Music News

Watch Miley Cyrus & a troupe of drag queens perform Cher's "Believe"

Courtesy Peacock

Ahead of her Stand By You Pride special on the Peacock streaming platform, Miley Cyrus has shared a simply fabulous video of herself performing Cher's "Believe," along with a troupe of drag queens.

"IS IT EVEN A PRIDE SPECIAL IF YOU DONT PLAY @cher ?! THE ANSWER IS NO!" Miley captioned the video on Instagram.  "#BELIEVE ME THIS SHOW IS GONNA BE EVERYTHING! DONT MISS IT JUNE 25."

In addition to singing "Believe," Miley and the drag queens -- some of whom are wearing outfits inspired by Cher's iconic fashion looks -- perform a dance routine that has the audience going wild.

In addition to "Believe," Miley also performs her own hits, plus covers like ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," a Madonna medley, and the Pretenders' I'll Stand By You.  Among the guest stars joining her on the special, which was filmed in Nashville, are Maren Morris, Miley's dad Billy Ray Cyrus, and country stars Mickey Guyton, Little Big Town and Brothers Osbourne.

Miley Cyrus Presents Stand By You premieres Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' star Joshua Bassett opens up about his sexuality

Disney Channel/Image Group LA

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett has confirmed that he’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Speculation about his sexuality swirled after he did an interview last month where he gushed about Harry Styles and said, “I guess this is also my coming out video.” In a new interview with GQ, Bassett says, “I wasn’t joking.”

After seeing the reaction to his “coming out” comment, Bassett shared a post on Instagram promoting love and acceptance.

"I stood behind every word that I said," the 20-year-old tells GQ, adding, "Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear."

Bassett doesn’t clarify how he identifies, saying, “There are plenty of letters in the alphabet... Why bother rushing to a conclusion?...I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”

As for the rumors that Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” is about him, Bassett reveals he didn’t focus on the gossip because he became gravely ill two days after the song was released. He was hospitalized with septic shock and heart failure and doctors told him he had a 30% chance of survival. Bassett says he "didn't have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ed Sheeran reveals he "got talked into" jumping off a building in new video

Atlantic Records

The countdown is officially on for Ed Sheeran's "Bad Habits" music video, which premieres Friday.  Ahead of the highly anticipated visual -- in which the singer transforms into a blonde, glam rock vampire -- Ed shared a spoiler.

Apparently, he jumps off a building -- and no, he doesn't have a stunt double to take the damage.

Taking to Instagram Wednesday, the Grammy winner shared a video of himself being fitted with a stunt vest as he remarks to the camera, "I'm terrified of heights and I'm about to... jump off a roof."

"I don't really know how I've been talked into this," Ed chuckled. "Who knew?"

He also shared a brief snippet of the "Bad Habits" chorus.  The song and accompanying music video will be released in their entirety on Friday at 12 a.m. EDT.

"Bad Habits" is Ed's first official release since his December 2020 single "Afterglow." It's available to pre-save now.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey and more voice support for Britney Spears following bombshell hearing

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey and many others are expressing shock and outrage over the damning claims Britney Spears made during her explosive conservatorship hearing on Wednesday.

The "Toxic" singer publicly asked to end her 13-year conservatorship and leveled serious allegations against her conservators as well as her family. 

During Britney's passionate 30-minute testimony, marking the first time she's publicly addressed the legal matter, the Grammy winner detailed a list of grievances that include being forced to perform, not being able to make her own reproductive decisions and her therapist putting her on lithium "out of nowhere," which made her feel "drunk."

"I deserve to have a life," she expressed to California Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny. "I am traumatized. I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry it's insane. And I'm depressed. I cry every day."

Following the bombshell hearing, celebrities took to social media to publicly support Britney and condemn those who have allegedly wronged her.  

Justin Timberlake rallied his fanbase Wednesday and, in a three-part Twitter thread, called to have the conservatorship ended. 

"After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time. Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was… what’s happening to her is just not right," he wrote. "No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body."

"No one should EVER be held against their will… or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for," he continued, saying he and wife Jessica Biel "send our love, and our absolute support to Britney during this time. We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live."

Mariah Carey also voiced support for the distressed singer by tweeting, "We love your Britney!! Stay strong."

Here's what other celebs have to say about the conservatorship hearing:

Brandy: "Sending all my love and support to Britney Spears and her fans"

Halsey: "Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system. She deserves it more than anything. I admire her courage speaking up for herself today."

Khloe Kardashian: "No one should be treated like this. Stay strong Queen!! You deserve better"

Mandy Moore: "The abuse she has suffered at the hands of an institution meant to protect her is staggering, heartbreaking and shameful.  I applaud her bravery and transparency #FreeBritney"

Jameela Jamil: "It is the most bizarre theft of freedom that has happened right in front of our eyes for over a decade now, and I hope she finds assistance with organizing her life that she is comfortable with now."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "Britney deserves freedom. She deserves to reap the rewards of her years of hard work. Britney deserves to be happy."

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi: "F***ING FREE BRITNEY!  We are all here for you queen!"

Rose McGowan: "Britney Spears has every right to be angry. How would you feel if your life was stolen, dissected, mocked? I pray she gets to live your life on her terms. STOP CONTROLLING WOMEN"

Rosie O'Donnell: "Listen to the woman"

Meghan McCain: "How is what has been done to Britney Spears not a human rights crime? Isolation, controlling her capacity to reproduce without her consent, forcing her to work under inhumane conditions. If she were any other person the people who did this to her would be in jail."

Keke Palmer: "All of them need to go to jail!!!!! My girl was finally able to speak up against her conservatorship after they tried to make her fear damaging her “image” just to keep her quiet! How cruel to do that to someone that has only known performing their whole life. Then to contort the very thing she loved by making her do it on YOUR time. Money is the great root of all evil! But the light will always win, I’m so happy that Britney was able to tell the truth today and I’m ready to raise hell! FREEEEEE BRITNEYYYYY"

Chrishell Stause: "I will 1000% RIOT if Britney is not freed. We are SO PROUD of you @britneyspears! Listening to her call is equal parts heartbreaking and infuriating. #freebritneyNOW and then change the laws #FreeBritney"

Tinashe: "We love you SO MUCH"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave": Britney Spears' court hearing concludes

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Following Britney Spears' unprecedented appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court, nothing was settled, but Britney certainly got to speak her piece.

Britney's court-appointed counsel had requested that Britney be free to discuss any aspect of her conservatorship without interruption, and that she did, speaking for 30 minutes straight to Judge Brenda Penny.

After detailing her many grievances against her conservators and her family, she asked for the judge to end the "abusive" conservatorship, saying it was her "wish and her dream." 

An attorney for Britney's mother, Lynne Spears, said it was "very brave" of the pop star to speak out, and that her mother would like a plan of action to be put in place to address Britney's concerns.

What's next? More hearings to discuss that plan of action.

Here are a few of the things that Britney told the judge today:

"[My father] loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it."

"Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave.”

"Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a key role in punishing me — ma’am, they should be in jail."

"I'm depressed. I want changes and I want changes going forward. I deserve changes.”

"I have a IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to any more children."

"I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you. I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Britney Spears' dad responds to her accusations in court

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Following the bombshells Britney Spears dropped Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court while explaining why she wanted to end her conservatorship, an attorney for Jamie Spears, Britney's father, has responded.

Speaking non-stop for 30 minutes, Britney detailed a laundry list of grievances against her father, her family and her conservators, saying, "I just want my life back." 

She claimed, among other things, that she's been forbidden to get married and have a baby, has been forced to go on tour against her wishes, and has been threatened with various punishments if she didn't do as her conservators said.  Britney also said she wants to sue her family.

"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t feel like I can live a full life,” said Britney, and asked for the judge to end the conservatorship without her having to undergo a psychiatric examination.

In response, a lawyer for Mr. Spears read this statement in court: "He is sorry to hear his daughter in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Britney Spears unloads in court: “I'm so angry...After I told the whole world I was OK...it was a lie”

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Free Britney, indeed.

For the first time, Britney Spears has spoken about her conservatorship in open court, and what she said was a doozy: She's asking L.A. County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny to end the conservatorship without a psychiatric evaluation.

When the hearing got underway, a lawyer for Jodi Montgomery, who oversees the personal side of Britney's conservatorship, asked that any medical details or things that would infringe upon Britney's privacy or that of her children remain sealed.  But Britney interrupted and insisted everything should be public.

“They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life,” Britney said. “So I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen to what I have to say.”

She then read from a prepared statement, seemingly unloading years of anger and resentment.

“A lot has happened since two years ago, the last time I was in court,” she began. “I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.”  She then detailed things that she was forced to do, such as go on tour and change her medication.  "Not only did my family not do a g**damn thing, my dad was all for it,” she said.

“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I'm happy,” Britney said, claiming she'd been in denial. “If I said that enough, maybe I’d become happy. … I’m in shock. I’m traumatized. … I’m so angry it’s insane.”

“All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and for my boyfriend to drive me in his f****** car," she added.

In her long list of grievances against her family -- who she said she would like to sue -- Britney also said that she'd like to "progressively move forward" and "get married and have a baby."  However, she claims she was told that while in conservatorship, she can't do either.

She also revealed that she'd like to remove her IUD but, "They don't want me to have any more children."

"Basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good," she noted. "I deserve to have a life."

(Story developing...)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Olivia Rodrigo says being a role model for Asian-American girls is "so touching"

Eric Hernandez

Olivia Rodrigo's ascent to the top of the charts hasn't just made her a role model for young women everywhere -- it's also made her a symbol of representation for Asian-Americans in the media.

Olivia, whose father is Filipino, tells People, "It actually makes me want to cry. It's so touching. Representation in TV and media is so important."

"I'm so glad that I can hopefully be an example for a little Asian girl out there, that they can do anything that they set their mind to," she adds.

Olivia also tells People that she's moved on from all those songs on her number-one album, SOUR, about heartbreak.

"I'm just constantly learning and growing at such a rapid rate," she says. "I'm writing songs and I'm really happy. I'm a lot happier than I was when I wrote that record, which is great."

"I'm a lot more confident, which I think is a good aspect of growing up," she adds. "We'll see what the next era brings, but I'm excited to start working on it."

Meanwhile, Olivia says it means the "absolute world" to her that people are using her music as the soundtrack to her own heartbreak.

"I feel like if a girl writes a song about heartbreak, very often people start criticizing her for feeling those emotions, and only writing about that," she says. "I do just love a heartbreak song. I literally wrote breakup songs before I ever held a boy's hand. So, who knows? Maybe I'll continue to do that, or maybe I'll branch out? I just love writing music, and I hope that people continue to listen."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Red Light Special: Tickets on sale Friday for TLC's Celebration of 'CrazySexyCool' tour

Tom Gordon

Run, don't "Creep" to get your tickets to the '90s nostalgia concert of the year.

TLC -- T-Boz and Chilli -- are hitting the road for their Celebration of CrazySexyCool National Tour, which kicks off September 3 in Alabama.  The outing, which will visit 18 cities to start, will feature the ladies singing songs from their now-iconic 1994 album CrazySexyCool, as well as their other hits.

The shows will be '90s themed and feature '90s fashion, surprise guests and fan interaction.  Bone Thugs N' Harmony will open the shows, with other acts on different dates.  More shows are expected to be announced; tickets go on sale June 25.  Check LiveNation.com for updates and more info.

"I'm so excited for this tour because we've been talking about doing something special for CrazySexyCool for years and FINALLY, we get to do it!" says Chilli in a statement. "This is the album that truly put us on the map and showed the world who we really are. So, this will be quite the celebration!"

CrazySexyCool, TLC's second studio album, has sold more than 14 million copies since its release in November of 1994. In fact, it's the best-selling album by an American girl group, period.  It features the hits "Red Light Special," "Creep," "Diggin' on You" and, of course, the number-one classic, "Waterfalls."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TLC (@officialtlc)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Promposal: Olivia Rodrigo's 'SOUR Prom Concert Film' airs next Tuesday

Geffen Records

Olivia Rodrigo just graduated from high school, but she's not having her prom until June 29 -- and you're invited.

More specifically, Olivia's SOUR Prom Concert Film will stream on her YouTube channel on Tuesday, June 29, at 8:30 p.m. PT. Fans will be able to watch Olivia perform songs from her record-breaking number-one album SOUR, including "Drivers License," "good 4 U" and "Deja Vu."

A half-hour before the show starts, fans can join Olivia on her YouTube page for the official SOUR Prom Pre-Party, where she'll answer questions and share behind-the-scenes stories.

After the event, Olivia will release a line of exclusive SOUR Prom merch via her webstore.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bastille releases new song, "Distorted Light Beam"

Credit: Reece Owen

Bastille has premiered a new song called "Distorted Light Beam."

The tune, which was co-written and co-produced by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, is meant to reflect "dancing through some twisted, euphoric, futuristic club space."

"It's a song about limitless possibilities -- which isn't something any of us actually have in real life right now," says frontman Dan Smith. "It's been fun to explore that idea while experimenting with new sounds in our music."

You can download "Distorted Light Beam" now via digital outlets.

"Distorted Light Beam" follows Bastille's 2020 EP, Goosebumps, which includes the songs "survivin'," "WHAT YOU GONNA DO???" and "Goosebumps." A press release describes "Distorted Light Beam" as the "first song from [Bastille's] upcoming fourth studio album," suggesting that the record won't include the Goosebumps tracks.

That new album, by the way, is due out later this year. It'll be the follow-up to 2019's Doom Days.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Music mogul Scooter Braun talks Justin's well-being, Demi's coming out -- and Taylor Swift

LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images

As the manager of Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande, Scooter Braun is one of the most powerful people in music right now.  In a new Variety cover story, he talks about his relationship with his artists, who've gone through some challenging times in recent years.

Justin was open about his mental health struggles and past substance abuse in his YouTube docuseries, Seasons, executive-produced by Braun.  Noting that Justin's Purpose tour was cut short due to "depression and exhaustion," Variety asks Scooter if he's concerned about Justin's well-being on his upcoming 2022 tour.  Braun says no, for one major reason.

"Justin has his wife Hailey and she is such an incredible force in his life," Braun explains. "He’s always had to tour alone, but it’s different now that he has his his best friend and they can see the world together. He’s never had that experience before."

Variety also asks if there was  "discussion" regarding Demi's decision to come out as non-binary last month.  Braun responds, "It was a discussion in that Demi wanted to do it, and I was happy to honor it. It’s not my decision to make. It’s how Demi identifies. Demi said, 'I think this is where I am. I’m finding myself, and this is how I identify, and it feels real to me...and I want to do it.' And I felt happy to support."

As for his longstanding feud with Taylor Swift, Braun tells Variety, "I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back...but her team refused. It all seems very unfortunate."

Variety notes that in November, Taylor claimed Braun "would never even quote my team a price” for her catalog; Braun disputes that.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Back-Sync: Thanks to Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively is living her boy band fantasy

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Fans were thrilled when two Backstreet Boys and two members of *NSYNC -- AJ McLean, Nick Carter, Joey Fatone and Lance Bass -- teamed up as Back-Sync to perform at a charitable event last week for Pride Month.  And they were even more thrilled when Lance posted footage of himself and Joey teaching AJ and Nick how to do *NSYNC's signature "Bye Bye Bye" choreography.   Among those enraptured by the video: Blake Lively.

On her Instagram Story, Blake posted Lance's video, and wrote, "True story: I just watched this until Instagram finally cut me off by pausing the video," she wrote. "Because even they knew it was too much for me to handle in one sitting…"

Then, referencing her husband Ryan Reynolds, Blake added, "Also, a true story. My husband sent this to me. He understands the significance. God bless him."

The four performers themselves are also having fun. Joey told Variety during rehearsals, "It's interesting to have the four of us knuckleheads do something together, which you've never seen before."

Nick added, "I still don't understand why we didn't get an opportunity to do more things together, but we learned that it was managers and stuff happening behind-the-scenes that prevented it. Better late than never, right?"

Wonder if Blake shared the footage with her and Ryan's bestie, Taylor Swift?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lance Bass (@lancebass)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Following 'New York Times' report, fan posts video of Britney Spears onstage saying she has a 102-degree fever

Dave Hogan/BCU18/Getty Images for BCU

Following Tuesday's New York Times report about Britney Spears' years-long desire to end her father's involvement in her conservatorship, a video has emerged that seems to illustrate at least one of her grievances about what she said was his excessive control of her life.

According to the newspaper's report, in 2019, Britney told a court that she'd been forced to perform her Las Vegas residency show when she had a 104-degree fever.  Now, a fan has posted a video of Britney performing a July 19, 2018 concert in Atlantic City, NJ.

“I'm about to pass out. I'm sick. I have, actually, a 102 fever right now," Britney told the crowd.

"Dear @britneyspears ….I feel like we owe you an apology. We bought into the whole hype of BRITNEY the performer, without much consideration for how Britney Jean Spears, the person, was coping through each day," the fan captioned the video in a series of tweets.

"Looking back now, I remember you saying this in front of me, and I just thought 'Wow, she’s such a trooper [sic] and cares so much to put on a show for her fans,'” the fan continues. "Now I can see with clear eyes that this was a dig at the people controlling you, making you go onstage, performing under high-powered lights, all while you had a high-grade fever."

"I feel like we were all blinded by the albums, the tours, the merchandise, the residency… all of it," the fan continued. "After reading all the new information...I’m heartbroken even more knowing that you haven’t been happy."

Referring to the fact that Britney will speak in court Wednesday about her conservatorship, the fan concluded, "We’re all wishing you nothing but the best as you make your statement...We love you."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


On 'Good Morning America,' David Archuleta discusses struggle to come out: "I've had to learn to love myself"

GP/Star Max/GC Images

After telling fans on social media that he’s part of the LGBTQ+ community, American Idol alum David Archuleta is opening up about his struggle to come out.

In an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America, David, 30, said sharing his news makes him feel as though a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

“I think I was a lot more scared before,” he told ABC News' Steve Osunsami. “Because I always felt there was something that I had to keep to myself. There’s so much relief to not feel like you have to hide a part of yourself, like a secret.”

The singer, a devout Mormon, told fans on Instagram that he came out as gay to his family seven years ago, but had similar feelings for both genders.  He tells ABC that his 2012 trip to South America to complete his missionary service was the first time he was honest with himself about his sexuality, but accepting it wasn't easy.

“I was praying, like 'God, you can do all things. You are a God of miracles...' And I thought if I do everything I’m supposed to, maybe he can change me as well," David recalled. "So I would say, ‘Please take these feelings away from me because I don’t want to...feel things I shouldn’t. I don’t want to feel things that would be wrong.'”

“So that’s been the process: I’ve had to learn how to love myself, even when I don’t understand why I’m the way I am but to learn that’s how God has created me,” he added, noting, "There’s so many millions of other people who’ve gone through the same thing as me where they’ve tried to change who they are.”

Since coming out, David said he’s shared his truth with a few leaders in the Mormon Church and hasn’t felt rejected.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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