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Usher to headline Super Bowl halftime show: "Honor of a lifetime"

Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Live Nation Urban

How does the NFL follow up a Rihanna halftime show? With Usher.

The multi-Platinum performer will headline the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show when it airs live on CBS from Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024.

"It's an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list," Usher said in a statement. "I can't wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they've seen from me before. Thank you to the fans and everyone who made this opportunity happen. I'll see you real soon."

Jay-Z's Roc Nation co-produces the halftime show. Jay said in a statement, "Usher is the ultimate artist and showman. Ever since his debut at the age of 15, he's been charting his own unique course."

He continued, "Beyond his flawless singing and exceptional choreography, Usher bares his soul. His remarkable journey has propelled him to one of the grandest stages in the world. I can't wait to see the magic."

In his career, Usher's sold more than 80 million records, appeared in movies like Hustlers, served as a coach on The Voice, and won eight Grammys and countless other awards. He also has a Las Vegas residency show, and so far this year, he's released two singles: "GLU" and "Good Good."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Music notes: Taylor Swift, SUGA and more

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were spotted out to dinner in New York City for the second time this week. According to People, the two pals dined at Barrière Fouquet Hotel with the Haim sisters. Their outing came hours after news broke that Sophie is suing her husband, Joe Jonas, for alleged wrongful retention of their two children. Taylor briefly dated Joe in 2008.

Selena Gomez’s new song is called “Single Soon,” and in a new TikTok video, the singer pokes fun at her single relationship status. She’s seen lip-synching to some audio that says, "Guess who has a boyfriend? Not me b**** y'all stay safe out there."

BTS member SUGA has started his mandatory military service, but unlike the other members of the group, he's been ruled unfit for regular combat duty due to his 2020 shoulder surgery, Korean's Yonhap News Agency reports. Instead, SUGA, 30, will be a "social service agent," the title given to military members who are performing alternative service. SUGA bid goodbye to fans in a message, saying, "I was able to come this far thanks to you, ARMY ... I will do my utmost to fulfill my national duty ... Stay healthy and let’s meet in 2025."

A photo of Harry Styles in concert taken by Anthony Pham has won an award at the Abbey Road Music Photography Awards, handed out September 21 in London. The dynamic picture of Harry jumping in the air won in the category of Music Moment of the Year, which wasn't surprising, since that category was voted on by the public.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Check out OneRepublic's new song and video for 'Assassin's Creed Mirage'

Mosely Music/Interscope Records

OneRepublic is getting into the gaming business.

The group has released a song called "Mirage" inspired by the game Assassin's Creed Mirage. A video for the track features Ryan Tedder and the group performing in an ancient building in Malta, intercut with custom visuals from the game, which is being released on October 5. 

The song samples notes from the game's original soundtrack and also features vocals from Mishaal Tamer, a Saudi Arabian singer who toured Europe with OneRepublic this year.

The game is set mostly in ninth century Baghdad and follows the character of Basim, first introduced in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, who goes from street thief to member of the Assassin Brotherhood, which fights for peace and liberty.

Ryan said in a statement, “Most people don’t know this about me, but my band and I are closet gamers. I’ve been a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed since the beginning."

"Having toured extensively in the Middle East I wanted to capture the spirit of that region and reflect the location of the game sonically as much as possible," he adds. "I can’t wait for our fans and fans of AC to hear what we came up with. This was a definite pinch-myself moment.”

The collab marks the first time the Assassin's Creed gaming franchise has teamed up with a top global artist like OneRepublic.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch Olivia Rodrigo blow a young fan's mind on 'Recess Therapy'


Back in 2021, a young girl named Liv — short for Olivia — went viral for singing Olivia Rodrigo's song "good 4 u" on the web series Recess Therapy. But in the latest episode of the show, Liv comes face to face with her idol in the flesh.

Liv is asked by the host, Julian, if it's OK if someone else joins the interview. That "someone" turns out to be Olivia, and you can see Liv's head explode — metaphorically — as she realizes who sat down next to her.

Liv asks if she can come to Olivia's concert; when Olivia says, "I have a ticket with your name on it," the little girl asks incredulously, "You do?" Guess she'd never heard that expression before.

But the cutest part is when Julian asks Liv what she thinks of Olivia's new album, GUTS.

"It makes me, like, stronger every time I listen to it," Liv says. "Like women and girls can do anything that they dream to. I feel like I achieve more things than I would've done without listening to it." 

Olivia replies, "I'm tearing up ... that is the sweetest, most powerful thing ever. I'm just so happy that my music makes you feel that way. That is just everything I've ever dreamed of and more."

Liv tells Olivia that when she first encountered her music, she thought to herself, "This will be the best artist in the world and I bet when I'm older, I'll meet her."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New Music Friday: Stephen Sanchez, The Chainsmokers and more

Duncan Laurence, known for his hit “Arcade,” is out with his new album, Skyboy. His sophomore effort features 11 tracks, including the previously released title track, “Electric Life” and “I Want It All.”

Daya is ready to soundtrack your night out with her new song, “Downtown.” The pumping electropop track comes with a mesmerizing visualizer.

The Chainsmokers are teaming with Brazilian superstar ALOK and British singer-songwriter Mae Stephens for the new song, “Jungle.” The collaborative effort also has a sci-fi-themed music video featuring all three artists.

Kylie Minogue’s new album, Tension, is out now, featuring her smash hit “Padam Padam.” Kylie calls the album “a blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic high.”

Bakar has dropped his new album, Halo, featuring the brand new single, "All Night." The album explores the sometimes nomadic life of a musician and was mainly recorded in Airbnbs, hotels and homes from London to LA, according to a press release. It also includes a remix of his viral hit "Hell N Back" featuring Summer Walker.

"Until I Found You" singer Stephen Sanchez has released his debut album, Angel Face, a concept record about a love triangle set in the late fifties and early sixties. He also dropped music videos for two of the album's tracks: “Death of the Troubadour” and “High.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miley Cyrus breaks Adele's chart record with "Flowers"


Miley Cyrus' unstoppable hit "Flowers" has just broken a major chart record.

"Flowers" just hit its 25th week at number one on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, meaning Miley now owns the record for the longest-running chart-topper by a woman on that ranking.

The previous record was held by Adele, who was number one for 24 weeks between 2021 and 2022 with "Easy On Me."

If Miley can hang on to the top spot for 11 more weeks, she'll tie the all-time record-holder, Maroon 5, who from 2018 to 2019, spent 36 weeks at number one with "Girls Like You."

That song and two others are the only ones that have been number one on the chart longer than "Flowers." The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" and Uncle Kracker's "Drift Away" were on top for 35 and 28 weeks, respectively.

On September 21, Miley posted a photo of herself looking glamorous outside a house with some greenery and tropical flowers and captioned it, "I CAN BUY MYSELF FLOWERS." Fans jumped into the comments section to beg her to perform at Super Bowl halftime.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lizzo accepts the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award with emotional speech: "I really needed this right now"


Amid a series of lawsuits filed against Lizzo by former employees who allege harassment in the workplace, the singer attended the Black Music Coalition's 2023 gala on Thursday evening, September 21, to accept her Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award.

Her speech, an emotional one, was given surrounded by a group of dancers in support of the star, who seemingly addressed the sexual and racial harassment claims among other accusations. 

"I really needed this right now. God's timing is on time," Lizzo said, wiping tears from her eyes, per The Hollywood Reporter

The "Truth Hurts" singer reportedly skipped the red carpet portion of the event and didn't have a speech prepared to read from because she didn't "know what to say in times like these."

"Humanitarianism in its nature is thankless," she said, noting that the honor was different than other awards she's earned. 

After shining light on her $250,000 donation to Black-led programs and organizations — like the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Black Girls Smile and Sphinx Organization — Lizzo said she wanted to add "one more thing" to her speech. 

"It's easy to do the right thing when everybody's watching you and it's what you do in those moments where nobody's watching that defines who you are," she said. "I'm going to continue to amplify the voices of marginalized people ... And I'm going to continue to put on and represent and create safe spaces for Black, fat women because that’s what the f*** I do."

Earlier Thursday, news circulated of a second lawsuit filed by Lizzo's former tour wardrobe designer, with allegations including racial and sexual harassment, disability discrimination and more. The new complaint follows an August lawsuit filed by three former dancers who also allege harassment. 

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hear Kelly Clarkson's daughter, River Rose, sing on new track, "you don't make me cry"

Brian Bowen Smith/Atlantic

The deluxe version of Kelly Clarkson's latest album, chemistry, is out now, and one of the new songs included is a duet with her daughter, River Rose.

While River is 9 years old now, Kelly recently revealed that she was "5yrs old when she was layin down tracks" for the song. On Instagram on September 22, she said River was "very excited" about the song.

The song is called "you don't make me cry," and it kicks off with a heavily Auto-Tuned River vocalizing and scatting — sort of. Then, Kelly starts singing about her own worth and how a former lover no longer has any emotional power over her.

"You don’t make me cry/And I cry at everything/You don’t make me feel and I feel more than most now/That says something, doesn’t it?" Kelly sings.

She continues, "Feelin' free since I found out you don't have power/so you're searching for some/well, you can't have mine/you don't make me cry."

Snippets of River's Auto-Tuned voice reappear in the background of the chorus. When the song concludes, she chimes in again, singing, "The end."

"You don't make me cry" is one of five new songs included on the deluxe version of the album. The other new tracks are "i won't give up," "did you know," "goodbye" and "roses."

Kelly also said on Friday that she loved doing her brief Las Vegas run of 10 shows and hopes to be able to do more, but she's short on time right now.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Doja Cat drops new album 'Scarlet,' launches Skechers collab

Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Doja Cat's new album Scarlet is here, and to mark the occasion, she's unveiled a new collaboration with Skechers.

The "Doja’Lite" is a riff on the brand's D’Lites, made famous by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. A "refreshed take on this iconic sneaker silhouette," the Doja'Lite comes in either black or white.

"To be designing a shoe that my peers have worn back in the day ... it's really, really cool. I feel like I'm part of history," Doja says in a video posted on the Skechers Instagram.

"I wanted to make something that I knew I would talk about and be proud of," Doja adds in a video introducing the collab. "I wanted to do something that intersected with my album. I love the idea of bringing Scarlet into the Skechers world."

Along with the arrival of Scarlet, Doja has also released a new video for the track "Agora Hills," which she co-directed with Hannah Lux Davis. In the video, she plays multiple roles, including the leader of a girl gang who wanders through what looks like a suburb after an apocalypse.

In the lead-up to the release of Scarlet, life-size replicas of the Scarlet character — which looks like a naked Doja covered in blood — were placed in various locations. Each one had a QR code that fans could scan for a preview of the album. On her Instagram Story, Doja posted multiple photos of fans who stopped to take pics of one of the replicas and added comments on their outfits and dance moves.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

ZAYN wishes daughter Khai a happy third birthday: "My beautiful little girl"

Dennis Leupold

Earlier this year, ZAYN said on the Call Her Daddy podcast that when it comes to Khai, his daughter with ex Gigi Hadid, he's a "super full-on, hands-on" dad. Now, he's paid sweet tribute to her on her third birthday, which was September 19.

ZAYN posted a collage of photos of Khai celebrating her special day with not one but two cakes: One was Frozen-themed and another was Skittles rainbow-themed. There are also pictures of Khai opening gifts and enjoying the cake with her daddy; her face is covered with a snowflake emoji.

"Happy birthday to my everything, you are the most amazing soul I’ve ever known," ZAYN wrote in the caption. "Every day I get with you is a blessing that I cherish beyond words. 3 already!! Where has that time gone?"

"My beautiful little girl, I couldn’t live without you, thank you for all the love you bring to my life," he concluded.

ZAYN has 50% custody of Khai. The "Love Like This" singer has a new album in the works, and he told the podcast, "My daughter's mentioned in there a couple of times.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Swiftposium": Australia to hold first-ever global academic forum on Taylor Swift

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Sure, Taylor Swift has inspired a bunch of college courses, but Australia is taking the study of Taylor to the next level.  The BBC reports that Australia is holding the first-ever international academic symposium -- a "Swiftposium," if you will -- on the pop superstar.

The three-day event will be held in February, when Taylor is scheduled to bring the Eras Tour to Australia.  The symposium will study her influence on the music industry, culture and the economy.

Dr. Jennifer Beckett of the University of Melbourne is organizing the symposium, and she told the BBC that Taylor is "quite a phenomenon." 

"Taylor Swift really does have a very concrete impact globally, across things that affect all of us," she adds. "World leaders are begging for her to bring the Eras Tour to their country because of the economic benefits that it brings."

Academic researchers from the Asia-Pacific region are invited submit proposals for papers to present at Swiftposium. These papers will connect Taylor to such topics as gender, identity, race and intersectionality, sexuality, mental health, marketing strategies, the #metoo movement, pop culture, intellectual property and political discourse.

Fans as well as academics will be able to attend, and oh -- if Taylor herself wants to pop in, she's welcome, too.

"I think all of us would have to spend some time picking our jaws up from the ground, but that invitation is definitely there," Dr. Beckett told the BBC. "TayTay, if you want to come, we'd love to have you."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Music notes: Shakira, Black Eyed Peas and more

Shakira says she never would have predicted splitting with her ex Gerard Piqué. In a new cover story with Billboard, the singer says, “I believed in ‘till death do us part.’ I believed that dream, and I had that dream for myself, for my children." Shakira and Gerard were together for 11 years before ending things in June 2022.

Get ready to celebrate Madonna’s Celebration tour with some new merch. The singer stocked her online shop with new T-shirts, hoodies, hats and more to commemorate both the new tour and past tours. The Celebration tour will start in October with four shows in London followed by a run of European dates that are mapped out through December 6. Her first North American shows will start December 13 with three shows at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Black Eyed Peas have released the futuristic new music video for their song “Guarantee.” The song is off their 2022 album, Elevation.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

On 'Hot Ones,' *NSYNC reveals the truth about rumor they were cast in 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones'

First We Feast

Over the years, the Star Wars franchise has secretly cast celebrities in minor roles without acknowledging them — for example, Daniel Craig played a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens. But what about the rumor that *NSYNC was cast in the 2002 prequel Star Wars: Attack of the Clones? The group addressed it during their September 21 appearance on the YouTube series Hot Ones.

The group told host Sean Evans it's partly true: Only Chris KirkpatrickJoey Fatone and JC Chasez were offered the parts of Jedi in the film.

"Lance [Bass] and me were so butt-hurt," Justin Timberlake says, evidently still salty over the whole thing.

"But they got cut out anyway," Lance offers.

"When you guys cut out, we were, like, [secretly laughing]," Justin recalls.

During the Hot Ones episode, the group chose what they consider their five best songs: “I Thought She Knew,” “Bye Bye Bye,” “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “Drive Myself Crazy." 

As for their new song, "Better Place," Justin said their goal while recording was to "give them something that felt, not necessarily nostalgic, but familiar." 

JC added, "W’re obviously influenced by 20 years of experiences, but we still want to give them us.”

"Better Place" is out September 29.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lizzo hit with another harassment lawsuit

A month after three former dancers filed a lawsuit against Lizzo, the pop star is facing another lawsuit. 

The latest complaint, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday and obtained by ABC News, lists Asha Daniels, Lizzo's former tour wardrobe designer, as the plaintiff. She alleges racial and sexual harassment, disability discrimination, illegal retaliatory termination and assault, among other things.

The filing comes the day Lizzo is set to receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at this year's Black Music Action Coalition gala.

"The timing of this award's announcement stinks of an architected PR stunt by Lizzo's team aimed at trying to repair the damage done to her brand. It won't work," attorney Ron Zambrano said.

He added, "With Lizzo's attack on the other plaintiffs, we've heard from more than two dozen former Lizzo employees sharing similar stories of abuse and harassment who could be potential new plaintiffs. This is not going away."

Daniels, a professional fashion designer, joined Lizzo's team as the wardrobe designer for the dancers who were part of the singer's 2023 tour. She was tapped by Lizzo's wardrobe manager, Amanda Nomura, who was also named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states Daniels "was looking forward to working with Lizzo and her team because of the values Lizzo portrays in public." 

Daniels' suit shares similarities with the complaint filed by Arianna DavisCrystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez, which alleges sexual, religious and racial harassment; disability discrimination; and assault and false imprisonment.

Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for Lizzo, responded to the new lawsuit Thursday, calling it a "bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit" from someone who "never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo."

"We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None," Friedman said.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Let's Get It On" co-writer's family drops appeal of Ed Sheeran copyright case

Ed Sheeran outside a New York City courtroom after initial victory in copyright case, May 2023; ABC News

The family of Marvin Gaye's co-writer on Thursday withdrew its appeal of a verdict that determined Ed Sheeran did not infringe on the copyright for "Let's Get It On" when he created his song "Thinking Out Loud."

In a one-page filing, the parties notified the court they agreed to withdraw the appeal. No reason was given.

In May, a Manhattan federal court jury sided with Sheeran, who insisted the chord progression of his song was common and belonged to no particular artist.

The family of Ed Townsend, Gaye's co-writer, argued unsuccessfully that Sheeran copied the sheet music of "Let's Get it On," which became Gaye's first number-one hit. As evidence, a video was played in court showing Sheeran performing both songs as a medley in concert in 2014. The attorney representing Townsend's family, Benjamin Crump, called it a smoking gun.

"When someone provides you a voluntary confession, believe them," Crump said during trial.

But after the video was shown, Sheeran told the court, "If I had done what you're accusing me of doing I'd be quite an idiot to stand onstage in front of 25,000 people."

In a statement following Thursday's news of the appeal being dropped, Sheeran's attorney Ilene Farkas said, "Ed defended this claim, which was always viewed as baseless, through to a jury verdict finding he and [co-writer] Amy Wadge independently created 'Thinking Out Loud,' and was fully prepared to do so through an appeal as well."

"The plaintiffs recognized that an appeal would end up with the verdict being affirmed but also with them being exposed to legal fees and costs, and wisely withdrew the appeal," she added.

Attorneys for the Townsend family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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