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Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and more added to Grammys performance roster

Prizes, shmizes.

The 56th annual Grammy Awards ceremony is shaping up to be one giant all-star luge race of live performances –the latest names to be added are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Keith Urban, and Sara Bareilles with Carole King. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who will accept the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for the Beatles, will perform as well.

They join a roster that already includes Lorde, Katy Perry, Daft Punk with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Stevie Wonder; Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons;Metallica and Lang Lang; P!nk and Nate Ruess of fun.; Robin Thicke and with Chicago, and a special performance with Merle Haggard Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton.

The show airs Sunday, Jan. 26 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST/PST (meaning that it will be live on the East coast but delayed on the West, for those in the Pacific Standard Zone gagging for spoilers and/or wishing to avoid them on social media).

Red Hot Chili Peppers to join Bruno Mars at Super Bowl halftime show

The retro pop sounds of Bruno Mars will be joined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, set for February 2 on Fox.

It was announced today during Fox’s broadcast of the NFC divisional playoff game featuring the New Orleans Saints vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

The Chili Peppers will be in New Jersey at the time, already scheduled to play a pre-Super Bowl event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Feb. 1. It’s not clear whether or not the Chili Peppers will replace Bruno Mars’ usual band or play alongside them.

According to Fox, the Super Bowl halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year. Last year, when Beyonce headlined the event, more than 110.5 million viewers tuned into the show.

The mix of the old and new should help expand the demographic of an already popular show. Bruno Mars was named Billboard’s 2013 Artist of the year, selling over 130 million singles worldwide. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012. The band, headlined by singer Anthony Kiedis, has sold more than 60 million albums.

Judge nixes 50 Cent's bid to toss video lawsuit

50 Cent has lost a bid to end a Florida woman’s lawsuit over a sex video posted online with him edited into it as a wig-wearing narrator.

A New York judge rebuffed the rapper’s request to dismiss Lastonia Leviston’s claim in a ruling made public Thursday. Lawyers for both sides haven’t returned calls seeking comment. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce's brand new album -- stream samples of all the songs and videos here

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Ah, what innocents we were—going to sleep last night in a world with only four Beyoncé studio albums, and waking up to the bizzonkers news blitz that is her self-titled no. 5. (Read Nick Catucci’s review here.)

“I see music,” Beyoncé said in a statement about the many videos that accompany the album. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”

She also talked about the irregular nature of Beyoncé‘s sudden release. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

EW’s music critic Nick Catucci is hard at work in his music-critic terrarium, prepping a full review of the album which will be up on EW.com this afternoon. (Update: Here’s the review!) In the meantime, though, you can take a look at the full run of the album’s video snippets (there are visual clips for each of Beyonce‘s 14 tracks, plus three bonuses), and draw your own conclusions:

READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus lights up onstage at MTV European Music Awards -- VIDEO

Remember when you were so emotionally disturbed by Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the VMAs you wanted to remove your eyeballs with a rusty spoon? Or the time you rushed your family down to your homemade bomb shelter after viewing her “Wrecking Ball” video? Nope, me neither. But, as previously reported, earlier today the pop star continued her year of Offending People Who Enjoy Being Offended By Things Miley Cyrus Does when she lit up what most definitely did not look like a cigarette at the MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, birthplace of the marijuana-dispensing coffee shop and Kirk Douglas (although only one of those facts seems relevant to this story).

READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards: Best and Worst of the Broadcast

The real winners were announced Wednesday night at the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Best “Suck it, haters” Taylor Swift moment ever: So not only did George Strait, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts — all people for whom Swift opened at the start of her career — come out onstage to present the 23-year-old with the Pinnacle Award, there was also a video including kind messages from Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Carly Simon, Julia Roberts, and Ethel Kennedy, among others. Watch it below. It’s might have been the best acceptance speech of Swift’s career, as she paid respect to each of the artists onstage with her.  READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley talks preparations, George Jones tribute, and poking fun at country-music feuds

For the sixth straight year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will cohost the CMA Awards, airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (See our predictions for who we think will win, and who we’d vote for.)

There’s a long list of performances, which include Taylor Swift collaborating with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill, Dave Grohl joining the Zac Brown Band,  and George Strait and Alan Jackson paying tribute to the late, great George Jones. Back in August, when Paisley began talking to exec producer Robert Deaton about this year’s show, one of their first conversations was about how the broadcast would honor Jones. “It ought to be the best you can have with those two doing it,” Paisley told EW last month. “They’re the heirs to the torch. If anybody’s close to the stratosphere that George Jones was cruising in, it’s them. That’s who it needs to be.”

Fans will also tune in to see what Paisley and Underwood come up with for their opening monologue. When we spoke to Paisley, he expected them to have fun with the genre’s current identity crisis, epitomized by Brown referring to Entertainer of the Year nominee and fellow performer Luke Bryan’s bro-country chart-topper ”That’s My Kind of Night” as ”the worst song I’ve ever heard.” ”You’ve got people in our industry all fired up on each side of that issue, and then you’ve got me — I’m just happy about it,” Paisley says, laughing. ”It’s like I’m this sadist when we’re writing this show. I’m like, ‘Oh, that looks painful… That’s great!”  READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry explains new album 'Prism' and writing about her divorce from Russell Brand -- EXCLUSIVE

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Katy Perry’s new album Prism (out 10/22; read EW critic Nick Catucci’s take here) is full of the bouncy, joyous pop tunes that she’s known for. But perhaps the most surprising aspect is her bluntness when writing about her 2012 divorce from Russell Brand in the poignant-but-hopeful closing track “By the Grace of God.” In it, Perry sings that post-break-up she could be found on her bathroom floor crying.

“Well, imagine what you go through,” she tells EW. “Imagine what happens when you go through a break up. We all go through break ups and we all get very depressed and desperate. The lyrics are very exact and autobiographical. That’s how I write. But the one thing about those lyrics is you can hear me finding my strength throughout the song. It starts off really low and then I kind of stand up for myself and say, ‘No!'”

Perry adds: “Sometimes you look in the mirror when you’re crying and if you look in the mirror it will make you cry more because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. And then sometimes you look in the mirror and you cry and I’ve been like: ‘Snap out of it! It’s time to — come on — grow up! No!’ There’s almost like this inner warfare that comes out, this inner battle between the good angel and the bad devil.”

Perry, who says her recent single “Unconditionally” was partially influenced by current boyfriend John Mayer, specifies that “By the Grace of God” is the lone track from Prism specifically about her relationship with Brand. “All the other songs are stories from different times in my life,” she says. “It’s people making assumptions. It’s kind of hard because I am so vulnerable and I am [such an] open book, but I don’t feel like I want to hand over a specific story about each and every song. I don’t feel like I want every song to come with a little package, a little tabloid-al package because it’s like, ‘Why don’t you let the song be a little unspecific to the listener? Then the listener can use it and relate to it in their own way. So, not every song comes up with an excerpt. They’re biographical but all you’re going to get in the songs is just that.”

For much more from Katy Perry, look for EW’s intimate all-access profile of the star on newsstands Nov. 1.

Taylor Swift goes 80s bubblegum on new single 'Sweeter Than Fiction' -- LISTEN

Whip out your pink tux and pierce your left ear — Taylor Swift wants to take you to a 1980s prom.

The pop-country star (and future The Giver actress) teamed up with fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff to pen “Sweeter Than Fiction,” a New Wavey track for the upcoming British biopic One Chance, which tells the story of Paul Potts, the down-on-his-luck store clerk who became an opera-singing sensation after winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.

Swift sings from the point of view of a longtime fan who believed in a performer’s talent long before anyone else did. “I’ve seen you fall, I’ve seen you crawl on your knees, eh eh” she sings during the opening verse. “I’ve seen you lost in a crowd, seen your colors fade.” The song’s main subject doesn’t mire for too long, though, and the tone of the lyrics quickly shifts to match the fizzy musical arrangement. “There you’ll stand ten feet tall, and I will say, ‘I knew it all along,'” Swift beams in the chorus. “I’ll be one of the many saying, ‘You made us proud.'”

The track, which will play over the end-credits of One Chance, is uplifting without being hokey and sweet without being cloying. It’s as light and airy as cotton candy — and just as addictive, too. Give it a listen below: READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry reveals how John Mayer (and Africa!) inspired her emotional new single 'Unconditionally' -- EXCLUSIVE

Pop superstar Katy Perry’s new album Prism comes out next Tuesday, Oct. 22 (you can stream the full album now at katyperry.com and read EW music critic Nick Catucci’s review here) but the singer has now officially released the second single, “Unconditionally.” An emotional, soaring ballad, the song is Perry’s favorite on the album and was actually inspired by Perry’s current love, John Mayer, and a recent trip she took. “‘Unconditionally’ was influenced by my boyfriend and also really influenced by Africa,” Perry reveals to EW. “I went to Madagascar and did a UNICEF trip that changed my life and gave me this song. It’s just a simple message about loving someone and accepting them and kind of driving at you don’t have to be so self-conscious, you don’t have to fear, because essentially, everybody has their stuff. Nobody comes stuff-free. Everybody has their things and you’re never going to be perfect, and accepting that and understanding that, especially in a relationship, it makes room for a real, genuine kind of love.”

For much more from Katy Perry, look for EW’s intimate all-access profile of the star on newsstands Nov. 1.

 

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