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SiriusXM launches ‘TikTok Radio,’ a music channel featuring viral hits hosted by TikTok stars

If viral TikTok songs like Dr. Dog’s “Where’d All the Time Go?” or Bo Burnham’s “Bezos I” weren’t already stuck in your head on loop, now they could be. Today SiriusXM launched a TikTok Radio channel, which features TikTok creators as channel hosts. The station is designed to sound like a “radio version of the platform’s ‘For You’ feed,” Sirius XM said.

SiriusXM, parent company to Pandora, announced this music channel in May, teasing the launch with curated Pandora playlists from influencers like Bella Poarch, whose lipsync video of Millie B’s “Soph Aspin Send [M to the B]” is the most liked video on TikTok.

With its TikTok partnership, SiriusXM is looking to capture a younger audience — on the TikTok app itself, DJ Habibeats (@djhabibeats) and DJ CONST (@erinconstantineofficial) will each go live on TikTok each week while DJing on TikTok Radio. Other creator hosts on TikTok Radio — like Billy (@8illy), Cat Haley (@itscathaley), HINDZ (@hindzsight), Lamar Dawson (@dirrtykingofpop) and Taylor Cassidy (@taylorcassidyj) — will deliver “The TikTok Radio Trending Ten,” a weekly countdown of songs trending on TikTok. To promote the station during its first week, artists like Ed Sheeran, Lil Nas X and Normani will appear on air.

Music has such a strong footing in TikTok culture that it regularly influences the Billboard charts — Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” originally released in 1978, appeared in the top 10 Billboard albums again in 2020 after it was featured in a viral TikTok. Even a Fortnite-themed parody of Estelle’s “American Boy” — originally uploaded in 2018 to YouTube — had a beautiful moment on TikTok. 

“We’re so excited to launch TikTok Radio on SiriusXM, which opens up artists and creators like this amazing group of hosts to new audiences,” said Ole Obermann, TikTok’s global head of Music, in a statement. “Now SiriusXM subscribers will have a new road to discover the latest trends in music and get a first listen to tomorrow’s musical superstars. The channel captures song-breaking music culture that creates so much joy and entertainment on TikTok through video in an all-audio format.”

Though SiriusXM’s subscriber base continues to expand — it saw a 34% year-over-year growth from last year to now — it still dwarfs in comparison to streaming giants like Spotify, which has 165 million paid users. SiriusXM reported a total of 34.5 million subscribers as of Q2 this year, the most it’s ever had, but even Apple Music and Amazon Music have reported nearly double the subscribers. Pandora has 6.5 million paid subscribers. Over the last few years, SiriusXM and Pandora have struck deals with companies like SoundCloud, Simplecast and Stitcher to become more competitive in both music and podcast streaming. 

Still, other streaming companies have also shown interest in the market of Gen Z-ers on TikTok who want to listen to full versions of the catchy songs they hear in short videos. Apple Music and Spotify both host curated “viral hits” playlists. But a full-time satellite music channel is taking the trend a step further.

 

The Linda Lindas talk about how they found out ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’ had gone viral

The Linda Lindas talk about how they found out 'Racist, Sexist Boy' had gone viral

“Racist, Sexist Boy” is nothing short of a banger that you’ll gladly have stuck in your head for hours on end. 

If you missed the story of how this song came to be, here’s a little recap. The Linda Lindas are a half Asian and half Latinx teen punk rock band, comprised of Mila (10), Eloise (13), Lucia (14), and Bela (16). The quartet hit the big time when a video of their performance of “Racist, Sexist Boy” at the Los Angeles Public Library went viral. 

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the band chatted about how they came up with the name The Linda Lindas and how they first noticed their song had hit the big time. “There’s a Japanese indie film called Linda Linda Linda and in it there are high school girls who cover the song “Linda Linda” by the Blue Hearts so we’re kinda named after both of those,” explained Eloise. Read more…

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Learn to play an instrument with a lifetime subscription to ChordIQ

Learn to play an instrument with a lifetime subscription to ChordIQ

TL;DR: A lifetime subscription to ChordIQ Pro is on sale for £4.23 as of June 2, saving you 50% on list price.


We don’t know who needs to hear this, but when you have some spare time on your hands, spending it on Twitter for hours at a time isn’t the most productive. It’s far too easy to get sucked into these unproductive traps these days – from mindlessly taking in social media nonsense to bingeing Netflix, to playing video games. But allow us to let you in on a little secret: if you use your time to get creative, your brain, body, and well-being will benefit immensely.

There are lots of ways you can use your time creatively, but one that stands out is learning to play an instrumentStudies show that playing music can have a profound and lasting impact on your brain, especially as you age. Not only that, but it also serves as self-care, a way to express yourself, and get in touch with your most powerful emotions. It’s not easy by any means, but if you’re looking to pick up a guitar, tickle the ivories, or unpack your very first instrument, the ChordIQ app is a perfect place to start. Read more…

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Learn to DJ with this electronic music production bundle

Learn to DJ with this electronic music production bundle

TL;DR: The Complete EDM Production Bundle is on sale for £14.10 as of May 31, saving you 98% on list price.


Aanyone is capable of creating an EDM hit. And with the music industry’s unrelenting obsession with electronic music, now could really be the moment to make a name for yourself. And since you have all the tools you need to rival the pros right at your fingertips, why not give it a shot? The only thing you’re missing is the guidance from this Complete EDM Production Bundle.

Led by music industry professionals J. Anthony Allen and Chester Sky, this bundle features seven courses and over 200 lessons in everything from basic audio concepts (waveforms, frequency spectrum, etc.) and how MIDI works, to popular music production software and the beauty and power of music theory. And you won’t just read about how things work, either. These courses are interactive, so you’ll actually create your own tracks, analyse tracks from artists like Daft Punk and Avicii (RIP), create vocal chopping effects, layer vocals with backing vocals, harmonies and instruments, and more. Read more…

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Rick Astley, Foo Fighters music mashup is ‘the best’ of classic internet

Rick Astley, Foo Fighters music mashup is 'the best' of classic internet

Listen to the sweet sounds of internet nostalgia, dear reader.

Earlier this week, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl visited The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to recreate the classic meme of recutting the band’s 2005 hit “Best of You” to repeat the lyrics “the best” over and over. 

Fallon dubbed the meme G’Rolled, a nod to another internet classic: the Rickroll. (Please don’t tell me I need to explain Rickrolling. I refuse.)

Well, the voice of the Rickroll, Rick Astley, saw Grohl’s Tonight Show G’Roll and felt a proper mashup of the two songs would be the best next iteration. And you know what? It works. Read more…

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SiriusXM partners with TikTok on a new music channel, Pandora Playlists, and more

SiriusXM is leaning into TikTok. The satellite radio company and Pandora parent today announced a partnership with the social video platform to power several new initiatives, including a TikTok channel on SiriusXM, hosted TikTok playlists on Pandora, and re-airings of Pandora LIVE events on TikTok.

The hosted playlists on Pandora are the first of the new initiatives to launch.

Starting today, popular TikTok creators will curate, host and promote their own Pandora playlists to their fans on TikTok, starting with Bella Poarch. The TikTok influencer, who now has 69.6 million followers, is best-known for her viral lip-sync video to “M to the B,” which blew up to become the most-liked video on TikTok. She also makes videos featuring singing, dancing, and gaming content, among other things, and this month released her first single, “Build a B*tch,” which has broken into Spotify’s U.S. and Global Top 50 charts.

As of the time of writing, Poarch’s TikTok announcing her playlists, launched 4 hours ago, has 187.6K likes and 1 million views.

Image Credits: SiriusXM

Other “TikTok Tastemakers,” as SiriusXM has dubbed them, will release their own playlists in the months to come, including Christian Shelton and Nick Tangorra.

In addition, Pandora users will be able to tune into the TikTok Hits Playlist at any time, which features popular and trending songs from TikTok.

Pandora is not the first music streamer to tap into TikTok’s influence for its own ends. Today, TikTok’s trends are driving songs up the Billboard charts and delivering Spotify streams as younger users look for their favorite TikTok songs on their preferred streaming music app. Spotify is now curating TikTok hits across editorial playlists like Viral Hits, big on the internet, Teen Beats, and others. Apple Music also got in on the TikTok action when it introduced 10 new playlists last year aimed at younger, Gen Z users. This included its own Viral Hits playlist, which pulls in top tracks from TikTok and other social media channels.

Among the other SiriusXM initiatives is the soon-to-launch TikTok Radio, a full-time music channel featuring tracks trending on TikTok which will be presented by TikTok creators, influencers and D.J.s. The channel will debut later this summer, and will stream across SiriusXM, including in vehicles as well as in the SiriusXM app for desktop, mobile and connected devices.

TikTok fans will also later be able to watch selected re-airings of Pandora’s original events series, Pandora LIVE — a continuation of Pandora’s live events that went virtual during the pandemic. Pandora LIVE events feature artists from across genres, including country, rock, pop, R&B and more, and have typically been re-aired, in part, the day after on SiriusXM.

Recently, Pandora LIVE celebrated Women’s History Month with a virtual event that included performances by Gwen Stefani and Jazmine Sullivan, which was re-aired on TikTok.

More Pandora LIVE events will soon do the same. SiriusXM says it will announce which events will re-air on TikTok throughout the year.

“We are excited to collaborate with TikTok to create new content that brings the vibrancy of the leading social networking service to life on live radio and our streaming platforms,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer, in a statement. “The effect TikTok has on music, and pop culture in general, is undeniable. Our platforms will provide a unique opportunity for TikTok creators to engage with our listeners with content experiences that have never been done before in audio,” he added.

@bellapoarch✨ Excited to help launch ##TikTokTastemakers on @pandora ✨ Listen exclusively on ##PandoraMusic

♬ Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

SiriusXM’s move to partner more closely with TikTok could help it to attract a younger set of listeners and subscribers, who may follow their favorite fans over to Pandora to tune into their playlist content. However, it’s unable to benefit from the full impact that working with TikTok could bring as the integrations are split across its two services, instead of being focused on just one.

Plus, SiriusXM, like others, still faces the looming threat of Resso, TikTok owner ByteDance’s own music streaming app that could one day make its way to the U.S., as part of its global expansion efforts. It has the potential to more closely tie TikTok’s music discovery features with streaming, impacting demand for rival services.

For the time being, however, TikTok sees the potential in partnering with a U.S. music streamer.

“We are excited to work with SiriusXM on TikTok Radio and to bring TikTok creators to Pandora to make the trends, music, and creative influences that are playing such a defining role in modern culture even more accessible,” said TikTok’s Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann, in a statement. “We’re really excited to see this come to life and thank the SiriusXM team for being such an innovative and visionary collaborator,” he said.

Apple says HomePod and HomePod mini will get lossless audio support in the future

Apple says HomePod and HomePod mini will get lossless audio support in the future

Apple’s recently announced lossless audio feature on Apple Music was followed by a cold shower: Apple’s audio gadgets, including the AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, HomePod and HomePod mini do not support lossless audio.

Now, in a new document on its website, Apple has revealed more details about lossless (a form of audio data compression that produces a perfect reconstruction of the original audio data), and tucked away in the FAQ is an interesting bit of news: HomePod and HomePod mini will eventually get support for the new feature. 

“HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update,” says Apple. There’s no word on when said update might be coming.  Read more…

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Spotify listeners slather themselves in BTS’s ‘Butter,’ breaking single day streaming records

Spotify listeners slather themselves in BTS's 'Butter,' breaking single day streaming records

For BTS fans, there’s no such thing as too much butter.

The international K-Pop phenom that is BTS broke another record Sunday. According to Variety, the group’s new single, “Butter,” racked up the most Spotify streams on the day of a song’s debut ever. 

The magic number was 11.04 million “filtered” streams, which means legitimate listens as far as we can tell, with suspected spam/bot streams filtered out. Note that this isn’t something Spotify explains on its website, so we’ve reached out for clarification. 

Regardless, “filtered” streams appear to be the number that “counts” for Spotify’s purposes. And the 11+ million streams “Butter” amassed qualify the song as a record-breaker. The previous record holder, “I Don’t Care” by Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, is at 10.977 million filtered streams.  Read more…

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Millennials are getting meme’d for stanning Gen Z queen, Olivia Rodrigo

Millennials are getting meme'd for stanning Gen Z queen, Olivia Rodrigo

God, it’s brutal out here — especially if you’re a millennial who loves Olivia Rodrigo.

The 18-year-old singer and actor released her debut album, SOUR, on Friday, and as a 28-year-old millennial I must say, it freakin’ rules.

Throughout the album Rodrigo sings stories about getting her driver’s license, being over life as a teen, and dealing with young love and heartbreak. Her words and experiences may speak directly to her fellow members of Gen Z, but her lyrics shot a whole bunch of millennials through the heart, too.

Millennials listening to Olivia Rodrigo pic.twitter.com/rFvZEph05B

— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) May 21, 2021 Read more…

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Did Trump just use the soundtrack of a kids’ movie at his convention?

Did Trump just use the soundtrack of a kids' movie at his convention?

OK, hear me out.

I have seen the animated film Sing approximately 700 times. (I have five-year-old twins, that’s my excuse.) I have also subjected myself to all four bleak, droning nights of the Republican National Convention. As I was watching the main event — aka one long abuse of presidential power — unfold on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night, I came to a strange realization: The soundtrack to this unethical campaign rally bore a striking similarity to the Sing soundtrack.

Exhibit A: Ivanka Trump walked out to give the speech introducing her father to a tinny-sounding version of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” It caught my attention because I immediately wondered if Sir Elton would sue the Trump campaign for using it.  Read more…

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Watch BTS perform in sweatpants on James Corden, deliver sweet message to fans

Watch BTS perform in sweatpants on James Corden, deliver sweet message to fans

South Korean boy group and unstoppable force BTS joined Papa Mochi James Corden via video on Monday, performing hit song ‘Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)’ from their shared social distance. The coronavirus pandemic may have suspended studio production, but the Late Late Show must go on.

“I think it’s quite a difficult time for everyone in the world right now,” leader RM told Corden from Big Hit Entertainment in South Korea. All Corden’s guests on HomeFest: A Late Late Show Special appeared via video, while he recorded from his home.

“It may seem like we’re isolated but we’re still connected through our shared experiences, courage, and laughter.” Read more…

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Lady Gaga’s ‘Stupid Love’ video is a joyous alien desert rave epic shot on iPhone 11

Lady Gaga's 'Stupid Love' video is a joyous alien desert rave epic shot on iPhone 11

In a galaxy far, far away from the shallow, there is finally a new Lady Gaga single that has nothing to do with Bradley Cooper. 

The clip for ‘Stupid Love’, a regulation rah-rah-mode Gaga banger with arpeggiated synths for days, was reportedly filmed on an iPhone 11, with the Lady herself repeatedly tagging #ShotOniPhone as she teased the simultaenous drop of both track and vision.

Watch Gaga and her “Kindness Punks” battle it out with some help from a lot of brightly coloured latex, chains, and joyous, surprisingly accessible choreography you could totally learn in the space of an evening. But a lot of it is just the kind of loose, instinctive jumping and flailing you’re going to be doing to it on dancefloors for the next year.  Read more…

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New Alexa smart speaker skill plays music for your dog

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“Who let the dogs out? Woof! Woof!”

That’s one of the songs (along with any other remixes of the Baha Men’s 2000 hit) we’d include on the new Alexa smart speaker skill for your dog. Puppy Jams! is an iHeartRadio music skill that plays songs for your dog even if you’re not around.

Monday is International Dog Day. Let your dog rock out in honor of the very official holiday by turning on the Alexa skill.

For any Amazon device connected to the digital assistant Alexa, you can say, “Alexa, open Puppy Jams!” Then you tell the AI how your dog is feeling: stressed, lonely, or happy. Based on the mood you indicated, the device will select an iHeartRadio playlist made for canines.  Read more…

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‘Moulin Rouge!’ on Broadway is one hell of a fun spectacle

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The spectacle of Moulin Rouge! begins not with the opening number, but from the moment you walk into the glamorous, immersive theater decked out with a giant windmill on one side and a larger-than-life elephant on the other. Then, as you actually focus on what is on the stage, you’re greeted with seductive dancers strutting around in their burlesque best, making eyes at patrons as they find their seats and begin to even attempt to take in all the wonder around them. 

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge.

This bombastic, enchanting and altogether magical Broadway musical, based on the Oscar-nominated 2001 film of the same name by Baz Lurhmann, is a love letter to love, most especially the all-consuming, desperate kind of love that songwriters have been trying to put into words over and over again for centuries.  Read more…

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Blackpink’s “Kill This Love” sets new YouTube records, including the biggest Premiere

Blackpink, one of the highest-profile Korean pop groups, is breaking YouTube records with its latest video. A Google spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that “Kill This Love” is the fastest music video to hit 100 million views, having hit that number in less than three days. It is also now YouTube’s most viewed music video debut, racking up 56.7 million in the first 24 hours after it was posted.

Furthermore, “Kill This Love,” the first single and title track of Blackpink’s new EP, is the biggest YouTube Premiere to date, with a peak of 979,000 concurrent views. This surpasses the 829,000 concurrent views racked up during the YouTube Premiere of Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” in December. YouTube launched Premieres as part of a new suite of creator tools in October. The feature allows them to create a landing page to promote a video ahead of its release and includes a chat feature like live videos, allowing YouTube to compete more directly with Twitch.

“Kill This Love” also hit milestones on iTunes, reaching the number one position in the US store, the first Asian girl group to do so.

Blackpink, a quartet of four women formed by YG Entertainment, one of Korea’s biggest music labels, is one of the most popular K-Pop groups. While it has already gained a massive fan following in Asia (and abroad) since its debut in 2016, Blackpink is now poised to follow BTS as the next K-Pop group to break into the mainstream in Western markets, with its first North American tour starting in Los Angeles later this month. Blackpink has always mixed Korean and English in its lyrics, but “Kill This Love” is notable for being more multilingual than the group’s previous tracks, broadening its potential appeal.

The Internet Archive has uploaded 450,000 songs collected before Myspace’s massive data loss

Last month, it became widely known that MySpace has lost much of the user data uploaded to it before 2016, including potentially million of music tracks from between 2003 to 2015. This is a significant loss for people who may not have used the site anymore, but took for granted that it would remain an online scrapbook of the years when Myspace was the go-to social network, including for musicians promoting their work. A new collection of MP3s hosted by the Internet Archive, however, may help some users recover lost music (and memories).

ANNOUNCING THE MYSPACE MUSIC DRAGON HOARD, a 450,000 song collection of mp3s from 2008-2010 on MySpace, gathered before they were all “deleted” by mistake. https://t.co/oIunuHF7wc includes a link to a special custom search and play mechanism that lets you search and play songs. pic.twitter.com/aGkFPDBN7r

— Jason Scott (@textfiles) April 4, 2019

Called the MySpace Music Dragon Hoard, the collection contains 450,000 songs. While this is just a small percentage of the tracks reportedly lost (according to estimates, up to 53 million songs from 14 million artists were deleted), it contains early work from now-famous artists including Donald Glover and Katy Perry, as Twitter user @pinkpushpop discovered.

This is so cool! I’ve already found early clips from Donald Glover, 2 Chainz, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Jeffree Star, Rza, Pitbull and others.

There’s even some that you can’t find anywhere else, that would have been lost to the interwebs. This is amazing!

— Katrina (@pinkpushpop) April 4, 2019

Jason Scott of the Internet Archive said on Twitter that the set was compiled by “an anonymous academic group who were studying music networks and grabbed 1.3 terabytes of mp3s to study from MySpace in roughly 2008-2010 to do so.” After learning about the data loss, they offered the collection to Scott.

While it appears that the tracks were lost during a data migration, MySpace has remained tight-lipped about the situation, leading to speculation that the loss may not have been accidental.

Feel the beep: This album is played entirely on a PC motherboard speaker

If you’re craving a truly different sound with which to slay the crew this weekend, look no further than System Beeps, a new album by shiru8bit — though you may have to drag your old 486 out of storage to play it. Yes, this album runs in MS-DOS and its music is produced entirely through the PC speaker — you know, the one that can only beep.

Now, chiptunes aren’t anything new. But the more popular ones tend to imitate the sounds found in classic computers and consoles like the Amiga and SNES. It’s just limiting enough to make it fun, and of course many of us have a lot of nostalgia for the music from that period. (The Final Fantasy VI opening theme still gives me chills.)

But fewer among us look back fondly on the days before sample-based digital music, before even decent sound cards let games have meaningful polyphony and such. The days when the only thing your computer could do was beep, and when it did, you were scared.

Shiru, a programmer and musician who’s been doing “retro” sound since before it was retro, took it upon himself to make some music for this extremely limited audio platform. Originally he was just planning on making a couple of tunes for a game project, but in this interesting breakdown of how he made the music, he explains that it ended up ballooning as he got into the tech.

“A few songs became a few dozens, collection of random songs evolved into conceptualized album, plans has been changing, deadlines postponing. It ended up to be almost 1.5 years to finish the project,” he writes (I’ve left his English as I found it, because I like it).

Obviously the speaker can do more than just “beep,” though indeed it was originally meant as the most elementary auditory feedback for early PCs. In fact, the tiny loudspeaker is capable of a range of sounds and can be updated 120 times per second, but in true monophonic style can only produce a single tone at a time between 100 and 2,000 Hz, and that in a square wave.

Inspired by games of the era that employed a variety of tricks to create the illusion of multiple instruments and drums that in fact never actually overlap one another, he produced a whole album of tracks; I think “Pixel Rain” is my favorite, but “Head Step” is pretty dope too.

You can of course listen to it online or as MP3s or whatever, but the entire thing fits into a 42 kilobyte MS-DOS program you can download here. You’ll need an actual DOS machine or emulator to run it, naturally.

How was he able to do this with such limited tools? Again I direct you to his lengthy write-up, where he describes, for instance, how to create the impression of different kinds of drums when the hardware is incapable of the white noise usually used to create them (and if it could, it would be unable to layer it over a tone). It’s a fun read and the music is… well, it’s an acquired taste, but it’s original and weird. And it’s Friday.

Hear a brand new song from ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ in latest trailer

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There’s a dolphin in the bath and a brand new song in the latest trailer for Mary Poppins Returns.

As everyone’s favourite magical, singing nanny, Emily Blunt takes the lead in a new original track for the Disney sequel, called “Can You Imagine That?” and teased in a clip released Monday. 

Directed by Rob Marshall, the film features all new original songs by Broadway stalwarts Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a musical score by Shaiman.

The teaser also appears to feature a few aesthetic throwbacks to Poppins classics like “Jolly Holiday” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” but foregrounds the original track. And many, many dolphins. Read more…

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Shawn Mendes covers ‘Treat You Better’ with classroom instruments

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Jimmy Fallon’s classroom instrument covers are the stuff of legend, with the likes of the Backstreet Boys and Ed Sheeran giving those mini-xylophones a good tapping.

Joining the fray on Monday night was Shawn Mendes, whose 2016 hit “Treat You Better” just had to be covered by The Roots and Fallon in another edition of the segment.

Mendes, lucky for him, only needs his incredible voice and a set of silver spoons to deliver his performance. He makes it look so dang easy. Read more…

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Party Rock Anthem has the same BPM as a lot of songs, and it’s a glorious meme now

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Please take a moment to appreciate one of the internet’s greatest gifts: the Party Rock Anthem music video set to other songs. 

LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem captures the spirit of 2011, from the thick rimmed glasses, to the skinny jeans, to the inexplicable trend of wearing vests over T-shirts. Although the song is now rarely played at public events other than sweet sixteens and unfortunate weddings, it’s still a beloved piece of pop culture. It’s so thoroughly enjoyed, it went diamond earlier this year, snagging 10 million units through song sales and streams. 

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Kanye West’s comments about the 13th Amendment are confusing and bad

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Oh no.

Kanye West took to social media on Sunday to tell everyone that he supports the messages of Donald Trump while wearing a MAGA hat. In the same tweet, he wrote that he wants to abolish the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America — the one that abolished slavery.

this represents good and America becoming whole again.  We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs.  We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love pic.twitter.com/a15WqI8zgu

— ye (@kanyewest) September 30, 2018 Read more…

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A very disguised Justin Bieber photobombs people in Central Park

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Justin Bieber is the kind of celebrity who is sure to get swarmed once he’s seen in public.

So in the latest edition of Jimmy Fallon’s photobombing segment, Bieber and the late show host went in disguise to surprise people in New York’s Central Park, ahead of The Tonight Show‘s special outdoor broadcast from the park later that evening.

Despite dancing along to Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” no-one in the segment manages to recognise the pop superstar, until right at the end when they pull their wigs off.

Also, like everyone these days, Bieber is really good at those Fortnite floss dances. As he should be. Read more…

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John Legend is the youngest ever to achieve EGOT status

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John Legend has made history as the youngest person ever to achieve that sweet, sweet coveted EGOT status.

That’s someone who has received the big four, the holy grail of performance accolades: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. 

Legend, 39, completed the acronym at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, as did Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, all for producing best variety special winner Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

He’s also the first black man to land EGOT status, making history in more ways than one.  Read more…

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Madonna’s self-indulgent tribute to Aretha Franklin gets criticised by fans

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The death of Aretha Franklin still continues to inspire tributes from across the world, and the MTV VMAs are no different.

At the ceremony on Monday, Madonna gave a tribute to the Queen of Soul. But fans have complained the speech was more about herself, rather than Franklin.

Madonna launched into a long-winded anecdote about the start of her career before presenting the Video of the Year award — Camila Cabello won, in case you’re wondering.

“Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life. I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 in my pocket,” she said.  Read more…

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Read the beautiful letter that allowed ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to use Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’

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One of the most emotional moments in Jon M. Chu’s much talked-about rom-com Crazy Rich Asians almost didn’t happen. 

Luckily, the director wrote one hell of a beautiful letter to Coldplay.

Soundtracking one of the final scenes of the film, a Mandarin cover of Coldplay’s hit “Yellow,” sung by former The Voice contestant Chinese-American singer Katherine Ho, will have you in tears.

But the song almost didn’t make it into the film. In a Quartz interview, Chu said both Warner Bros. and the band were worried that although the song is not about race, the title of the song would be associated with the racial slur used against Asian people.  Read more…

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Hip-hop edition of ‘Mean Tweets’ features rappers reading out nasty comments

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Mean Tweets is back, and this time it’s featuring the kind of people who you’d think are used to nasty comments: rappers.

On Tuesday, Jimmy Kimmel featured the likes of 50 Cent, A$AP Rocky, Eve, Pusha-T, Big Sean, Remy Ma, Rae Sremmurd, Anderson .Paak, DJ Khaled, and more reading out the bilious comments directed at them on Twitter.

You have to love them for being good sports though, even if their entire discography gets compared to a fart, as Wale gets told. Read more…

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Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ destroyed major Apple Music and Spotify streaming records

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It’s been a big week for Drake. 

First the artist confirmed on multiple tracks off his album Scorpion that he is indeed a father. Now, one day after the new album’s Friday launch, we’ve also learned that Scorpion broke a big streaming record: It earned the most streams on its very first day, on both Spotify and Apple Music. 

Apple Music confirmed the broken record on Instagram, noting that Scorpion was streamed more than 170 million times in its first 24 hours of release. An earlier post also noted that the album had hit #1 in 92 countries. Read more…

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Holy sh*t, Beyoncé and Jay Z just dropped a surprise album

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Sad about missing Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “On the Run II” tour? Well, now you don’t have to be.

Not exactly, anyway. The wife-and-husband power duo surprise released a new album — exclusively for Tidal, of course — on Saturday afternoon. The long-rumored joint album bears the title “Everything Is Love.”

To whet the appetites of all those non-Tidal subscribers out there, Bey shared a video snippet from one of the album’s nine tracks on Instagram. In the video, which is for a track called “APES**T,” she and Jay wander around the Louvre in a variety of different outfits while dancers do their thing. Read more…

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Christina Aguilera covers Aretha Franklin in disguise on the subway

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World-famous musicians busking on the subway is totally a Jimmy Fallon thing now.

Joining the likes of Maroon 5 and Miley Cyrus in a (not so) random act of singing was pop queen Christina Aguilera, who hid under a floppy hat and sunglasses to sing a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Think” at the 50th Street station in New York City.

Of course, what would a star be without the hits: Aguilera also performed an acoustic version of “Fighter” to a very enthusiastic crowd, and lots of cowbell from Fallon. Read more…

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Facebook’s Oculus Venues streams its first VR concert. Was it any good?

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When Australian artist Vance Joy performed at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Wednesday, there wasn’t a smartphone in sight. 

It wasn’t quite physically possible for audience members using Facebook’s Oculus Venues, a live VR concert experience that saw its debut run worldwide at 7:30 p.m. PST.

Announced in October last year, Oculus Venues, now available for Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, is a new feature that allows you to watch live events with your friends in VR. To kick things off, Facebook offered up a free concert by Australian artist Vance Joy broadcast live from the iconic Red Rocks venue on May 30. Read more…

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K-pop group BTS just smashed another world-first

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Aside from being very good at the music thing, Korean pop kings BTS are smashing records.

The group’s album Love Yourself: Tear will debut at number one on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart for the week of Jun. 2, becoming the first K-pop group to do so.

“It’s the first No. 1 for the seven-member group, and the first K-pop album to lead the tally,” according to Billboard’s announcement

The Billboard 200 chart ranks albums based on traditional album sales, downloads and streamsLove Yourself: Tear unseats Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys, which sat on top of the chart for three consecutive weeks and now drops to number two.  Read more…

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Ariana Grande, Jimmy Fallon play ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ on a Nintendo Labo

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Yes, they’re really playing music on Nintendo’s Labo.

Specifically Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, who joined Ariana Grande to play her newest single “No Tears Left To Cry” on The Tonight Show Monday night.

Fallon told IGN he and the band worked with Nintendo to create guitars and other instruments out of cardboard.

“It was totally bizarre and such a gamble,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was going to sound good, but Ariana is always down to try something fun and different. Anyone can do what we did really, it just takes time. Whatever you dream of, you can make it.” Read more…

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Sharks apparently don’t mind jazz music

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Turns out you can train a shark to like jazz.

Researchers at Australia’s Macquarie University have shown that the animal has a more discerning taste in music than you’d anticipate.

The study, published in Animal Cognition, shows that baby Port Jackson sharks can learn to associate music with food. If played jazz, the sharks would swim over to a feeding station to receive their delicious reward.

“Sound is really important for aquatic animals, it travels well under water and fish use it to find food, hiding places and even to communicate,” Catarina Vila-Pouca, the study’s lead author, said in a statement online. Read more…

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Pandora shares up 8% after surprise earnings beat

Pandora’s quarterly earnings report was music to investor’s ears.

The digital radio platform reported a better-than-expected first quarter report after the bell on Thursday, sending shares up 8% in after-hours trading.

Wall Street liked that the company showed a sizable increase in subscriber revenue, posting $104.7 million, a 63% increase from last year. Pandora has 5.63 million paid listeners, up 19% from the same timeframe in 2017.

By contrast, Apple Music says it has 40 million subscribers and Spotify has 75 million, so Pandora is a distant third in terms of paid users.

But the competition is already reflected in Pandora’s stock price. It closed Thursday at $5.75, which is up a buck for the past month. It’s also substantially beneath the $37 per share that the stock was trading at in 2014. Its market cap is currently $1.45 billion.

In addition to subscribers, Pandora makes money from its unpaid users via ads. The company had 72.3 million active listeners, bringing in $319.2 million in revenue. Analysts had expected $304.3 million.

Its adjusted loss per share was 27 cents, well above the negative 38 cents that Wall Street forecast.

“Pandora is exactly where we want to be: at the center of a growing market with huge potential,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora, in a statement.

 

 

 

Man, Shania Twain regrets saying she would have voted for Trump

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Well, that was fast.

Perennial country star of our hearts, Shania Twain, has backtracked on saying she would’ve voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election.

The revelation came from an interview with The Guardian published on Sunday, which focused on the Canadian artist’s musical career and her shattering divorce with her collaborator and husband Robert Lange. 

On Trump, Twain said, “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.”

“Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?” she added.  Read more…

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Fergie performed a jazzy rendition of the national anthem. It did not go well.

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Alright, where do you even start with a performance like this.

Pop star and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie opened the NBA All-Star game with her rendition of the national anthem, and by goodness, it was an interesting rendition to say the least.

While other singers may have opted for a straight-up, no fuss performance; Fergie gave the anthem a jazzy twist, which is incredible in both its braveness and repugnance for the ear. 

There’s no saving jazz this time, folks.

Throughout the performance, Fergie wildly shifts between different keys for some reason.  Read more…

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Watch Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright freestyle a ‘Black Panther’ inspired rap

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The best freestyle rapper in Wakanda is clearly Letitia Wright.

Celebrating the release of the already-smash-hit Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, co-stars  Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright decided to share a few impromptu bars. 

The Black Panther lives… and so does Troublemaker! Introducing MC Underbite (@LetitiaWright), best freestyler in Wakanda. All cred to my girl @RobynHoodmusic for the original inspiration and my bars
Happy #BlackPantherDay! #BlackPanther 🎵🎶 @travbryanmusic pic.twitter.com/pIwO9DNBfP

— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) February 16, 2018 Read more…

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Spotify is testing a new playlist-based music app that’s a lot like Pandora

 Spotify is testing an app that sees it move firmly into Pandora’s territory.
‘Stations’ is a new Android-only app that is being piloted by the company in Australia — it was first noticed by app analytics firm Sensor Tower on Tuesday.
This app offers a ‘lean-back’ option to listen to music based on genres and managed playlists. In the description, Spotify… Read More

Celebrities at the Grammys will wear white roses in support of Time’s Up

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#TimesUp is set to make its mark on the Grammys, too.

Celebrities attending the awards ceremony on Sunday have been asked to wear a white rose in support of the campaign.

The encouragement comes from a letter penned by a group calling itself Voices in Entertainment, consisting of women in the music industry, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Addressed to its “brothers and sisters in music,” the letter explained the group “is inspired by the #timesup campaign” and is encouraging “the artists that we work with and our colleagues attending the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City to wear a white rose to the ceremony on Sunday, January 28th.” Read more…

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Watch Joey Bada$$ spin a Prince cover with ‘When Thugs Cry’

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Rapper Joey Bada$$ put his own spin on a Prince classic on Friday, with a cover dubbed “When Thugs Cry.”

Performed at Australian radio station triple j on Friday, for the popular, weekly “Like a Version” cover songs segment, the Brooklyn artist paid tribute to The Purple One. 

“To this day my mum is the biggest Prince fan, she always played Prince around the house, put me on to Prince at such an early age. Me and her we used to always sing “When Doves Cry” together, so I made my own version. It’s called “When Thugs Cry,” he told triple j.

Joey Bada$$ is currently touring Australia, performing at Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain festival in Melbourne alongside Actress, A.B. Original, Jamila Woods and more on Saturday, Jan. 20. Read more…

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Lorde’s cancellation of Israel show sparks meeting request with its ambassador

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Lorde’s decision to cancel her performance in Israel has been suitably contentious.

Now Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand has requested to meet with the Grammy-winning singer following her decision to pull out of her Tel Aviv show in May.

In an open letter posted on Facebook Wednesday, ambassador Itzhak Gerberg called the decision “regrettable” and criticised the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for pressuring the singer into cancelling her show.

“Music is a wonderful language of tolerance and friendship, which brings people together,” the letter reads. “Your concert in Israel could have spread the message that solutions come from constructive engagement that leads to compromise and cooperation.” Read more…

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Cyborg strums ‘Star Wars’ theme song with bionic hand

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Jason Barnes has used robotic prosthetics before, but this is the first time he has been able to move each finger independently and even play the piano again. 

Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology developed the unique robotic arm using ultrasound sensors that allow amputees to control each prosthetic finger using muscles in their residual limbs. Read more…

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Madonna brings back Photo Booth, covers ‘Toxic’ for Britney Spears’s birthday

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Saturday was singer and internationally renowned artist Britney Spears’s 36th birthday, and to celebrate, Madonna booted up her Photo Booth app (#tbt) and covered “Toxic.”

In an Instagram post, the icon explained that the cover was also her song for World AIDS Day, which was Friday. (She certainly did a better job raising awareness than the president.)

Watch the wonderful, thermal-y cover below.

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on

And yes, Britney liked the post.

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Feds want to take Martin Shkreli’s $2 million Wu-Tang album

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Feds want to seize everything around Martin Shkreli.

Prosecutors asked a Brooklyn court on Friday to force the incarcerated “pharma bro” to forfeit some of his most valuable possessions, including the $2 million single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the unreleased Lil Wayne album Tha Carter V, a Picasso, and an antique World War II Enigma machine.

Shkreli, who gained notoriety when he spiked the price of a life-saving AIDS drug as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, was convicted in August of defrauding hedge fund investors in an incident unrelated to the pricing debacle. He’s currently in jail as he awaits a sentencing in which he could see up to 20 years in prison.     Read more…

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Taylor Swift seems to diss on Kanye West in ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ and Twitter’s loving it

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Squad, Taylor Swift’s reputation has landed, and it was never going to be without a few swipes.

The pop mogul’s highly anticipated sixth studio album has dropped, with one of the tracks generating a significant amount of buzz, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” 

It’s (look, probably) a big swipe at Swift’s big frenemy, Kanye West.

Co-written with producer pal Jack Antonoff, the track appears to make a few digs at the rapper, who Swift has had a complicated friendship with over the last few years, from the 2015 Grammys to the West’s “Famous” lyric, right up until that phone call. Read more…

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Listen to Linkin Park’s new song ‘Looking for an Answer’

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On Friday, Linkin Park played a star-studded show at the Hollywood Bowl, the band’s first since Chester Bennington’s death in July. 

At the concert, they debuted “Looking for an Answer,” a ballad written by band member Mike Shinoda shortly after Bennington’s death. Shinoda performed the song solo, accompanied only by piano. 

It’s sparse, lovely, and poignant — a must-listen for Linkin Park fans and, to be honest, everyone else. Read more…

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Crunch Report | Hey Dillon Francis, iPhone X Is Now Available For Pre-Order

Today we’re hanging out with EDM artist Dillon Francis, Apple opens for iPhone X pre-orders and releases a sleeve for MacBooks, Walmart starts using robots in stores and Russia condemns Twitter for banning two of its media companies from advertising on the platform. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Yeah, so here's Lil Wayne's weird cover of the 'Friends' theme

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Feel free to file this in the “unlikeliest covers ever” folder.

Lil Wayne covered the Friends theme song, poking fun at the San Francisco 49ers’ poor start to the NFL season in a promotion for the league’s second week on Fox.

Well, as fans would know the 49ers did indeed go 0-2 with their loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but the upshot is that we’ve got this utterly bizarre Lil Wayne cover to store in our minds forever.  Read more…

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How the heart-stopping music for blockbuster film trailers gets made

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In terms of box office takings, a trailer can make or break a movie.

On the one hand, it could go viral. It could be like the IT teaser trailer. That one’s had almost 31 million YouTube views at the time of writing, and it even set a record for the most online views in a single day.

If the trailer misses the mark, though — if it’s a bit drab or, even worse, it gets panned — it could significantly damage the hype around a movie’s release.

One man who’s well aware of this is 26-year-old Frederick Lloyd. Under the name Ursine Vulpine, he has composed music that’s featured in a huge number of blockbuster trailers: everything from Mad Max: Fury Road to the recent Professor Marston & The Wonder Women: Read more…

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HAIM's cover of Shania Twain's 'That Don't Impress Me Much' is seriously unreal

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The ’90s song you probably won’t admit you like — but secretly really, really do — got a cover from HAIM, and it’s out of this world.

Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” was covered on Australian radio station triple j, but instead of extending the rambunctiousness of the 1997 hit, the three piece went for a stripped back version that is really, seriously, quite unexpected.

HAIM also covered Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” last month, so look, it’s probably not going to be the last cover of the Canadian country singer we’ll hear from the band.

Can we get “From This Moment On” next? Read more…

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