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Darren Criss announces 'Listen up...' summer tour (and a solo album!)

Glee star and semi-professional dreamboat Darren Criss has some “very, very exciting news” to announce: “I’m happy to officially announce my very first solo tour throughout North America. It’s Canada, the United States — 16 dates, all over the place. Hopefully we’re coming by to a city near you,” he said in a video today.

More deets: Criss will be playing both old and new material (like a set-list!), be having a lot of fun, and — yes — he has been working on a solo album whilst also acting in TV shows and online musicals. “But I still have these songs, and I really want to share them with people before we put them out into the world,” Criss said. So the tour will be called “Listen up…,” kicking off on May 29 in Criss’ hometown, San Francisco before moving on to dates in L.A., Houston, Chicago, Nashville, and New York, among others.

Tickets and all other info at darrencriss.com. Watch the tour announcement for yourself below.

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Adele, Maroon 5, and (yes) Miley Cyrus pay tribute to Bob Dylan on new album

Adele, Miley Cyrus, Darren Criss, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, Elvis Costello, Pete Seeger, Tom Morello, and Ke$ha are among the acts who have contributed new or previously unreleased tracks to the album Chimes of Freedom which pays tribute to both Bob Dylan and Amnesty International.

Adele has gifted Chimes of Freedom a live version of “Make You Feel My Love” and Cyrus sings “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” while folk legend Seeger performs “Forever Young.”

But they’re hardly the only ones on this massive four-disc outing. Find the just-released full tracklisting after the jump:

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Darren Criss live: A very Potter experience, featuring Warblers and Naya Rivera

Tonight, Darren Criss will join his Glee cast members for a performance at the 20,000-seat Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ for the latest stop on the group’s gigantic summer tour.

But last night, the singer took to a much smaller stage at Irving Plaza in New York City for a solo performance that was as charmingly aimless as it was enjoyable and star-filled. Among the cameos? Criss’ Warbler brothers, Naya Rivera, and Lauren Lopez from Team Starkid’s A Very Potter Musical.

Early on during the show, Criss told the audience to expect three things: a flexible set list (which he said he would make up as the show progressed), a few incidents  of forgotten lyrics, and big guests. READ FULL STORY

'Glee' star Darren Criss calls his show 'A magical marshmallow castle in the sky,' admits you may have had enough of him, and more in new interview

Glee has been a tremendously fertile musical venue for stars both established (Gwyneth Paltrow, John Stamos) and new (Matthew Morrison’s album is due out next month).

The latest beneficiary of the Glee effect is Darren Criss—a.k.a. gay dreamboat Blaine Anderson—now the undisputed star of the new album Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers.

In a cover story in the new issue of Billboard, Criss talks about the album (which hits stores tomorrow), his projects outside of the show, and the sudden success that has been thrust upon him. “When I look back on Glee and on this album, it’s like I was offered to live in a golden marshmallow house in the sky,” he told the magazine. “It’s like, ‘Sure! I’ll take it!’ I never thought that it would ever happen, that I would get a magical marshmallow castle in the sky, but my God, thank you.”

Criss had already developed something of a reputation before joining the Glee cast last year, as the mastermind behind the viral hit A Very Potter Musical, and also made waves in the musical community with his company StarKid.

According to Criss, he’s still trying to balance everything with the pressure of being the new guy on one of the most feverishly followed shows on TV. Still, he’s carving out a place for himself. “I’m still the new guy, so I don’t want to go around saying, ‘We should do this. We should do that.’ But Ryan [Murphy] is always open to ideas, and I did at one point say, ‘Hey, Neon Trees’ “Animal” is a really great song,’” he explained. “And about a week later it showed up in the script.”

As for a possible upcoming solo album, he says: “We’re working on it—we’re really excited and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’m so thrilled that it’s something that can happen because of Glee, and like the Warblers album, I hope I can do it justice and make it something that people can really enjoy.”

And just in case you think the show has gone a little overboard with Blaine in the past few weeks, don’t worry—Criss feels your pain. “They kind of called it out, which I’m glad they did,” he joked. “Blaine definitely had his moment in the sun. I think it’s time to focus back on the characters that fans of the show really know and love … I think we’re focusing a little more back on New Directions and taking a little bit of a break from the Warblers.”

Do you agree, Gleeks? Or is there no such thing as too much Blaine? Let us know in the comments below.

More on EW.com:
‘Glee’ premiere: Hear Darren Criss and the Warblers cover ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?’
‘Glee’: Darren Criss and the Warblers cover Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’: Hear it here
‘Glee’: Warblers album to be released in April

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