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Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles, Luke Bryan, and Sara Evans to join 'Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert' -- EXCLUSIVE

Lionel Richie’s got once, twice, three times the friends you do.

As previously reported, CBS will be airing ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert after the Academy of Country Music Awards telecast April 13.

And while the special event already boasted an impressive roster of country stars — including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, and Martina McBride — it turns out there are even more guests waiting in the wings.

Luke Bryan, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw, and Jennifer Nettles are the night’s newest additions, the ACM and Dick Clark Productions announced today.

The concert will feature a variety of offerings, from solo performances to duets with the man of the hour. Naturally, a whole bunch of Richie hits from the man’s upcoming country duets album Tuskegee, due March 26, will be addressed throughout the night; here’s a peek at the itinerary:

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Magic Johnson plans new life for 'Soul Train'

Before the death of Don Cornelius stirred pangs of Soul Train nostalgia in the American public, a group of black entrepreneurs already had begun working to revive Cornelius’ creation and carry it beyond the continued popularity of the show’s dances and television reruns. What, exactly, can be done with Soul Train, given that it lasted nearly four decades and is considered an American institution, even though there hasn’t been a new episode in six years? Will the soul of Soul Train carry on, or drift into history?

Soul Train Holdings LLC, the entity created by NBA legend and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson when he bought the Soul Train library and brand last year, has a lot of ideas. Among them are bringing a Soul Train variety show back to television, CEO Kenard Gibbs told The Associated Press. There have been discussions with writers about taking Soul Train to Broadway, Gibbs said, and also in the works are film opportunities, potential book deals and, in 2013, the first Soul Train cruise.
“The brand itself, we believe, has far, far other entertainment-based tentacles we can stretch,” Gibbs said. READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift and Zac Efron cover Foster the People on 'Ellen': Watch it here

We’d like to introduce you to your favorite new supergroup: Tayzac Swifron.

Taylor Swift and Zac Efron sat down on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote their upcoming films Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, but the pair got distracted when Ellen found out that Swift had taught her costar how to play guitar during production.

“He had like one lesson,” Swift said. “And he was good at it! I taught him how to play ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster the People.”

And to prove it, the duo grabbed a couple of guitars and played the Grammy- nominated song — though the lyrics were modified for Ellen’s sake. Check it out below:

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Diddy talks about Whitney Houston: 'She was full of life...full of joy' -- VIDEO

In the days since the passing of Whitney Houston, her friends and colleagues have opened up and shared about their time with the pop superstar.

During his visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Diddy recalled his memories of Houston (who will be laid to rest on Saturday) and how he wound up as a guest at her 1992 wedding to Bobby Brown.

“When I was growing up in the music industry, before I had success, I somehow got on her wedding invitation,” Diddy told DeGeneres, “So I was at her wedding but I didn’t really know her — but it was one of the hottest things in town for the music industry.”
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'The Good Wife' star Josh Charles: What's On My iPod

His charming Good Wife character Will Gardner may love baseball, but in real life, actor Josh Charles loves music. When he’s not legal-eagling on the screen for the CBS drama, he’s digging into blues, soul, and folk. Recently, he shared his favorite artists, albums, and songs from his iPod, which you can find here:

SAM COOK, NIGHT BEAT “This is the one I really go back to, more than some of his more classic hits, so to speak. I just think it’s such an incredible record. Who sings better than him?”

BOB DYLAN BLOOD ON THE TRACKS For me, there’s Bob Dylan and then there’s everybody else. There really isn’t anything of his music that I don’t have on my iPod, so if I had to pick one record, let’s say, it would be Blood on the Tracks. I just love the whole feeling and vibe of that record. His music is sort of like my bible, and I’m not a very religious person so take that how you want. It would be my default music if I couldn’t figure out what to listen to. I feel like Dylan, at his heart, is a real blues man, and I love his records where he’s stripped them down and done some really good blues songs.”

SKIP JAMES “I’m a huge blues fan, and his songs are just so complex and his voice is so haunting. I’ve been learning how to play songs like ‘Devil Got My Woman’ on my guitar, as well as ‘Special Rider,’ and ‘Hard Time Killing Floor.’ You know, his life story is pretty incredible, too. But his music, I just find it so haunting. Haunting is the word that comes to mind but, also, the guitar playing is unique and really kind of multilayered.”

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Bon Iver scores upset victory for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards

Unlike past years, the 2012 version of the Grammy Awards was not a particularly shock-filled show. Most of the awards went to Adele, so it’s telling that the one big left-field selection came in a category that did not feature the big-voiced Brit.

When it came time to announce the winner for Best New Artist (awarded by the charming tag team of Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood), any one of the five names nominated could have walked away with the award. (Well, OK, everybody except J. Cole.)

But while many, including Las Vegas bookies, thought that Nicki Minaj would walk away with the gold, the name in the envelope ended up being Bon Iver.

It was clearly an uncomfortable moment for Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon, who had already won a prize earlier in the night for Best Alternative Album. In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, he had said dismissive things about the show, noting that he was not interested in winning awards nor did he want to perform unless he was allowed to play his own songs. Would his victory turn into a Fiona Apple moment?

When he finally stepped up to the microphone, Vernon did mention that the joy of making music was reward enough, but he was also gracious in thanking the voters, other nominees, and musicians who would never be nominated. He also gave a shout-out to his label Jagjaguwar, in what is almost certainly the first time that tiny indie shingle has been called out on the Grammy stage.

What did you think of Vernon’s victory and speech? Did you notice that Minaj looked super upset when they announced Bon Iver’s name? Drop your best new thoughts in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Jennifer Hudson pays tribute to Whitney Houston
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage
Adele makes triumphant post-surgery return at Grammys

Nicki Minaj levitates, lights fires, speaks in tongues for Grammys performance of new single 'Roman Holiday'

When the performance slate for the Grammy Awards came out, it was a little bit surprising that Lady Gaga was not included on the list. Who would pick up the over-the-top theatrical slack with Mother Monster sitting on the sidelines?

Nicki Minaj was happy to fill in. In the evening’s most complicated and elaborate performance, she began on stage with “The Pope” (really just a weird old man from central casting who walked the red carpet with her), and began “confessing” the lyrics to her new single “Roman Holiday.”

Things only got weirder, as the show cut to a pre-taped segment that featured the same holy-man character showing up at a house for an exorcism. Who needed a demon purged? Minaj herself, who haphazardly put on lipstick and sang the lyrics to “I Feel Pretty” to herself as she climbed up the wall.

Eventually, the action cut back to the Staples Center stage, featuring lots of stained glass and a small army of monks. Minaj was strapped to a Frankenstein-esque lab table, eventually set free to rap through the remainder of the song.

In short, it was a mess, featuring a whole lot of religious imagery, a smattering of pyro, and no real messages to be found. The one great moment was when Minaj levitated in what might have been an homage to The Craft.

It was certainly the night’s most bombastic stage production, but it’s unclear exactly how we’re supposed to feel about Nicki Minaj (or her alter ego Roman Zolanski) once it ended.

What did you think of Nicki Minaj? Use your wackiest fake British accent in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Adele performs ‘Rolling in the Deep’ at Grammys
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage

Jennifer Hudson performs 'I Will Always Love You' in stirring Whitney Houston tribute at the Grammys

When the news broke that pop legend Whitney Houston had passed away on Saturday, the producers of the Grammy Awards were suddenly put in an almost untenable position. They absolutely had to pay tribute to the late icon, but there was nowhere near enough time to put together the sort of salute that Houston’s legacy demands.

Ultimately, they came up with a simple and elegant solution, sending out Jennifer Hudson to take the stage (video below) for a run through “I Will Always Love You,” the Dolly Parton song that Houston made into a worldwide smash on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard. Clearly moved by the enormity of her charge, Hudson nevertheless used her amazing instrument to bob and weave with impressive execution, turning in a performance that Houston herself would have been proud of.

Following an In Memoriam montage that saw tips of the hat to late icons like Amy Winehouse, Clarence Clemons, and Phoebe Snow, Hudson appeared bathed in light to start “I Will Always Love You” a cappella. Later joined by nothing more than a piano, Hudson’s huge voice was up to the enormous task of taking on one of the biggest songs in the entire balladeer songbook.

Though she skipped the huge note at the end of the song that became a calling card for Houston, she did ad lib “Whitney, we love you” as she closed out her performance. READ FULL STORY

Adele sings 'Rolling in the Deep' at Grammys in first performance since surgery

Up until the untimely passing of Whitney Houston on Saturday night, the biggest narrative going into Sunday night’s Grammy Awards was the return of Adele. What would she sing? How would she sound? And would her night end triumphantly with a clean awards sweep?

She certainly answered 66% of those questions when she walked onto the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and knocked “Rolling in the Deep” out of the ballpark. Though she has admitted to suffering from performance-related anxiety in the past, she showed no signs of wavering during an exquisite performance that fell a little short of her memorable turn at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards but still instantly became a signature television moment.

Adele’s big night began during an extensive interview conducted for 60 Minutes by Anderson Cooper. READ FULL STORY

The Beach Boys make their return on the Grammy stage with Maroon 5 and Foster the People

It’s been a while since they were in the sun together, but the Beach Boys are back, and they did it on the biggest stage music has to offer.

The long-estranged quintet graced the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a run through some of their biggest hits, which also happen to be some of the most iconic songs in rock history. They didn’t have to do it alone, either; Maroon 5 and Foster the People joined them to both collaborate and pay homage.

Maroon 5 kicked it off with a faithful rendition of “Surfer Girl.” They seemed to struggle a bit with the song’s complex harmonies in the beginning, though by the end they managed to find a groove. Frontman Adam Levine seemed genuinely jazzed to be performing a Beach Boys song.

Levine threw to Foster the People, making their Grammy debut with a run through “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Already a breezy California combo themselves, Foster the People seemed a bit more comfortable with their song than Maroon 5, though frontman Mark Foster had a hard time shaking off his natural jittery charisma, which didn’t service the song all that well. Still, it was faithful and sweet.

Finally, the Boys themselves ripped into “Good Vibrations.” Though the group can hardly be called “Boys” any more, they still managed to capture the youthful exuberance of the song. Eventually, Levine and Foster joined in, creating a surprisingly on-point multi-part harmony that did the song and the reunion proud.

What did you think of the return of the Beach Boys? Send your vibrations (be they good or bad) into the comments.

Read more:
Grammys: The Winners
Complete Grammys Coverage

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