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Lady Gaga's Sound of Music Medley Gets Thumbs-Up from Maria Von Trapp's Granddaughter

(A.M.P.A.S.(r) / Michael Yada)Lady Gaga's performance of songs from the Sound of Music on the Academy Awards got the approval of Julie Andrews, the star of the film, but now Gaga's also gotten the thumbs-up from someone even more impressive: the granddaughter of the real-life subject of The Sound of Music.

The legendary 1965 movie was based on the real-life story of Maria von Trapp.  Now, Elisabeth von Trapp, Maria's granddaughter, has written a piece for the British paper The Independent about the movie's 50th anniversary. In it, she says, "I must say that I thought Lady Gaga's celebration at the Oscars was exquisite -- her voice being perfect for the medley -- and beautifully choreographed."

So there, anyone who wasn't happy with Gaga's performance -- including TV producer Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy.  Rhimes raised eyebrows on Oscar night by declaring Gaga's performance "not okay." 

After being criticized for her comments, she wrote on Twitter, "I probably did miss the point. Everyone else loved it. That's okay. I am not a singer. So I don't know jack. I readily admit that. Everybody else liked it....My opinion DOESN'T MATTER. She ain't thinking 'bout me. Breathe."

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Sia, 5 Seconds of Summer & Sheppard Score Australian Music Award Nominations

Dana Edelson/NBCSia, 5 Seconds of Summer and Sheppard topped the nominations for the 2015 Australasian Performing Rights Association (ARPA) Music Awards, which honor songwriters and music publishers.

Sia and co-writer Jesse Shatkin’s hit song “Chandelier” is up for Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year.  5 Seconds of Summer with be competing with Sia for Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian Work for their song “She Looks So Perfect." The boy band is also up for the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year honor.

Sheppard will take on 5SOS in the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year category, and they also snagged three nominations for their hit "Geronimo," including Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year. The band is currently opening for Meghan Trainor on tour.

Nominees for International Work of the Year include Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be,” “Rude” by Magic!, Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” and “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna.

Since its establishment in 1982, the ARPA’s annual songwriters' ceremony has become one of the Australian music industry's most prestigious events. The awards will take place in Sydney on March 24.

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Mark Ronson Says Bruno Mars Can Have the Bottom Half of His BRIT Award for "Uptown Funk"

Florent DechardWednesday night, "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars was named Best British Single at the BRIT Awards, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys.  Only Mark -- who's British, in case you didn't realize -- was present for the ceremony, but he says he plans to share his trophy with his pal Bruno...sort of.

Backstage, Mark was asked by London's Capital FM if he'd had a chance to tell Bruno the good news.  Mark replied, "I haven’t had a chance [to tell him], it’s terrible...but I think he’s found out and he was he first person, I thanked of course, because at least half of that award is his."

Speaking about the BRIT Awards statuette, which looks like a featureless woman wearing a helmet, he added, "I’m gonna take the top half because it’s got the face, but he can have the base.”

Bruno, of course, did find out about the win, and tweeted, "Aaaaaaayyyyyyy! Congrats @MarkRonson Thank you to everyone for making this happen #BRITAWARDS."

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Selena Gomez Tells Fans: "Every Life Is Worth It"

Image Group LA/ABCSelena Gomez wants her fans to know that their lives matter. The singer Instagrammed a screen shot of a lengthy comment she wrote to a fan in which she explains why suicide is not the answer.

"By me following you is not me saying it's ok to think these thoughts," she wrote. "It's not me saying 'hey you said sad things, so I'm going to follow you to make you feel better'. God puts us in situations that are so unexplainably difficult for a reason. There is someone in the world feeling so much, just like you."

The message, which went out to all of Selena’s 24 million followers, continued, "People everyday feel so many emotions they wish they could turn it off. But that's not why we are here. We are here for relationships, for people just like us who feel worthless. Your purpose is to share, help, encourage. Remember that. Please. Before you think of taking your life, think of all the [lives] you could save. I love you. More importantly there is a God that will love more than I ever could."

The 22-year-old captioned the message, “Every life is worth it.” Selena herself has admitted to struggling with depression. In a recent interview with V Magazine, she said there were a few months where living such a public life took its toll on her. She said she went through a phase where she felt depressed and would rarely leave her house.

I know I meant lives. I don't care about grammar. I'm sorry I had to share. Every life is worth it.

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

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Carly Rae Jepsen Confirms "I Really Like You" Is Her Next Single

ABC/Todd WawrychukWe just got “Call Me Maybe” out of our heads, so that must mean it’s time for a new Carly Rae Jepsen song. Last week, Carly was spotted filming what appeared to be a music video for a new tune called “I Really Like You,” with Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber. Now the Canadian singer has confirmed that song is indeed being released as the first single from her new album.

In a post on her website, the 29-year-old said she's finally gearing up to debut some new music. She said for the past few years she's been "hiding in forests where one meets a prince and dances till midnight. I've been cocooned in my Soho apartment, sipping tea with artists so weird and wonderful that only New York could keep them happy. I have been hiking to the tippy tops of L.A. peaks where I've said this out loud to no one…'I'm ready.'"

Carly Rae will appear on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday to talk about her new music.

Carly's major label U.S. debut album Kiss was released in 2012, so it’s been a while since she’s released new material. She didn’t give any more details on the new single or the new album, but her manager Scooter Braun recently told Billboard the single would be released in March. He said the tune is “on the level” of her first mega-hit “Call Me Maybe.”


I know I really like you when I start to write songs about you. #IReallyLikeYou

A photo posted by Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:51pm PST


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Madonna Found Out Through Instagram that She'd Been Hacked, Says It Was "Pandemonium"

Interscope RecordsImagine being hacked, and then finding out about it on Instagram. That’s exactly what happened to Madonna in December. Dozens of demos she had recorded for her album Rebel Heart were leaked online, and the pop icon tells Time her Instagram followers were the ones who gave her the heads up.

“It was through Instagram that I found out my songs were leaking, because my fans were warning me,” she tells the mag. “Aside from the violation of having something stolen from me, suddenly, people were making comments on songs I had no intention of releasing. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to push myself into overdrive.’”

In the wake of the hack, she hustled to finish several of those songs and rushed out a six-track EP on iTunes to divert attention from the unfinished demos. “I didn’t sleep for weeks,” she says. “I didn’t see my kids. It was pandemonium, confusion, paranoia, hysteria.”

On January 21, an Israeli man was arrested in connection with the hack, but Madonna says she doesn’t expect this problem to go away any time soon. “I think it’s going to become pervasive in our society,” she says. “People make a living off it. It’s not like you’re a bank robber -- there’s some kind of honesty to that crime. With cybercrime, you don’t know who they are. People can hide so easily, and it’s really dangerous.”

The leak was a setback to be sure, but Madonna’s used to overcoming obstacles. The latest snafu happened at the Brit Awards Wednesday, when she took a nasty tumble during her performance of "Living for Love." She later addressed the fall on Instagram, "My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up!”

Hear that, hackers? You can’t stop Madonna. Rebel Heart comes out March 10 and her interview with Time hits newsstands Friday.

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Nico & Vinz to Apply Lessons Learned from Bruno Mars to New U.S. Headlining Tour This Spring

Sara McColgan/Warner Bros. RecordsNico & Vinz have toured with Bruno Mars and are currently touring Europe with Usher, but this spring they’ll be hitting the road for their first full U.S. tour. The Norwegian duo will embark on a 24-date Ones to Watch with Skype tour starting in May.

The first stop will be Anaheim, California on May 4, with other stops including Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Seattle. The tour concludes on June 8 in San Diego, California.

Ones to Watch with Skype is a platform that gives fans direct access to emerging artists with things like exclusive backstage Q&As broadcast via Skype. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 27.

During the tour, the Norwegian duo will be able to apply the lessons they've learned on tour with Usher and Bruno to their own show.  Speaking about their tour last year with Bruno, Nico tells ABC News Radio, "We learned so much about being professional. He delivers at such high level every night and it was so inspiring to get off stage when we were done playing and just standing in the crowd waiting to see his show."

"It’s so motivational to us," he adds. "Like, we watched all the lights, all the moves he’s got, the way he sings, and it just inspires us to reach that level. Keep reaching higher and higher."

But there was admiration on Bruno's side as well.  As Vinz recalls, "The first time we met him, and we came to do the first show in Canada, we sat in the dressing room and we were like, 'What is that noise out there?' and he was doing sound check."  What they were hearing, it turned out, was Bruno soundchecking by singing their big hit, "Am I Wrong." 

"It was like, 'Is that Bruno playing our song right now?'” Vinz recalls. "He was singing our song and it was just like, 'Okay, cool.' We met him afterwards, [he was] super cool. So that was fun."

Here’s the full list of tour dates:

5/4 -- Anaheim, CA, House of Blues
5/8 -- Tulsa, OK, Cain's Ballroom
5/9 -- Austin, TX, Parish
5/10 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues
5/11 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues
5/13 -- Orlando, FL, House of Blues
5/15 -- Greensboro, NC, The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
5/16 -- Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
5/17 -- Baltimore, MD, Sound Stage
5/18 -- Philadelphia, PA, Theatre of Living Arts
5/19 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza
5/21 -- Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club
5/23 -- Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's
5/24 -- Louisville, KY, Mercury Ballroom
5/26 -- Cleveland, OH, House of Blues
5/27 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues
5/28 -- Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theater
5/30 -- Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
5/31 -- Park City, UT, Park City Live
6/2 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune
6/3 -- Portland, OR, Wonder Ballroom
6/6 -- San Francisco, CA, The Independent
6/7 -- Los Angeles, CA, House of Blues
6/8 -- San Diego, CA, House of Blues

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Still Confused About Sia's Grammy Performance? Preteen Dancer Maddie Ziegler Explains It All

Monty Brinton/CBS Were you baffled by Sia's performance of "Chandelier" on the Grammy Awards earlier this month?  Well, luckily, it can be easily explained by a 12-year old: Maddie Ziegler, the Dance Moms star who appears in Sia's videos, and who was featured in the performance alongside former SNL star Kristen Wiig.

The Grammy performance featured Sia standing in a corner of what looked like a ransacked apartment, singing with her face to the wall, while Wiig and Maddie, both clad in nude leotards and blonde bob wigs, performed a modern dance number.  But it turns out there was a very specific storyline to the number, as Maddie reveals to ABC News Radio. 

"Kristen was, like, a hoarder and I was pretty much just…you know in like Cinderella how like the fairy godmother comes to life and helps her? That’s pretty much what it was," she explains.  "That’s why the room was so messy and cluttered. She pretty much was on the verge of just letting go, because she didn’t want to live the life that she did anymore..it was really hard to have all that mess and everything, and live in it. And I tried to help her, but she never let me."

Maddie, who also performed on stage with Sia on Saturday Night Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, says the Grammy performance was her favorite.  "I got to meet Sam Smith and he’s one of my favorite artists ever in the world. And that was like the coolest experience. It was really, really fun," she tells ABC News Radio.  "That's amazing, performing at the Grammys at the age of 12, and just getting to do it with Kristen Wiig and Sia, made it even more special."

In addition to her work with Sia and her role on Dance Moms, Maddie also has her own fashion line, along with her sister, and last week, she even worked as ELLE.com’s New York Fashion Week correspondent.  While she loves fashion, Maddie says dancing, acting and singing -- which she's working hard at getting better at -- are her main priorities.  But despite her busy schedule, the preteen says she'll continue to work with Sia. 

"I think we’re sticking together for now and Sia said that she doesn’t really want anybody else...we’re all just like a big family," she tells ABC News Radio. "We became so close and it’s not even been a year, I don’t think. So it’s just so cool."

Also cool is the fact that thanks to her appearances in Sia's videos and on Dance Moms, Maddie is now a role model to millions of kids all over the world.

"Fans will come up to me and say, 'Thank you so much, I started dancing because of you. Because you inspired me,'” she tells ABC News Radio. "And I was like, 'Well that is really, really cool.' So I am inspiring people, and I do the same with everyone else. I look up to people, but I never thought anybody would look up to me."

If Maddie does decide to branch out into singing enough to record her own album, has Sia, who's penned songs for Beyonce, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson, promised to write her some hits?

"I don’t know," she laughs. "We haven’t talked about that!"  

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Lady Gaga Celebrates Her Engagement with the Cast of "Chicago Fire"

A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Image Group LALady Gaga traveled to the Windy City Wednesday to meet up with her fiancée, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. star Taylor Kinney.

While visiting Kinney, 33, on the set of the shows, the 28-year-old singer also hung out with several of his co-stars, including Sophia Bush.

Bush posted a photo of her and Gaga, along with the caption, "#wcw @LadyGaga, naturally. She SLAYED the #Oscars and now she's snuggled up with the #ChicagoFam celebrating love. "The Oscars were amazing, but this!? This is everything."

"Oh #TaylorKinney you're a lucky man!! #love #congrats," she added.

Gaga flew home to New York City later that day, according to E! Online, and was all smiles as she flashed her engagement ring.

Gaga and Kinney met on the set of the singer's 2011 music video, "Yoü and I."  They announced their engagement a little over a week ago.

"We're just so excited to be engaged," Gaga told E! Online earlier this week at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

Kinney plays Lieutenant Kelly Severide on NBC's Chicago Fire.  His character also has a recurring role on the network's Chicago P.D.

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Kelly Clarkson is Pro Weed & Guns, Anti Brussels Sprouts

Jill Greenberg/RCA RecordsIn a new article in Us Weekly magazine, Kelly Clarkson reveals "25 Things You Don't Know About Me," including the fact that she's pro marijuana, but anti Brussels sprouts.

"I cannot understand the fact that controlled narcotic substances and alcohol are legal and weed isn’t," she tells the magazine.  "How many people do you know who have died from weed? My point exactly."  Kelly also reveals herself to be pro gun, saying she has a "concealed handgun license" -- though refrains from saying whether or not she's actually packing. 

Other things that she reveals she enjoys: making tea and coffee, vacationing in the mountains, cleaning out her ears with Q-tips, the movie Talledega Nights, the book Jane Eyre and taking two-hour baths with bubbles and essential oils.

The singer, whose new album Piece by Piece arrives next week, also declares that she'd like to star on Broadway, and "secretly try out for The Voice to see if I can get all four chairs to turn around."  She'd also like to be the "singing and talking voice for an animated film."

So what doesn't Kelly like?  "I hate Brussels sprouts and can’t stand that every time I say that, somebody always says, 'Oh, but you’ve never tried mine!'” she says. "I love and eat every kind of vegetable, but not that one." 

And remember that terrible movie she made with Justin Guarini after she won American Idol and he came in secondl?  She knew it'd be terrible even before she made it. 

"I cried for a solid hour on the phone with the creator of American Idol and pleaded to be let out of the contract that said I had to film From Justin to Kelly," she tells Us Weekly.

You can read Kelly's entire list of fun facts at USmagazine.com.

People magazine's upcoming cover story on Kelly offers another fun fact: how she came up with her daughter River Rose's name. She explains to the magazine, "We were going back and forth on what to name her," adding, "I like androgynous names."

The name River was inspired by the Nashville-area property she shares with her husband, Brandon Blackstock, where there's a river. She recalls, “We were outside on our balcony, and we both looked at each other and were like, ‘What about River? That’s kind of cool.’”

As for Rose, it's Kelly's mother's maiden name.  

The issue of People featuring Kelly hits newsstands Friday.

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Christina Aguilera Says "Nashville" Appearance Will Help Her Compete Against Fellow "The Voice" Coach Blake Shelton

Brian Bowen Smith/NBCChristina Aguilera stopped by Late Night Wednesday night to plug her return to The Voice as a coach.  She also told host Seth Meyers that she'll have some extra ammunition this season.

The 34-year-old singer, who recently signed on to make an appearance on the ABC series Nashville, thinks the guest spot will come in handy as she competes with fellow Voice coach Blake Shelton to land a country singer for her team.

"I'll be able to have something under my belt to get certain steals for these country artists," she says, explaining, "I'll be like 'Well, I'm actually on the show Nashville, recording in Nashville.'"

Aguilera told Meyers that, like many fans of the show, the blind auditions are one of her favorite parts. "Everyone loves the blinds, 'cause they're so suspenseful and it's nerve-racking."

Christina compares the coaches' chairs to a ride at an amusement park. She told Meyers that on occasion after she has turned her chair around, "sometimes you want to turn it back around."  The singer insisted she was "just kidding."

Aguilera tells The Hollywood Reporter her role on Nashville will be that of a pop singer who is trying to go country. Filming for her episode is set to begin next week.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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"American Idol" Recap: The Top 12 Guys Perform in the Motor City

FOXWednesday's edition of American Idol featured the top 12 guys taking the stage in the Motor City at The Fillmore Detroit Theater, where they sang for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as America’s votes. The top 12 girls will get their chance to perform on Thursday. The top 16 contestants, based on America’s votes, will be revealed next week.

First up, was Adam Ezegelian, who kicked things off with Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.” Jennifer declared, “It’s like you’re every man saying ‘I wanna rock’ and living everybody’s fantasy up there.” Harry said Adam demonstrated what rock and roll was all about by having a good time and not taking himself too seriously. He said Ezegelian’s voice made the performance work.

On the other end of the spectrum was Michael Simeon, who performed Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live without You.” Jennifer loved the “feel” of the performance. Harry was also pleased with the performance, but thought it was a little pitchy at times. Keith said Simeon “stayed right in the moment and controlled it.”

Savion Wright, a 22-year-old student, followed with a soulful version of Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.” Connick thought the performance started out a little “unfocused,” but got better as it went along. Lopez called Wright’s style “unique,” but reminded him that with America voting from now on, he needs to focus on the camera a little more. Urban also liked the performance, but not the song choice.

Former landscaper Mark Andrew sang “The Weight,” by The Band. Keith thought it was a perfect song choice for Andrew’s voice and would’ve even preferred to hear him sing it without the house band backing him up. Harry agreed, as did Jennifer, who added that Mark’s vibe was “so right now,” he had a real chance at winning the competition.

Trevor Douglas, the 17-year-old science nerd, took to the stage next with Gavin Degraw’s “Best I Ever Had.” Keith thought Trevor’s visual performance and energy were “palpable.” Jennifer, however, thought the number was just “okay.” Harry said it wasn’t Trevor's best vocal performance, but still good overall.

Street performer Clark Beckham belted out Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.” J-Lo thought it was a flawless performance and summed it up by declaring, “Goosies all day.” Harry said Beckham is a “talented performer” and he’s looking forward to seeing more of him because he has the ability to withstand the criticism as well as the praise that would be coming his way. Keith simply called it a “killer” performance.

Singer and vocal coach Rayvon Owen tackled Nick Jonas’ “Jealous.” Harry called Owen “elegant, handsome, likeable [and] talented,” adding there was something about Rayvon that harkened back to the classic Motown singers. Jennifer liked the song, but felt the performance could’ve used a little more “attitude.” Keith was pleased that the song showed off Owen’s falsetto.

Daniel Seavey, the youngest singer in the competition, sang “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz. Urban said the song choice demonstrated Seavey’s singing range, which had been a question mark until now. Lopez called Seavey “beyond adorable,” but warned the teen that he needed to focus on being consistent throughout the song. Connick was also pleased with Seavey's performance.

Riley Bria performed Eric Church’s “Homeboy.” Lopez called Bria the perfect combination of “sweet, with a little bit of edge.” Connick said Bria reminded him so much of Urban, he dubbed him “Keith Suburban.”

Quentin Alexander delivered a haunting version of Sceamin’ J. Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Harry said Quentin had a “different presentation” and he hoped America would keep him in the competition. Jennifer thought it had all the qualities of a great performance: drama, dynamics and vocals. She called it “perfect.”  Keith declared Quentin hadn’t even recorded an album yet, but gave a “Grammy performance.”

Next up, was Nick Fratiani with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Keith called the song choice “perfect” and gave Nick extra points for playing the guitar and singing. Jennifer noted that she had seen a lot of great performances Wednesday, but Fratiani’s was “the best.” Connick agreed it was a “strong performance.”

Brooklyn, New York's Qaasim Middleton closed out the show on a high note with Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” J-Lo said the Idol hopeful made her “want to get up there and dance and sing” with him. Harry thought Middleton left it on stage and gave it everything he had. Urban agreed, adding that Middleton “killed it.”

American Idol continues Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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Sam Smith, Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran Win Big at Brit Awards; Madonna Takes a Tumble During Her Performance

David M. Benett/Getty ImagesTaylor Swift and her pals Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith were all big winners Wednesday at the 2015 Brit Awards in London...while Madonna narrowly escaped injury during her performance.

Ed took home the night’s top prize -- MasterCard British Album of the Year -- for his album X [Multiply] and beat out recent Grammy winner Sam for the British Male Solo Artist award. But Sam won the Global Success Award and the British Breakthrough Act award. Taylor nabbed the International Female Solo Artist prize.

The unstoppable trio also delivered separate performances during the night. After walking the red carpet in a stunning black gown with a red dragon emblazoned on the back, Taylor changed into a black tuxedo jacket and took the stage to belt out her hit “Blank Space.” Sam soulfully performed “Lay Me Down,” and Ed serenaded the audience with his song “Bloodstream.”

Best British Single went to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. Pharrell Williams picked up the award for International Male Solo Artist award, and One Direction snagged British Artist Video of the Year for the “You & I” video. The boy band wasn’t there to claim their prize, but they recorded a thank you message for everyone who voted for them.

A highly-anticipated performance by Madonna -- her first appearance on the Brits in 20 years -- closed out the show. The performance of “Living for Love” hit a snag when a dancer tried to remove the singer’s black cape; the action sent the singer tumbling backwards down some stairs. Despite the nasty fall, Madonna barely missed a beat and finished the song like pro.  Later, on Instagram, she posted, "My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine!"

Earlier in the day, before her Brit Awards appearance, Taylor surprised a fan who camped out for 20 hours just to catch a glimpse of the star as she stopped by BBC Radio 1. "I just sat near the entrance. More people started arriving from 5 p.m. and throughout the night. It was freezing cold but the atmosphere was so exciting," fan Sinead Murray told Buzzfeed. "Taylor followed me on Tumblr a few months ago and so I had been uploading pictures to show her there were lots of people there and that we were excited to see her."

Taylor apparently noticed the Tumblr posts and tracked down Sinead. They chatted and took selfies together. "I am completely blown away that my idol wanted to meet me and I can't thank her enough," Sinead said. "She's even more of an angel in person – if that's at all possible."

Here is the complete list of Brit Awards winners:

British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran

British Female Solo Artist
Paloma Faith

British Group
Royal Blood

British Breakthrough Act
Sam Smith

Critics' Choice
James Bay

British Single
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars -- "Uptown Funk"

MasterCard British Album of the Year
Ed Sheeran -- x

British Producer of the Year
Paul Epworth

British Artist Video of the Year
One Direction -- "You & I"

International Male Solo Artist
Pharrell Williams

International Female Solo Artist
Taylor Swift

International Group
Foo Fighters

Global Success
Sam Smith

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Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson Still #1 with "Uptown Funk"

Image Courtesy RCA RecordsBruno Mars and Mark Ronson's hit is still #1 after eight weeks.  Don't believe me? Just watch.

"Uptown Funk" continues its reign atop the Billboard Hot 100, extending its lead as Bruno's longest-running #1 hit; it's also the first #1 hit of Ronson's career as an artist.

Elsewhere on the Hot 100, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack has now produced not one but two top 10 hits: "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding, and "Earned It," by Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd Taylor Swift also has two hits in the top 10 at once: "Blank Space" and "Style."

"FourFiveSeconds," the collaboration between Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West, slides down to #6.  Other songs in the top 10: Ed Sheeran's "'Thinking Out Loud," Hozier's "Take Me to Church," Maroon 5's "Sugar" and Meghan Trainor's "Lips Are Movin'."

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Robin Thicke Testifies in "Blurred Lines" Copyright Infringement Trial

Credit: Harper SmithRobin Thicke didn’t just testify Wednesday in court in Los Angeles where the family of the late Marvin Gaye is suing, claiming Robin's 2013 smash "Blurred Lines" borrowed improperly from Marvin's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up," he also played a keyboard and sang a medley of tunes.

During questioning from his own attorney, Thicke used a keyboard to demonstrate how he thought "Blurred Lines" and "Got to Give It Up" were not similar, in his opinion. He played snippets of both songs and said the bass line is not the same. "There's only one chord that's similar in the whole song,” Thicke testified.
Thicke then performed snippets of several songs, including Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and Michael Jackson’s “Man In the Mirror” to demonstrate that many hit songs share the same chord progression.

The singer also testified he “was not present when the song was created.” Thicke had previously stated in a deposition that not a single line of “Blurred Lines” was his idea, but he had filed court documents saying he co-created the song with Pharrell Williams.

Thicke stated that the reason he falsely claimed in media interviews that he was the brains behind the song was that after writing plenty of songs himself, “the biggest hit of my career was written by someone else and I was jealous and wanted credit.”

The singer also testified that statements he made in a deposition that he was “high and drunk” for every interview he did last year were true. “I had a drug and alcohol problem for the year and I didn’t do a sober interview. So I don’t recall many things that I said,” Thicke told the court.

Earlier in the day, Janis Gaye, Marvin's second wife, took the stand to say that at first, she thought "Blurred Lines" was great and had brought new life to "Got to Give It Up," but later realized the song's creators had not licensed the rights to her husband's song.

Whether or not "Blurred Lines" was merely influenced by the feel of the Marvin Gaye hit, or actually infringes on the copyright of the earlier song by using its key musical elements -- especially its melody -- is at the heart of the arguments in the case, which is expected to last around two weeks.  One expert believes that the Gaye family doesn't really have a case.

"Nothing original has been copied by Robin Thicke,"  Professor Michael Harrington, Music Business Program chair at SAE Institute Nashville, tells ABC News Radio. "The only things that are similar, I think, are the style and the speed and the instrumentation. But that's really not enough."

But it remains to be seen whether or not the jury of five women and three men hearing the case will agree with Harrington's analysis.

At stake is an enormous portion of the money generated by Robin's six-times platinum single.  "It could be anywhere from a quarter to 25 percent of the money earned, to 100 percent, at the most crazy," says Harrington. "It could be very substantial."


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Ariana Grande Posts Touching Message from Her Late Grandfather

Republic RecordsAriana Grande’s beloved grandfather passed away last year, but his words of wisdom live on. The singer posted a touching message from her grandpa on Instagram Wednesday.

In the recording, her grandfather says, “Don’t let them challenge you, don’t let them intimidate you… And you do your thing. That’s the only way to do it.” Ariana tells him she loves him, and he responds, “I love you too.”

The message moved some fans to tears, and many were posting words of support and comfort on Ariana's Instagram page. 

Ariana, who once described her grandfather as her “favorite person to ever exist,” was likely reminding herself of his encouraging words in preparation for kicking off her Honeymoon Tour Wednesday night in Kansas City. In a Twitter post, she told her fans she's been working around the clock to get her first show ready, but admitted there might be some snafus along the way.

"We all got done working at 4am last night and have been back at the venue all morning," she wrote. "We are as ready as we can possibly be! That being said tonight is indeed the first show so whatever happens, at least you were the first to see it lol! If we face any technical difficulties or if something goes wrong, please bear with us and laugh along!!!"


A video posted by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on Feb 25, 2015 at 1:21am PST


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Imagine Dragons Score #1 Debut with "Smoke + Mirrors"

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope RecordsDespite being a top seller, Imagine Dragons' debut album, Night Visions, never got higher than #2 on the Billboard chart.  However, their new album, Smoke Mirrors, has debuted at #1.

The disc, featuring lead single "I Bet My Life," sold 192,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music.  Night Visions, which produced three hit singles, is actually still on the Billboard 200 album chart, despite having been released 129 weeks ago.

Imagine Dragons' album is the only top-10 debut this week. The rest of the top 10 is full of holdovers from the past few weeks, including albums by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Meghan Trainor, as well as the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

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Kelly Clarkson Says Being a Mom "Changed My World in the Most Awesome Way"

Courtesy of PeopleKelly Clarkson’s new album drops next week, but her music career is no longer her number-one priority. That honor belongs to her 8-month-old daughter, River Rose. Mommy and baby appear together on the latest cover of People, and Kelly tells the mag how motherhood has completely changed her life.

“My whole life took a big 180,” Kelly tells People. “I never thought I was going to be a mom, so it’s very much changed my world in the most awesome way.”

Not only is she a mom to River, but the 32-year-old is also a stepmom to her husband Brandon Blackstock’s two children from a previous marriage -- Savannah, 13, and Seth, 8. “Seth and Savannah made me want to have a baby,” Kelly says. “I didn’t realize how much I would love [being a mom].”

It’s a role that's made Kelly realize a entirely new kind of success. “I love what I do, but I feel like I relied on my career a lot for my self-worth. And now I’m more than that,” she says. “I’m a mother and a wife and have this whole other thing going on.”

Kelly calls River “the happiest baby on the planet” and credits her birth for bringing an unexpected peacefulness to her life. She says her daughter has helped heal some of the old wounds caused by her own parents’ divorce. “My best friend always says, ‘You just want to create the family you never had.’ I might be doing that,” she says.

Kelly's new album, Piece by Piece, drops March 3 and she’ll kick off a world tour later this year. Looking ahead, Kelly also says she has “a country record on the back burner” and wants to make her theater debut. She’d also like to give River a little brother or sister someday. Kelly says, “I’ve accomplished a lot, but I guess the biggest success I want is that whenever I die people will say, ‘She was so successful as a mother, and as a wife.’ That’s kind of my big goal.”

The new issue of People hits stands Friday.

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Madonna Sounds Off on Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kanye West & Ageism in New "Rolling Stone"

Mert Alas & Marcus PiggotMadonna covers the new issue ofRolling Stone magazine, and inside, The Queen of Pop takes on such topics as her alleged rivalry with Lady Gaga, her feelings about Taylor Swift and Kanye West, her ex-husband's disapproval of some of her more provocative stunts, and her disgust with those comments about how she should "act her age."

Speaking about Gaga, Madonna says she doesn't have a problem with the singer and doesn't like the fact that "people like to pit women against each other."

She explains, "The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs. ...It was just that one issue."  Madonna says their alleged "feud" is "really boring," adding, "One day everyone's going to shut up about it. You'll see! I have a plan."

As for another young female superstar, Madonna says she feels Taylor Swift is "similar to me" because "she has an opinion, and she’s going against the norm."  Madonna, who was photographed backstage at the Grammys with Taylor, adds, "People just want to give her a hard time all the time because they think she’s a goody-two-shoes, so of course I want to embrace her.”

Taylor's one-time rival, Kanye West, is a "brilliant madman" and a "beautiful mess," according to Madonna. She says of the rapper, "He can’t help himself. Like, he doesn’t have the same filters other people have. He has to blurt things out – he’s always saying inappropriate stuff. But he also has brilliant ideas in the studio, if you can get him to pay attention long enough." 

Madonna, who divorced filmmaker Guy Ritchie in 2008, says she was "less provocative" when she was married to him.  "I don’t think he understood my provocation. He was not a fan of me kissing Britney Spears onstage, for instance," she tells Rolling Stone. "Was that provocative? I think it was. I mean, now it wouldn’t be. [But in marriage,] I think all of us make the mistake of thinking we’re going to change people when we get together. But we’re not."

As for the constant criticism she's acting or dressing inappropriately for a 56-year-old woman, Madonna tells Rolling Stone, "It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody...Because of their age.  Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society."

You can read the full interview with Madonna in Rolling Stone when the new issue hits stands on Friday.

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Lady Gaga to Star in "American Horror Story" Season Five

Inez VinoodhAfter you bring the house down at the Academy Awards, what do you do for an encore?  Land a starring role in a buzzed-about TV show, that's what. Variety reports that Lady Gaga will star in the upcoming fifth season of FX's American Horror Story.

While Gaga has done some acting in the past, this will serve as the singer's first big TV role.  Season five will premiere in October, and creator Ryan Murphy has revealed that there have already been clues about the upcoming season's theme, scattered throughout the fourth season, Freak Show.

Gaga herself confirmed the news by tweeting, "Make your reservation now. #GagaAHSHotel."  She also posted a video in which she says, "American Horror Story Season Five. Hotel," revealing the title of the new season.

American Horror Story has landed major stars to its previous seasons, including Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis and, of course, Jessica Lange.  Gaga won't even be the first chart-topping singer to appear on the show: Stevie Nicks guest-starred in the third season, American Horror Story: Coven.

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Local Events


42nd “So Rare” Antique Show and Sale

The show features dealers from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.  Items for sale include antique furniture, oriental rugs, china, crystal, Victorian and depression glassware, pottery, estate and vintage jewelry, silver, textiles, linens, tapestries, artwork, lamps, tools and war memorabilia. 


A glass grinding vendor will also be on hand to repair chipped crystal and glassware.


42nd “So Rare” Antique Show and Sale

February 20, 21, 22, 2015

Friday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm / Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Pineville Country Inn & Suites Convention Center






1115 Texas Avenue
Alexandria, LA


9AM - 4PM 




Ticketmaster - Local Shows

Gladys Knight

March 21st

Baton Rouge

L'Auberg Casino


Loretta Lynn

March 21st

Vinton, LA

Delta Downs


The Band Perry

March 21st

Marksville, LA

Paragon Casino


Stevie Wonder

March 24th

New Orleans

Smoothie King Ctr


D L Hughley

March 28th

Marksville, LA

Paragon Casino & Resort


April 19th

New Orleans

Saenger Theater







Alexandria. LA
Cloudy 39°F
  • 76% humidity
  • Winds at 13 mph
Full Forecast

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