ABC Music News

Andrew Chin/Getty ImagesAt Home, the new EP from Pentatonix, was, as the name suggests, recorded by the A cappella group while quarantining separately.  But the group's Scott Hoying says it's just an appetizer for what they've got coming up next: Their first album of all-original songs since 2015.

"We've written so many songs and we've worked so hard on it and we're like on our final mixes. And I think we're really pushing the boundaries with what Pentatonix is capable of," Scott tells ABC Audio. "And the songs are just so moving and like, amazing. We're so proud of them."

"This is like the interim EP to keep fans happy and to give people content," he adds. "But the big original album is coming."

The new EP features covers of hits by The Weeknd, The Cranberries and Dua Lipa, plus a medley of over a dozen songs that mention "home" or "house."  All five members recorded their parts at home, acting as their own engineers.

"I watched so many YouTube tutorials!" Scott laughs. "It was a good excuse for us to learn how to do these things and be self-sufficient."

The "Home" medley, featuring heavy metal, country, rock and pop hits, was originally put together for a TV show appearance.

"We wanted to do something quarantine-themed," explains Scott. "There's so many songs about 'home'....and so I was like, 'Why don't we take a bunch...home and put them together for the show?' And then the show didn't happen, but we were like, 'This has turned out so great, let's put it on the EP!'"

Two videos are out now, but more clips for all the EP's songs -- also shot at home -- will drop over the next few weeks, and Scott promises fans plenty of "Pentatonix grid video amazingness."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAIf anyone can see the positive side to this quarantine, it’s Dua Lipa.

Sure, she had to cancel her tour, but she was still able to lift people’s spirits while in lockdown with the April release of the highly danceable sophomore album, Future Nostalgia. She also got to spend some unplanned quality time with her boyfriend of a year, Anwar Hadid.

In a new interview with Elle UK, Dua says, “We’ve made the most of the situation. I’d probably have been planning to go on tour, and thinking about when we’d be able to see each other. Having all that extra time was really nice. We’re trying to see the bright side.”

The singer also recognizes the positive effects on a broader, environmental scale.

“It felt like, while we were taking a break, we were also taking a break from what we’re doing to our Earth,” she says.

She adds, “It’s difficult to think of upsides when there has been so much suffering. But we have to try to stay positive, and see the connection that we have with other people; calling our friends and our family and spending a little bit of time outside in the sunshine. Those are the things to be grateful for in the midst of everything that’s happening.”

But while she believes some good will come out of all this, Dua says she’s not sure she’ll want to relive this time in her music.

“Of course, this is a major moment in history that we will never forget, but I don’t know whether that’s going to influence where my music is going to go next,” she says. “I think I’m probably just going to carry on and try to take my mind off things.”

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP via Getty ImagesKanye West decided to ring in the 4th of July with a major announcement: He’s running for president.

"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," the rapper wrote on Twitter Saturday evening. "I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION"

It’s not clear if Kanye is serious about running or if he’s simply trying to drum up publicity for his upcoming album, God's Country, and its first single, "Wash Us in the Blood," which was released earlier this week.

If he is serious about running in this year’s election, he’ll have to do so as an independent. Even that would take him acquiring the necessary signatures to get on November's ballot.

West previously aligned himself as a supporter of President Donald Trump, although he admitted he didn’t vote in the 2016 election. Now it seems he’s looking to take on his pal Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

His wife Kim Kardashian West tweeted an American flag in response to his declaration and Elon Musk tweeted his endorsement of Kanye. “You have my full support,” Musk wrote.

Back in 2015, West made a similar bid for the White House at the MTV VMAs. "I have decided in 2020 to run for president," he said in his Vanguard Award acceptance speech.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION

— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020

 

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Steve Granitz/WireImageIt's no secret that many stars can pick up extra cash by featuring certain products on their Instagram feeds, but who's raking in the most money per post? 

The BBC reports that the British company Hopper HQ, which runs social media accounts for companies and individuals, has ranked Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Taylor Swift in its top 10 list of those stars who can charge the most for a mention on the 'gram.

While the exact costs aren't known, Hopper created its rankings after polling influencers, brands and marketing companies.  According to the survey, Ariana, who has 191 million followers, could command just over $850,000 for a post, while Selena, with 180 million followers, could charge $848,000.

Beyonce, meanwhile, could pocket $770,000 for a post, while Justin could make $747,000.  Taylor ranks number nine on the list, with the possibility of charging $722,000 for a single mention.

The king of Instagram, though, is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Though he doesn't have as many followers as, say, Kim Kardashian, he's so popular that he could get away with charging a company just over a million bucks for a single mention.

By Andrea Dresdale

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Manny Hernandez/Getty Images'90s star Vanilla Ice was set to perform a concert Friday night in Austin, TX, but that show's now been postponed to a later date following the backlash he and the venue have received about the event's safety.

The show was to have taken place at the Emerald Point Bar and Grill, but the venue's owner, William Brannam, tells ABC Audio that after all the media attention surrounding the show, Vanilla Ice made the decision to reschedule. Brannam also revealed that he'd received three death threats.

On Thursday, Ice tweeted, "Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Austin we’re gonna move the concert to a better date. We were hoping for better Coronavirus numbers by July but unfortunately the numbers have increased quite a bit so for the safety and health of everyone we’re going to stay home."

Responses were generally positive, with one person tweeting, "Thank you for putting your fans' safety before money."

Ice says the venue, which can hold 5,000, was going to limit capacity to 450. According to Brannam, 84 tickets had been sold on EventBrite, while he'd sold all 96 available VIP tickets, plus 104 tickets for seating in the venue's upper deck.  Last year, the "Ice Ice Baby" artist played the same place and drew 1,800 people.

Another '90s act, Color Me Badd, was to have played at the Emerald Point on Saturday.  That show's also been rescheduled, as have upcoming shows featuring "Wild Thing" rapper Tone Loc and "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper Coolio

Brannam says all the artists have already been paid, and he hopes to arrange a '90s "super concert" with all three in the future.

Last weekend, country artists Chase Rice and Chris Janson faced huge backlash after playing live shows where social distancing wasn't practiced.

 

Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Austin we’re gonna move the concert to a better date. We were hoping for better Coronavirus numbers by July but Unfortunately the numbers have increased quite a bit so for the safety and health of everyone we’re going to stay home. pic.twitter.com/MWWfNWf3zd

— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) July 2, 2020

 

By Andrea Dresdale & Jason Nathanson
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images"Mercy" singer Duffy, who recently revealed that she'd been kidnapped, drugged and sexually assaulted, has written to open letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, admonishing the platform for showing a film that she says glamorizes rape and sexual trafficking.

As Deadline reports, the movie is a Polish film called 365 Days, which is currently number five on Netflix's list of its top 10 most popular films in the U.K.  Described as an erotic drama, it's about a young woman who's kidnapped and held prisoner by a gangster, who gives her one year to fall in love with him.

Deadline has printed Duffy's letter in full.  It reads, in part, "I really don’t know what to think, say, or do, other than to reach out and explain to you in this letter how irresponsible it was of Netflix to broadcast the film 365 Days."

She continues, "365 Days glamorizes the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape. This should not be anyone’s idea of entertainment, nor should it be described as such, or be commercialized in this manner."

"It grieves me that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema’, that eroticizes kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking as a 'sexy' movie," she notes. "I just can’t imagine how Netflix could overlook how careless, insensitive, and dangerous this is."

Noting that 25 million people are currently trafficked around the world, Duffy adds, "I am compelled to speak on their behalf, and to ask you to right this wrong; to commit the resources of Netflix...to producing and broadcasting content that portrays the truth of the harsh and desperate reality of what 365 Days has sought to turn into a work of casual entertainment."

You can read the entire letter on Deadline's website.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
 

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording AcademyA few days ago, Katy Perry's latest single, "Daisies," reached the top 10 of Billboard's Adult Pop Songs airplay chart.  She's now the fifth artist to have scored at least 16 top 10s on that particular chart -- and two of the other four artists have saluted her achievement on Twitter.

Kelly Clarkson, who's also had 16 top 10s on that chart, tweeted, "Get it @katyperry you look BEAUTIFUL in this video #bytheway."  Katy retweeted Kelly's comments, adding, "Thank you friend."

Pink, who's had 17 top 10s, tweeted, "Congratulations Katy!!!!! Woot woot that’s a lot of ladies xoxo."

Katy retweeted Pink's comment and, making a joke about Pink's birth name, Alecia Moore, wrote, "The Moore the merrier." 

The other artists in the club include Taylor Swift, who's had 22, and Maroon 5, the kings with 25.

"Daisies" is from Katy's new album, which is due August 14.  So far, there's been no announcement of its title.

Thank you friend 😍♥️ https://t.co/47XFGvxcb9

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) July 2, 2020

The Moore the merrier ♥️🤗 https://t.co/UNKzQywU7V

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) July 1, 2020

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Weiss EubanksDespite going through a divorce, Kelly Clarkson is literally living the lyrics of her hit song "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," a source tells People magazine.

"Kelly is a doer, a pusher, someone who forges ahead even when it's difficult for her,"the insider dishes. "Being busy is a blessing and she knows that."

Kelly's been preparing for the new season of The Voice and, of course, working on her now Emmy-winning talk show.  Over the weekend, she participated in a charity telethon for the L.A. based charity Project Angel Food.  On top of that, she's working on her new album.

"Music builds her up, even if her songs are confronting her troubles," People quotes a friend of the singer as saying. "Kelly will come out of this a stronger person."

Kelly filed from divorce from her husband of seven years, Brandon Blackstock, last month, but on Twitter, she thanked him when she won the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.  The friend says that isn't surprising.

"Brandon's confidence in her talent and his ability to push the right buttons for her has been great for her career," says the friend. "Kelly's excited, proud and grateful."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty ImagesEd Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi are among the 1,500 people who've signed a letter asking the U.K. government to support the live music industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, addressed to the U.K.'s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was signed by artists who would otherwise have been performing at festivals this summer. 

Others signing on to the campaign include Coldplay, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones, as well as crew members and venues.

"Live music has been one of the U.K.’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade," reads the letter. "But with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak."

According to Music Week, the live music sector supports some 210,000 jobs and adds billions to the economy, but tens of thousands may find themselves out of a job in the coming year.

Among the requests: a  "clear, conditional timeline" for reopening venues, plus financial support and a tax exemption on ticket sales.

In a statement, Dua Lipa said, "From the very start, playing live concerts up and down the country has been a cornerstone for my own career...But the possibility for other emerging British artists to take the same path is in danger if the industry doesn’t receive much needed government support...before all the various venues, festivals and promoters are ready and able to operate independently again.”

The secretary responded on Twitter, "I understand the deep anxiety of those working in music & the desire to see fixed dates for reopening. I am pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
 

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Demi Lovato is mourning the loss of her grandfather, who died Wednesday morning.

In an Instagram post, she shared the heartbreaking news with her over 86 million followers. 

"Woke up to the news that my Grandpa Perry passed away early this morning," she captioned a series of photos. "He’s been sick for a couple years now so although I’m relieved he is out of pain, it still hurts to think our family won’t get to say goodbye with a proper funeral for a while. But that's the reality during this pandemic."

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it nearly impossible to hold memorial services given social distancing guidelines outlined by experts.

"This man loved God FIERCELY and was one of the best preacher’s I’ve ever had the honor in witnessing spread the word of God," Demi continued.

"I love you Grandpa," she added. "I'm sorry we didn't take more pictures together but I have so many memories to make me smile until we meet again someday. Rest easy."

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LASince Maren Morris welcomed baby Hayes this spring, she and her husband, fellow artist Ryan Hurd, have been sharing plenty of adorable snapshots of him on social media.  But the singer says that might change, in part because she's been the target of some mommy-shaming.

This week, Maren posted a photo of herself and Hayes enjoying a day at the lake, wearing matching swimsuits and sunglasses and riding on board an inflatable boat. Of course, one Twitter user had to chime in and ask why Hayes wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

While many fans jumped to Maren’s defense, the singer explained that she has to deal with that kind of commentary every time she shares a picture of her son.

“Honestly, I get so many criticisms of my motherhood on anything I post of Hayes, so I may just discontinue posting photos of him,” she responded. “Sucks but it’s kind of where I’m at.”

Country singer Mickey Guyton defended Maren, and encouraged her not to take the Twitter trolls’ words to heart.

“You’re an amazing mother and those that have something to say don’t deserve to see this beautiful life you’ve created in love,” Mickey wrote.

Maren thanked Mickey for the support, but noted that she and Ryan had been considering scaling back how much they share about their baby for other reasons, too.

Still, she admitted that the negativity she was facing was especially hurtful, since so much of it was coming from other moms.

“We talked about curbing posting photos anyway now that he’s a little bit older, but the added crap from (mostly other moms) folks definitely forced our hand,” Maren pointed out.

Motor-floatin’. ⛳️✨ pic.twitter.com/hQw4sXGSle

— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) June 30, 2020

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
 

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Michael Tran/FilmMagicSia is supporting Paris Jackson as the 22-year-old faces backlash for playing Jesus Christ in a new movie called Habit.

"Dear @ParisJackson I love you, keep going. I believe you are a good person," Sia wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Her message of encouragement for Michael Jackson’s daughter comes after critics started a Change.org petition to prevent the movie’s release. It has over 260,000 signatures so far.

The indie film was announced in April and stars Bella Thorne as a girl who gets caught in a drug deal gone bad and decides to disguise herself as a nun to escape trouble.

Habit was previously subject to a petition by the organization One Million Moms. The group called the film "sacrilegious" and said it "mocks Christianity and ridicules people of faith." That petition garnered over 70,000 signatures.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dear @ParisJackson I love you, keep going. I believe you are a good person.
😊

— sia (@Sia) July 1, 2020

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ABC/Image Group LACamila Cabello is ready to talk politics.

The singer is teaming up with the non-profit HeadCount in order to encourage her fans to register to vote in the November presidential election.

Each month until October, Camila will select one fan at random who checked their voter registration status at HeadCount.org/Camila. That fan will get a personal video chat from Camila herself.

If any person is not registered to vote, they’ll be directed to their state election website or pointed to a printable form in order to get registered.

“I promised to keep using my platform to take action and make real lasting change, so I’m working with @headcountorg to help register voters,” Camila announced earlier this month.

For 16 years, HeadCount has been registering voters at festivals and concerts. This year, due to COVID-19, they’ve taken a digital approach. The organization expects to register at least 200,000 voters for the 2020 election.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesThey're not even engaged, but US Weekly claims that longtime partners Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are so eager to get married that they may tie the knot this summer.

The mag quotes a source as saying the couple is “keen to make it happen as soon as possible,” but safety is their priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“COVID-19 has turned their world upside down, as it has with so many families,” the mag quotes an insider as saying. "Gwen knows she is blessed and wants to have the wedding as soon as social distancing guidelines are lifted.”

So, while they want to go "all out” for a big summer wedding, the source notes, "It won’t be the end of the world if they have to move things back till the fall.”

Either way, there are allegedly two ceremonies planned -- one in L.A., and one on Blake's ranch in Oklahoma. A second source dishes, "Oklahoma gives the couple more privacy and the possibilities are endless for a wedding reception people will talk about for years."

Gwen started the process of annulling her first marriage, to Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, in March of 2019, so that she can have her marriage to Blake recognized by the Catholic church.  However, she's apparently no longer willing to wait for that to happen.

A source told the mag last month that Gwen now realizes "waiting for the annulment at this point is just futile because it could take years for the church tribunal to issue the decision.”

Gwen and Blake went public with their romance in November of 2015.  They've been quarantining together, along with Gwen's three sons with Gavin: Kingston, 14, Zuma, 11, and Apollo, 6.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAArtists like Dua LipaKaty Perry, BTS and many others will be joining forces to celebrate Radio Disney Presents: ARDYs Summer Playlist next Friday, July 10.

E! News reports that the hour-long special kicks off at 9 p.m. ET on Disney Channel and will highlight fan-favorite artists for a night of music and fundraising.  Money raised will benefit DonorsChoose, a charity that aims to better equip teachers to help their students realize their full potential.

Due to COVID-19, this year's ARDYs will be all virtual and will be hosted by Austin & Ally star Laura Marano.

Coming together next Friday will be Meghan TrainorAlessia CaraBebe RexhaAlly BrookeLoren GraySofia CarsonAsher Angel, and Keedron BryantPreviously announced acts by What's on Disney Plus include SiaSabrina CarpenterAnne-MarieEchosmithThriiii and others.

Those slated to perform next Friday night will salute educators in celebration of the ARDYs Heroes for Change Award.

Disney Channel has more in store for music lovers next Friday, as another intensely musical special will precede the ARDYs. 

Taking place at 8 p.m. ET will be the Disney Channel Summer Sing-Along -- modeled after the family friendly Disney Family Singalongs that previously aired on ABC.  That special will include artists like Demi LovatoRuby Rose and other Disney Channel stars.

The special will highlight the musical numbers that were born from the cable network's original movies, like Descendants and High School Musical, in addition to other famous songs from the extensive Disney catalogue.

It is unknown at this time whether or not the two specials will be made available for streaming at a later time.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Lizzo has completely reinvented her daily meal plan and revealed that she has gone vegan.  The "Truth Hurts" singer introduced fans to her new diet on Tuesday, which leaves her feeling ""lit and full."

Lizzo, 32, took to her TikTok to show her followers what she consumes on the daily in a video series bluntly titled, "What I Eat in a Day: Tales from a fat Vegan."

She attested that switching up her diet wasn't a challenge by writing, "As a new vegan I'm enjoying exploring flavors from plants & plant based proteins!  Every journey is personal & deserves to be celebrated."

Breakfast for the "Juice" singer consisted of a thick green smoothie made of coconut water, veggies and frozen vegetables.  The three-time Grammy winner then shows off her delicious lunch, a chopped salad comprised of red cabbage, kale, avocado and broccoli.  

When Lizzo gets hungry between meals, she opts for a tub of garlic hummus from her local farmer's market and a pack of paleo puffs.   Before switching to a vegan lifestyle, the Hustlers star admitted that she used to snack on Hot Cheetoes, which she claims made her acid reflux worse.

"These are a Cheeto alternative I love that's vegan and I dip them in hummus," she praised in the video. "Badda-boom badda-snack!"

Dinner for the Ugly Dolls actor consisted of mushroom balls loaded with truffles and chickpeas, leftover salad from lunch and a healthy serving of quinoa -- which she washes down with vegan diet cola.

Lizzo's dessert is another smoothie that she whipped up using her Nutribullet, comprised of peanut butter, jelly, oat milk, vanilla protein powder, oats and "love from Jesus."

At the end of the video, the decorated artist calls for justice for Breonna Taylor by urging fans to text "ENOUGH" to 55156.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Capitol RecordsRight as the clock struck midnight on July 1, Katy Perry treated fans to a brand new rendition of her new single "Daisies" that gives the song an entirely new emotional meaning.

Following a series of two club remixes, the American Idol judge opted to strip things down for an acoustic reimagining of "Daisies." 

Perry reconstructed  the track from the ground up, too, opting to deliver brand new vocals to match the dreamy guitar-led rendition. 

The "Roar" artist harmonizes in a breathy tone that transforms into whispers at times.  She also trades in her signature powerhouse vocals for a softer head voice during the high notes.

The 35-year-old tweaked other portions of the songs, where she switches up the notes or starts leading into haunting chants "When did we stop believing?/ When did we stop?"

Overall, the acoustic version shows an entirely new emotional side of "Daisies," switching from a song of outright defiance to one of gentle self assurance.

Previously, the Grammy-nominee released two remixes of her new single made by Oliver Heldens and MK.  

"Daisies" served as the first teaser of Perry's upcoming and, as of yet, still unnamed fifth studio album, which is due out August 14.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicIn her new Facebook Watch series, Unfiltered: Paris Jackson & Gabriel GlennParis Jackson opened up about her sexuality and revealed that her father, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson seemed to have her figured out before she did.  

"My dad caught on pretty quick," the 22-year-old said, adding that Michael would lightheartedly joke about her admiration for members of the same sex. 

"I think he just felt the energy and he would like kind of tease me the same way that he would tease my brothers, like 'Oh, you got yourself a girlfriend,'" she shared. 

Paris was only 11-years-old when she lost her father, but she realizes now that having that support at such a young age is something to be grateful for. 

"I’m very lucky to have that, especially so young—I think I was like 8 or 9," she admitted. "Not many children have that experience."

These days Paris -- who is in a relationship with boyfriend Gabriel Glenn -- is more confident in her sexuality and while she describes herself as "gay" she shared that it really isn't a true representation of her romantic life. 

"I say I’m gay, because I guess I am, but I wouldn’t consider myself bisexual because I’ve dated more than just men and women," she explained. "I’ve dated a man that had a vagina. So it has nothing to do with what’s in your pants. It has nothing to do with your XY chromosome makeup…it’s literally just like, what are you like as a person."

New episodes of Unfiltered: Paris Jackson & Gabriel Glenn are available every Tuesday on Facebook Watch. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Grace QuinnPop duo Surfaces -- Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki --have a top 10 hit on Billboard's Pop Songs chart with "Sunday Best."  While the song and its video are upbeat and sunny, Forrest tells ABC Audio that contrary to popular belief, the song isn't some carefree ditty about privileged folks who don't have any problems.

"So a lot of people, I see in the comments, sometimes people are like, 'This song is for people that never have anything bad happen to them,' like, 'This is for like people that grew up in [a certain type of environment]'...whatever," Forrest says.

"And it's funny because that song was written from a place of...like, it's like, post-testimony," he continues, using the word in the religious sense.

"So imagine you go through the darkest stuff of your life, like depression, anxiety or suicide...things that are really tough," he explains. "It's like getting out of that and seeing the light of day and accepting who you are and accepting your situation and saying, 'I'm going to just breathe this air and have a good day.' And that's really where that song came from."

Forrest says lyrics like "Feeling good, like I should" and "Every day can be a better day/despite the challenge" are what he calls "deposits of encouragement."

"[They] stemmed from both Colin and I's overcoming of struggles," he reveals. "So, yeah, that's kind of what it's about."

In addition to the success of "Sunday Best," Surfaces are also celebrating the release of "Learn to Fly," their duet with music legend Elton John.  They recently dropped a pastel-colored animated video for the tune.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Gabriel Olsen/WireImageSara Bareilles became a proud member of the Broadway community thanks to her hit 2015 musical Waitress, and she says it's been tough to see theaters go dark during the COVID-19 pandemic.  And now, following news this week that the Great White Way will remain closed for the rest of the year, Sara says she’s “devastated.”

“My heart goes out to the theater community because I know that's a really tough blow to a lot of people who have moved here to follow this dream and are just making ends meet,” she tells ABC Audio.

She adds that the bright side to all this could be that the shutdown might provide a much-needed time of reflection for the theater community, given the cultural shifts taking place in our country right now.

“I think that I have to trust that this pause is going to allow some really important reflection and maybe some reorganizing of the places inside the theater industry that need to adjust and compensate for the changes that are happening in front of us, you know, socially and culturally and just in our consciousness as people,” she says.

Sara, who’s currently gearing up for the July 10 premiere of her Apple TV show Little Voice, says she believes Broadway will come back bigger and better than ever.

“I think that people really need theater,” she says. “I miss it. I miss it so much. But I have to trust, too, that you know, we want to do what's safe for the community. And I hope that this time gets used really wisely, sort of in terms of reflection and making change.”

By Andrea Tuccillo

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

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