Kelly Clarkson Enjoys Good Laugh Over Being Asked, "So, What Are You Doing Now?"

Monty Brinton/CBS It's been more than a decade since Kelly Clarkson won American Idol. Since then, she's topped the charts several times, toured the world, sold millions of albums, appeared on nearly every TV show you can name, graced the cover of most major magazines, won several Grammys, and made headlines when she got married and then had a baby.  So it's no wonder that she's surprised to meet someone who has no clue what she's been up to since 2002.

Kelly tweeted, "Lady says to me 'Oh I recognize your name. You were on that show American Idol. What are you doing now?' Hahahaha!!"  She added the hashtag "#wherearetheynow."

Kelly's pal John Legend was amused by the story as well, and tweeted to Kelly, "You should've kept up with the singing. It might've worked out for you!"  "I know, right? So funny!" Kelly replied.

In case you've forgotten how Kelly and John know each other, they both served as mentor/coaches on ABC's failed reality singing competition show Duets, which aired a few years back. Robin Thicke and country star Jennifer Nettles were also on that show.

In other Kelly news, she's one of the artists featured on "Pray for Peace," a new song and video by her stepmother-in-law, country legend Reba McEntire.  "So honored that Reba asked me to lend my voice to this new song she wrote!" Kelly tweeted.

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Katy Perry Helps Homeless Veterans, Pays Tribute to Malaysia Airlines Victims

Ryan McGinley/Capitol RecordsKaty Perry is doing her part to help homeless veterans.  She's teaming up with the charity Veterans Matter to auction off VIP tickets to some of her upcoming concert performances in the Midwest, as well as a chance to meet her backstage. 

You can access the auction, dubbed Shine a Light with Katy Perry, on the eBay Giving Works charity site.  Proceeds will go help veterans secure housing assistance: many aren't able to, due to a lack of a rental deposit.  Veterans Matter provides that deposit directly to the landlord.  So far, the organization has housed 350 veterans in six states.

The Katy concerts from which fans can choose include August dates in Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Auburn Hills, MI; and Columbus and Cleveland, OH.

In other compassionate Katy Perry news, she's posted a video in tribute to those who lost their lives on the Malaysia Airlines plane that's believed to have been shot down in the Ukraine last week.  Prior to that incident, Katy had worked with UNICEF to produce a video, using her song "Unconditionally, in support of the 35 million people living with HIV.  A number of those who lost their lives on the plane were traveling to an International AIDS conference, where the video was to have been launched.

"Now, I would also like to dedicate this video to them, to honor them, and to all the victims of MH17," Katy wrote on Facebook.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Adam Levine Sang at His Own Wedding

Trae Patton/NBCWhy pay musicians to perform at your wedding if you're a member of one of the world's most popular groups?  People magazine reports that at his wedding over the weekend to model Behati Prinsloo, Adam Levine himself took the stage.

According to People, Adam and guest wedding singer Stevie Nicks performed a duet with other members of Maroon 5 backing them up.  Behati also sang, dedicating the song "First Day of My Life" by indie rock band Bright Eyes to her new husband.  The reception, held at Flora Farms in Mexico on July 19, also included a performance by the '90s ska band Sublime, best known for their hits "What I Got," "Santeria," and "Wrong Way."

"This was a dancing crowd," a guest tells People. "Everyone was dancing late into the night."  A source adds, ""Most people finished eating in under an hour and were ready to party."  Another guest tells the magazine, "Everyone was having so much fun. Adam and Behati didn't stop smiling the entire night."

The menu included organic pork chops, fresh fish, and beet salads.  For dessert, it Mexican popsicles and organic ice cream.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Rixton Says Everyone Can Relate to "Me and My Broken Heart"

Credit: Lindsey ByrnesRixton is the latest British act to climb the U.S. charts, thanks to their hit "Me and My Broken Heart."  Lead singer Jake Roche says unfortunately, he was able to relate to it only too well.

"It was the last song that we recorded for the EP and the album," Jake tells ABC News Radio.  "The funny thing is, before we went and recorded it, I split up with my girlfriend. I did have the broken heart."

But the song doesn't sound sad, and that's part of its appeal, according to the guys.

"It's kind of got this kind of reggae-filled vibe to it, hasn't it?" says Jake. "And this kind of hip-hop drumbeat. So yeah, we're so happy we've led [with] this [as] our first single because we love this song."   Drummer Lewi Morgan adds, "I think anyone can relate to it, really...everyone at some stage of their life's gone through some form of heartbreak. I usually say it's a longingness for love, and an anthem for broken hearts."

"I also think the music is quite universal for that song, because it's upbeat but...it's not too teeny-bopper, is it? It's got still enough soul to it," adds guitarist Charley Bagnall.  "It's got a bit of attitude to it as well, which we like," Jake says.

The success of "Me and My Broken Heart," as well as the group's popular YouTube covers, has earned them plenty of fans in the U.S., which is something Rixton still can't get over.

"The first time we turned up in New York there was about 50 fans waiting there for us, and that was the most surreal thing ever," Jake tells ABC News Radio. "We always feel like, 'We haven't done anything, we're not, like, finding the cure for anything, we're just making music.' But it's so humbling, man. The fact that we're so far away from home and people are listening to our music and appreciating it is just the most incredible feeling ever."  

Rixton will kick off a U.S. headlining tour July 30 in Boston.  They're also celebrating their first #1 hit in their home country of Great Britain -- after a week of riding the charts in America, "My and My Broken Heart" has just debuted at the top of the charts there. The members of Rixton tell Britain's Official Charts Company  that they all plan to get "broken heart" tattoos to commemorate their accomplishment.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Joel to Receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

LIbrary of CongressNot bad for a kid from Long Island.  Billy Joel will be the next recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  The Library of Congress made the announcement Tuesday morning.

The Gershwin Prize is awarded to a musician “whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin,” the pianist/composer and lyricist brothers who together wrote some of pop music’s most enduring standards.

The announcement of Joel’s honor calls him “one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world” and “a storyteller of the highest order.”  Joel himself adds, “The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career.  And the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."

Billy Joel is only the seventh person to receive the Gershwin Prize since Paul Simon received the first one, in 2007.  The other recipients include Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King, who received the prize last year.

Joel, who turned 65 last May, already has enough lifetime honors to need a mantle in every room to display them all, including membership in the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame, an armload of honorary doctorates, and half-a-dozen Grammy awards.  In 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors along with fellow musicians Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

Joel will receive the honor in Washington, D.C. in November.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Hall & Oates: "The '80s Weren't as Much Fun as You Might Think"

Mick Rock/Wolfson EntertainmentDaryl Hall & John Oates ruled the charts in the early to mid-'80s, scoring a seemingly endless string of hits, appearing on MTV 24/7 and even headlining Live Aid.  But now, looking back, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers say those days weren't really the endless party that most people assume they were.

"The '80s weren't as much fun as you might think," John Oates tells the British paper The Guardian. "The demands were so great. When you're in a rock band, traveling in a van, you may wish you were in a private plane, but you really don't know what you're missing. I enjoyed the '70s a whole lot better." But why?  They certainly weren't as popular back then.  Well, John says that's the point.

"It was a totally freer time. Then we became pop superstars and we couldn't go anywhere," he explains.

Daryl Hall feels the same way, telling the paper, ""I didn't really want to participate in [superstardom]."  But these days, he says he's OK with his level of fame.

"I'm as popular as I was back then, but it's a different kind of popularity," he explains. "It's more pleasant. More fulfilling. I don't feel like people are treating me like a Daryl doll."  Also satisfying, he says, is the fact that, unlike in the past, today's hippest artists will all readily own up to being Hall & Oates fans.

 "I hear my influence all over the place," says Daryl. "It's pretty widespread."


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Lorde Says Her Next Album Is "Skeletal," but Will Be About "Feeling Displaced"

Credit: Andrew WhittonLorde's non-stop tour schedule has meant that she really hasn't had a lot of time to work on the follow-up to her best-selling, award-winning debut, Pure Heroine.  But while she says the new disc's "hardly even started," she knows what its theme will be.

Speaking to the British paper The Guardian, Lorde describes her next album as "skeletal," in the sense that right now, there isn't much too it because she hasn't had the time to devote to it.  But lyrically, she says she's being inspired by the fact that she's spent most of the last year traveling around the globe.

"The first album was about a really small world that the listener isn’t in, and it felt like a very insular world,” she explains. "Now I’m kind of a child of the world, I’m everywhere all the time...I don't know. It’s hard for me to explain. It’s about feeling displaced.”

Lorde also says she doesn't really care about what critics and journalists write and say about her, because unlike her, they're not 17 years old.

"The criticism I listen to most is what comes from people the same age as me; they’re the only people I care about liking my music," she tells the U.K. paper The Guardian. 

And unlike most teens, Lorde says peer pressure doesn't sway her at all.  "One consistent thing is that if I like something and nobody likes it, I still like it," she claims. "If I don’t like something and everyone loves it, I still hate it.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Uncle Kracker Returns with New Single "Endlessly"

Lava/RepublicHe's done rap, rock, pop and country music in the past, but now Uncle Kracker is back with a new single -- and he's stopped worrying about musical genres.

The "Follow Me" singer is working on a new album for a new label, and the first single, "Endlessly," is out now.  He tells Billboard, "I've been writing everything from pop to country to blues -- just a mixed bag of everything. I've definitely got an album or more worth of stuff. The awesome part is that everybody's like, 'Let's not worry about what works [commercially]. Let's worry about what feels good, what sounds good. Let's make sure the album's good.'"

"Endlessly," originally recorded by the band Green River Ordinance, is somewhat of a pop/country hybrid. You can hear it now at Billboard.com.

Kracker's been spending the summer on the road as part of the Under the Sun tour, which also includes Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth.  It's a bit of a reunion for Kracker; Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath made a cameo appearance in his video for "Follow Me."

He tells Billboard, "He's always been a good guy and we've stayed friends...[so the tour is] nostalgic for me. It feels like a high school reunion almost. I don't get excited about touring, ever, but I'm excited about this one."  That tour wraps up August 13.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Joel Is the Most Long Island Person Ever

Credit: Myrna SuarezEven people who've never stepped foot in New York State -- or the U.S. -- probably know that Billy Joel is from Long Island, New York.   Maybe that's why the residents of that area have just crowned him the winner of the "That's SO Long Island" contest.

Local paper Newsday has been running the contest for several weeks, asking readers to vote on who or what best exemplifies the area, which is essentially a suburb of New York City.  Thanks to over 520,000 reader votes, Billy beat out 63 other local celebrities, attractions and activities to be declared the most "Long Island" of them all.   Among the fellow Long Island celebrities he beat: Billy Crystal, Lindsay Lohan, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Idina Menzel, Debbie Gibson, Natalie Portman, Rosie O'Donnell, Ralph Macchio and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

As for why he won the contest, it probably has something to do with the fact that Billy still lives in Long Island, donates plenty of time and money to local causes, and has sung about the place numerous times.  The title of his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor, is a town in Long Island.  He's also name-checked other local locations such as Oyster Bay and the Miracle Mile, while "The Downeaster 'Alexa'" was inspired by the plight of Long Island fishermen.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Script Debut First Single from Upcoming Disc, "No Sound Without Silence"

Columbia RecordsThe Script, currently out on the road with OneRepublic, have debuted a brand-new single.

The tune is called "Superheroes," and it's from the Irish trio's upcoming album, No Sound Without Silence, which will be out September 30.  In a note on their official website, the band says, "We can't wait for you guys to hear the new album in full...We hope this album delivers everything you're hoping for from us and more."

The Script largely recorded the album on the road.  Lead singer Danny O'Donoghue tells the U.K. paper The Daily Star, "We’d come off stage and start recording straight away in a studio bus. Everything’s massive, everything’s larger than life on stage so when we hit the studio we wanted it to have that same impact."

In a statement, Danny further stated, "This album is all about trying to bottle that energy when we come off stage, as well as that contemplative space between notes.”

The new disc will be the follow-up to the band's last album, #3, which produced the hit "Hall of Fame."  "Superheroes," which is reminiscent of Coldplay, is more straightforward and pop-oriented than "Hall of Fame," which featured a rap by Black Eyed Peas mastermind will.i.am.  At the time, Danny and Will were both coaches on the U.K. version of The Voice, which is how that musical hookup came to be.

"Superheroes" will be available July 29.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Does Taylor Swift Primp Post-Workout for Paparazzi?

Bret Hartman/CBSEver since Taylor Swift moved to New York City, her every move has been tracked by the paparazzi, and her smart street style has been the subject of dozens of gushing fashion blog entries.  While Taylor has claimed that that no thought goes into her chic, perfectly-groomed appearance, a source claims that she actually spends a great deal of time primping for the paps.

The reported source tells the New York Daily News that after her almost daily workouts at the Model Fit gym -- which was recommended to her by supermodel pal Karlie Kloss -- Taylor "spends an hour in the locker room post-workout so she can look flawless for the photographers who follow her."

According to the paper, Taylor's trainer at the gym is the same guy the Victoria's Secret models use to get that long, lean look.

In May, Taylor joked sarcastically to E! Online that she had an "entire wing in my house" dedicated to planning her outfits, which she spends "months" doing.  She then insisted, "I decide what I'm gonna wear, like, five minutes before I walk out the door and I shop where most girls shop."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Justin Timberlake Goes Bowling with Chris Kirkpatrick

Ira James/NBCIf we can't have an 'N SYNC reunion concert or album, at least we can have an 'N SYNC reunion at a bowling alley.  That's what happened over the weekend, when Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick turned up to roll a few frames at Kings, an alley in Boston.

The Boston Herald reports that Justin was in town to play a concert Saturday when he decided to spend some downtime bowling.  According to the paper, his high score was 173, and while bowling, he chowed down on a blackened chicken sandwich, buffalo wontons, a peanut butter cup sundae and some beers.  No word on what Chris ate, or what his score was.

 
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Maroon 5 Reveals Track List and Cover for New Album "V"

222 Records/ Interscope RecordsMaroon 5 has revealed the album artwork and the track listing for their fifth album, V, which is the Roman numeral for five.  The album is due September 2.

The album cover features a shot of a desert landscape with a mountain in the background, and a big, pink neon "V" in the foreground.  The band members themselves don't appear on the cover, but then again, they've only ever appeared on one of their album covers: 2007's It Won't Be Soon Before Long.

The track list includes "My Heart Is Open," a collaboration with Gwen Stefani, as well as songs called "Sugar," "Unkiss Me" and "New Love." A list of three "B-sides" includes "Lost Stars," from the soundtrack of the movie Begin Again, in which Adam Levine made his acting debut.

Here's the full track listing:

"Maps"
"Animals"
"It Was Always You"
"Unkiss Me"
"Sugar"
"Leaving California"
"In Your Pocket"
"New Love"
"Coming Back For You"
"Feelings"
"My Heart Is Open" ft. Gwen Stefani
 
B Sides:
"ShootLove"
"Sex and Candy"
"Lost Stars"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Shania Twain Announces Final Performance of Las Vegas Show "Shania: Still the One"

Sandbox EntertainmentShania Twain was just named Best Resident Performer in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Weekly for her Caesars Palace show Shania: Still the One, but it isn't going to keep her around in Sin City any longer.

The star has announced that she'll wrap up her two-year residency at the Colosseum on December 13, 2014.   In a statement, she says, "At the beginning of this amazing journey, through the rediscovery for my love of performing, I knew the stage would feel like home, but it turned out that Las Vegas itself became ‘home’. Performing for fans who come from all over the world to see the show night-after-night warms my heart."

She adds, "I started the first international Shania Kids Can clubhouse in Las Vegas because I love this city, and my time here has given me more than anyone can ever know. I can’t thank Las Vegas enough.”

Tickets for Shania's final 16 performances are on sale now.  They include:

Oct.:  8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25
Dec.:  6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 

Shania is currently working on new music.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Phillip Phillips Claims Record Label Said If He Recorded "Home," They'd Leave Him Alone

Credit: Nick WalkerPhillip Phillips has gone on record as saying initially, he didn't like his debut single "Home," which has become the best-selling single ever released by an American Idol alum.  Now, he claims his record label essentially offered him a musical bribe to cut that single.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Phillip claims that when he was making his debut album The World from the Side of the Moon, his record label offered him a deal: if he would only cut the folk-rock flavored songs "Home" and "Gone Gone Gone," he could do whatever he wanted with the rest of the album.  He took the deal, and watched those two songs -- neither of which he wrote -- become the album's only big hits.

When it came time for him to make his new album Behind the Light, though, Phillip says his label backed off.  "They let me do the record how I felt was right," he tells the paper, noting that while he got feedback from the head of the record company, he was in control, and wrote or co-wrote every song.  "That's why I'm a lot more proud of [this album], because it represents me so much more," he explains.

Phillip is out on a major summer tour in support of the disk, and he says that even if you see his show more than once, you won't be bored.

"We play a different set every night and in a different order," he tells the paper. "We might change something up in a song, because I like to keep it fun for us and [keep us] on our toes, and also for our fans."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Maroon 5, Pharrell Among Headliners for UK iTunes Festival

Vincent PeriniMaroon 5 and Pharrell Williams are just two of the acts who will take part in the 2014 edition of Apple's iTunes Festival in England.

Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, David Guetta and Calvin Harris have also been named headliners for the eighth annual festival, which will be held throughout the month of September at the Roundhouse in London. More details on the free event will be announced on iTunesFestival.com.

As usual, fans will be able to watch the performances through iTunes or an Apple device.

Earlier this year, Apple held its first-ever U.S. iTunes Festival in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with the South by Southwest festival. It featured Imagine Dragons, Coldplay and Pitbull, among others.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

"Rising Star" Recap: Three Contestants Advance After More Duels, West Coast Viewers Save One Other

ABCABC's interactive singing competition, Rising Star, continued its live head-to-head singing duels Sunday night with four contestants advancing and two other acts being sent home after the East Coast vote.

Two contestants were chosen to go head-to-head; a coin toss determined which one would sing first with the wall up. The winner of the coin toss got to decide the order of performance. Viewers who downloaded the Rising Star app were asked to vote “yes” or “no,” just as they did in the audition round. The next contestant then sang with the wall down and had to beat the mark set by the first contestant in order to raise it.

The one-hour show aired live on the East Coast, but viewers on the other side of the country had the chance to “save” the performer with the highest combined votes who didn't win their matchup.

Host Josh Groban and the Rising Star "experts" -- Kesha, Ludacris and Brad Paisley -- presided over the duels. The "experts" were allowed to vote. So were West Coast viewers, even though they watched the show on delay.

The experts also mentored each contestant before their performances.

All of the advancing contestants will compete in the quarterfinals.

The ultimate winner receives a contract with Capitol Records.

Here are the highlights from Sunday night:

Macy Kate vs. Gabrielle Nicole:

Gabrielle, who had the experts thinking she could go all the way after her audition, led off. When the experts asked her what her strategy was, she told them the key to winning her duel would be showcasing her range, which she did with her version of Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep Mountain High.” She earned a disappointing 49 percent of the vote, which surprised all three experts. Ludacris voted “yes,” noting Nicole had an “extremely powerful” voice and “made it look easy.” He urged the West Coast to save her, as did Kesha, who called the singer “a force to be reckoned with.” She also voted “yes.” Paisley wondered where Gabrielle got all her experience at the tender age of 20 and why the score wasn’t higher. Gabrielle was eliminated.

Macy had the highest-scoring performance the night she auditioned, and she pulled off another big victory this time, raising the wall with 80 percent of the vote with her version of “Demons,” by Imagine Dragons. Kesha told Macy she should be “proud of herself.” Brad thought Kate started out slow, which might’ve hurt her, causing him to vote “no.” Kesha voted "yes," noting it would be a “tragedy” to lose either one of the singers. Ludacris also voted "yes." Macy moves on to the quarterfinals.

April Lockhart vs. Sonnet Simmons:

Simmons won over the experts with her haunting voice in the auditions, but they felt she needed to really “connect” with the audience this time. She won the toss, electing to go first. She chose Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” as her song and collected 73 percent of the vote. Brad called the song choice “gutsy” and commented that he wanted to hear her in a James Bond movie. Kesha was “proud” of Simmons, noting her confidence level was “exponentially higher” and the singer really brought it. All three experts voted “yes,” but Simmons was eliminated. However, she was saved by the West Coast.

Indie rocker Lockhart chose Neon Trees’ “Animal.” Ludacris urged her to “let loose” at the end and “keep control of those notes.” Kesha also urged her to “focus on the notes.” April listened and raised the wall at the last second, earning 76 percent of the vote and edging past Simmons by just 3 percent. Ludacris voted “yes,” joking that it was the first time he’s done that so many times in one show. He added that she “100 percent took it to the next level.” Paisley called both the singer and her voice “likeable” and voted "yes." Kesha also voted “yes.” Lockhart advanced to the quarterfinals.

Adam Jaymes vs. Austin French:

French set a high bar in the audition round, but Paisley warned him that he had to “distinguish himself” and emphasize his “soulful” side. The other experts agreed. Kesha added that Austin had to “tap into who he is and show that to America.” He went first with his version of Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” and collected 81 percent of the vote. Kesha thought French “left it on stage.” Ludacris felt the singer had an “optimistic presence,” explaining that French, possibly due to his background singing in church, made everybody feel “happy.” He also thought Austin improved his stage presence. French advanced to the quarterfinals.

Jaymes, who was a hit with the ladies during his audition, sang Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” The experts predicted a tough competition, but Adam couldn’t raise the wall, earning 53 percent of the vote. Ludacris voted "no" and said he could see why America voted “no,” because Adam didn’t give it his all. Brad disagreed though, voting “yes” and noted that Adam went up against a tough singer. Kesha said from a ladies’ perspective he looked good, but lacked the momentum. She voted “yes” anyway. Jaymes was eliminated.

To recap, Macy Kate, April Lockhart and Austin French advanced to the quarterfinals.

Sonnet Simmons was saved by the West Coast vote and moved on to the quarterfinals.

Gabrielle Nicole and Adam Jaymes were sent home.

Rising Star continues next Sunday on ABC.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Backstreet Boys Postpone First-Ever Shows in Israel Due to Mideast Violence

ABC/Lou RoccoThe Backstreet Boys were due to play three sold-out shows this month in Israel, but the band has now postponed those concerts due to the ongoing violence in that region.

They were due to play a venue in the Tel Aviv area, but a note on the group's website reads, "Due to the security situation, we regret to announce that the BSB shows planned for July 29-30-31 at Ra'anana Amphitheater have been postponed. To assure the safety of the audience in the events, we will schedule new dates during spring 2015."

In a message to fans, the group said, "This is a major disappointment for the band and fans as this was to be our first visit to Israel and we looked forward to meeting our fans. We're already working with the producers on new dates during Spring 2015 and will notify everyone about this as soon as possible. Sending lots of love to everyone."

Lady Gaga is scheduled to perform in the country in September.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Imagine Dragons' Singer Says Second Album Will Be as Eclectic as Their First

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCIn between concert dates, Imagine Dragons has been working on their second album in their hometown of Las Vegas, and singer Dan Reynolds says they've been "having a lot of fun."  He also says fans can expect a mix of sounds and styles -- just like on their best-selling 2012 debut, Night Visions -- because they don't want to write "themselves into a box."

The hit singles from Night Visions -- "It's Time," "Demons," "Radioactive" and "On Top of the World" -- all sounded very different from one another; at times, it was hard to believe all those songs were by the same band.  And Reynolds says for Imagine Dragons' sophomore release, he expects to continue creating an eclectic bunch of tunes. 

"I think a lot of my favorite artists that I listened to growing up....[like] The Beatles, were always changing and never really writing themselves in a box," he explains.  "They would write, like, 'Helter Skelter' and then 'Let It Be.'  It's like, at least for us as a band, we always are trying to push our limits and try something refreshing to us...I think we'll always continue to do different things."

Dan feels that Imagine Dragons' new material shows that "we have a lot of growth as songwriters."   As for whether or not the band's newfound success has changed their approach, Dan says he still feels that the best songs are born from trying experiences.

"I've always felt that struggle really breeds art, your best art," he explains. "Sometimes, you know, happiness can breed your best art, but for me I feel like it's always been, almost, my journal.  It's been my thing that I've gone to since I was in sixth grade -- pretty nerdy and geeky and I still am -- but it's always...brought me comfort.  At the end of the day I could write a song about what I was going through."

Dan has hinted in the past that some of the things the band has been going through recently -- like trying to adjust to their sudden fame and insane schedule -- may find their way into the new music.   Back in May, he told reporters that all the "crazy changes" the band has experienced "has been kind of entwining into the album, and so it has a lot of emotion...the highs and lows that come with that."

No word yet on when we can expect the follow-up to Night Visions.  The band has a string of festival dates booked next month in Europe and the U.K, and then they'll return to the U.S. at the end of August to perform at the L.A. installment of the Budweiser Made in America festival on August 30.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sexiest Man Alive Now Off the Market: Adam Levine Marries Behati Prinsloo in Mexico

Trae Patton/NBCAdam Levine has turned in his player card: he's now a married man.  The Maroon 5 frontman tied the knot with model Behati Prinsloo at Flora Farms in Los Cabos, Mexico on Saturday, according to People magazine.

About 275 friends and family members -- including Robert Downey Jr. and Maroon 5 bandmates Jesse Carmichael and James Valentine -- watched Adam and Behati say their vows at the rustic resort.  Behati donned a custom-made Marchesa gown, according to People. 

US Weekly reports that the guest list also included Adam's childhood friend Jonah Hill, as well as Jason Segal and model Candice Swanepoel, and that the couple asked for charity donations in lieu of gifts. E! News notes that Hill actually officiated the ceremony, with its source saying, "Jonah was hysterical. He was telling so many jokes, but then in the middle would be so sweet and sincere." According to the insider, Hill also said he's known Adam for a long time, describing him as a "wonderful guy" who has "so much to give."

The publication also reports that Stevie Nicks, who'll be mentoring Adam's team on the new season of The Voice, flew in for a special performance.  Unfortunately, Blake Shelton was unable to make it.

The night before, the couple hosted a party for their guests at the El Dorado Golf & Beach Club, People reports.

Adam and Behati got engaged last summer after dating for a year.  Before the big moment, Adam wrote on Facebook, "Let's do this!"

E! reports that the newly-hitched couple will honeymoon in South Africa; Behati is from the African country of Namibia.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio