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'Grey's Anatomy' actor Kevin McKidd channels his Scottish roots for charity album -- VIDEO

Kevin-Mckidd

Actor Kevin McKidd may sport a growly American accent as Dr. Owen Hunt on Grey’s Anatomy, but the Scotland-native’s true roots shine through on his upcoming album, The Speyside Sessions, a collection of traditional Scottish songs.

Admittedly, he says, the album is “not the thing you’d expect,” but ultimately, it was a chance for the actor to reconnect with his roots, honor his late grandfather (who first exposed him to Scottish music), and something good for the world. Recorded two years ago with old friends during a five-day jam session in his native land, the album’s proceeds will benefit Save the Children, a charity for which McKidd is an ambassador.

“It seemed like a good fit to bring all these people from my past and from my upbringing and all these songs that were important to me [together],” he says. The record goes on sale June 15 and will be available on iTunes and via other retailers.

But one thing Grey’s fans shouldn’t expect? Cameos from any of his co-stars. Well, not this time around, at least. “They are some great singers but sadly they all had Christmas plans. It was hard to get any of them to come to the wild highlands of Scotland with me. I would have loved it if they did,” he says. “But there’s always The Speyside Sessions 2.”

Below, check out an exclusive look behind the scenes of the project, narrated by Ewan McGregor.

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BET Awards 2012: Kanye West, Beyonce, Jay-Z leads the nominations

Can’t tell him nothing — though Kanye might actually like to know that he leads the pack of nominations for this year’s BET Awards with seven nods, including six for his Watch the Throne collab with Jay-Z, and one for Director of the Year.

Mrs. Shawn Carter didn’t do too shabby either; Beyonce comes in a close second with six noms, for “Countdown” and “Love on Top.” Chris Brown, Drake, Lil Wayne and J.Cole are also multiple nominees.

Samuel L. Jackson will host, and Brown and Nicki Minaj are among those confirmed to perform at the ceremony July 1 in Los Angeles. For a full list of categories and nominees, see below: READ FULL STORY

2012 Billboard Music Awards: 20 essential takeaways from the show

Like most music awards shows, the Billboard Music Awards are so not about the statuettes that are doled out. The show — which aired live last night on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel, with hosts, Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell — is typically more about everything but the awards: performances, tributes, collaborations, and other sundry craziness.

Hell, even the fashion — hello to Miley Cyrus’ barely-there suit jacket — is more important than the prizes! And that was no different this year. Just a handful of the 46 awards were actually given out during the show (LMFAO dominated), which was jolted to life with performances from Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, and Linkin Park; tributes to Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, and Stevie Wonder; a collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys; and a heartfelt speech by Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Here are 20 essential takeaways from the evening:

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Adele dominates Billboard Music Awards with 12 wins: See full list of winners here

The 2012 Billboard Music Awards were doled out last night during a live telecast from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas that was broadcast on ABC and hosted by the network’s Modern Family stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.

Of course, much like the Grammys, just a fraction of the 46 awards were given out during the show, which — also like the Grammys — played more like a concert. Although she wasn’t in attendance at the show, Adele dominated with 12 awards, followed by LMFAO with six awards and Lil Wayne and Coldplay with four each.

The full list of 2012 Billboard Music Award winners is as follows:

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John Mayer talks voice issues, being an 'idiot' on 'Ellen'

Former guitar-solo-face-making bad boy John Mayer is pretty serious about courting forgiveness for past transgressions. The entirety of his new album Born and Raised is a lengthy apology to the people—mostly female—he’s wronged over the past few years. And yesterday, he took the seat opposite Ellen DeGeneres to chat about his tabloid-worthy exploits.

“It was a very strange time and it sort of rocketed me into adulthood,” Mayer told the host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It was a violent crash into being an adult.” That violent crash was the main reason Mayer decided to decamp from L.A. to a ranch in a particularly remote part of Montana. “The question ‘Why Montana?’ is the answer,” he said. “Why not be happy after awhile? You get to a certain age where you prepare yourself to be happy, sometimes you never remember to actually get happy. So I remembered how to get happy.” READ FULL STORY

'VH1 Divas' will tribute Whitney Houston: Who should participate?

EW has confirmed the recent news that VH1 is planning a tribute to Whitney Houston to air as a part of its long-running Diva series. The special will tape in Los Angeles in December, with her longtime musical director Ricky Minor serving as executive producer. Whitney’s family — and her label at Sony — have given their blessing for the special to move forward.

Since the taping is several months away, no artists have yet to be confirmed. But that’s where we fans of Whitney can come into play, mostly by answering the question: Who is best to fete Whitney at a Divas tribute? Let’s look at the most likely suspects that might turn up:

+ JENNIFER HUDSON: She’s an obvious choice, seeing as how she already paid tribute to Houston earlier this year at the Grammys, when she flawlessly sang “I Will Always Love You.” But in the spirit of mixing things up — and Hudson maybe not wanting to overshadow what she did for Houston at the Grammys — she could also opt not to participate and let someone step into the spotlight.

+ THE DIVAS PAST: Any number of former participants would be welcome additions to a Houston tribute, as Houston herself showed up on the special in 1999 (singing “Ain’t No Way” with Mary J. Blige and “I’m Every Woman” with Chaka Kahn), 2002 (helping Mary J. Blige out with “Rainy Dayz”), and 2003 (“Something in Common/My Love is Your Love” with ex-husband Bobby Brown and “I Was Made to Love Her” in a Stevie Wonder tribute). Divas, despite their competitive nature, do tend to run together. Others Divas alums who could potential show up include Mariah Carey (who also sang “When You Believe” with Houston), Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Cher, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson.

+ BOBBY BROWN: There’s little chance Houston’s ex-husband and New Edition singer won’t be there. The big question is: Will he perform? And if so, what will he perform?

+ STEVIE WONDER: Houston sang the mid-tempo duet “We Didn’t Know” (from her 1990 album I’m Your Baby Tonight) with the legend and also paid tribute to him at the 2003 Divas concert, so it’s pretty much a lock that he’ll be there to fete her in some way.

+ DIONNE WARWICK: She’s Houston’s cousin — and a legendary singer herself. Seems only natural that, if she’s up for it emotionally, she’d be there.

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'The Big C' star Gabourey Sidibe: What's On My iPod

You likely recognize her from her Oscar-nominated turn as the title character in 2009′s Precious, but Gabourey Sidibe also stars in Showtime’s cancer comedy The Big C, currently in its third season.

On C, Sidibe plays Andrea Jackson, a mouthy student who takes a class from — and becomes close with — the show’s lead character, Cathy (Laura Linney). The actress acts, of course, but one of her other serious passions is music. “I think it’s because my mom’s a singer,” Sidibe recently told EW. “I’ve always had this relationship with music where it’s everything. It’s not just a hobby. It’s not just a thing in my life. It’s everything, whether it’s a profession or not. It’s not my profession, but I grow wary of talking about acting.”

With that in mind, EW checked in with Sidibe about what she’s rocking out to on her iPod, and she happily chatted about her picks, offering up her favorite jams from Jessie J, Flo Rida, Tyler the Creator, Childish Gambino, and more.

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Nicki Minaj debuts in new Pepsi commercial: Watch it here

If Nicki Minaj wasn’t, um, vivid enough for you in her recent “Starships” video, Pepsi has you covered.

The soda brand continued its long relationship with pop stars by debuting a new, summery commercial featuring Minaj and a remixed version of her song “Moment 4 Life.”

Hewing closely to the song’s title, the ad features a pair of telegenic cutups who find themselves moving through a world completely frozen in time. Naturally, they use the extraordinary opportunity to rob banks, loot, and play mean pranks on their rude neighbors.

Just kidding! Well, kind of: they mess up an ongoing beach volleyball game, steal expensive clothes from a fashion show, and sneak into a Nicki Minaj concert.

Check out all the hijinks in the extended-cut video below:

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Eric Church takes aim at Blake Shelton, 'The Voice,' wussy rock music -- UPDATE

That Eric Church guy is a wild one.

In a recent Rolling Stone interview with the country star, we learn that the Chief chief’s hobbies include: riding around in four-wheelers while clutching loaded guns and beer, getting cowboy boots thrown at him during shows, and punching security guards.

Oh, and he also likes to talk a lot of smack.

Take, for example, Church’s assessment of today’s music industry:

“It’s become American Idol gone mad. Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f—ing turn around in a red chair, you got a deal. That’s crazy.”

“I don’t know what would make an artist do that,” Church continued. “You’re not an artist.”

Naturally, Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert (whose career began on the reality talent show Nashville Star in 2003 and who also played a part in The Voice this season) were none too pleased.

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Gotye softens his stance on 'Glee' cover

Hey, remember all those things Gotye said about Glee‘s rendition of “Somebody That I Used to Know”? He takes it all back! Sort of.

Gotye took time to clarify his comments during a performance at L.A. alternative station 98.7 yesterday afternoon. Speaking to radio D.J. Kennedy (yes, that Kennedy), Gotye covered his tracks by explaining, “The nature of using reverb and space in a recording can change your perception of how a sound appeals to you.”

“This xylophone hook in my song is kind of dinky not just in the cover version but the original song,” he continued, before joking: “That becomes the Glee cover I hated and Darren Criss is an asshole.”

The singer went on to compliment the way the show handled his hit. “I thought it was really clever to transpose the song to two guys,” he said. “It was a great idea.”

So, in short: Gotye’s thinks his own song has dinky qualities, Kennedy is still a thing, and Glee always wins.

More on EW.com:
Gotye thinks ‘Glee’ botched his song
Album sales: Lionel Richie climbs to No. 1; Gotye races up the chart following ‘SNL’
‘Saturday Night Live’ recap: Josh Brolin hosts and Gotye sings while Steven Spielberg, Kimbra, and the Brotee crash the party

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