hit “Check Yes Or No” while wearing a cowboy hat that initially belonged to his father.
Strait emerged in the early ’80s and ushered in a new wave of traditional country singers – and inspired Mahone himself, as shown in a video unearthed by America’s Funniest Home Videos. In 2012, the show hosted a submission in which Mahone, age 3, pulls a cowboy hat over his head, grins at the camera and says, “I look like George Strait.” (He was close enough … Strait likely would have worn pants.)
Watch a grown-up Austin Mahone cover George Strait, then a young Austin Mahone do his best to look like George Strait after the jump. More »