Music

Adam Levine Conflicted Over Maroon 5 Performing at the Super Bowl. Maroon 5 is set to headline the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show -- for now, at least. While the NFL has not officially announced the rock band will be taking the stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, E! News and other outlets confirmed in September Maroon 5 had booked the gig. After the news came out, rumors circulated that Pink and Rihanna had passed on the Halftime Show in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was basically blacklisted for "taking a knee" during the National Anthem. Celebrities like Amy Schumer have urged Maroon 5 to step down, and an online petition was created to encourage the band to drop out of the show; to date, it has over 63,000 signatures. Naturally, the band's frontman, Adam Levine, is conflicted about how to proceed. For months, the singer -- who has been named Variety's 2018 Hitmaker of the Year -- batted away questions about the band's involvement. Now, he tells the magazine, "I'm still formulating a lot of things." What those things are, Levine doesn't say.

Travis Scott announces Astroworld Festival will return next year. Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival might just become an annual thing. Less than a week after the first ever Astroworld Festival took place in his native Houston, the rapper announced that the event will return again next year. "YESSIRRRR THIS IS ON THEY'RE WEBSITE I GOTTA GOOOO," he captioned an image macro announcing the news over the weekend. The first Astroworld fest -- which is separate from the rapper's current Astroworld tour -- was held on Nov. 17 at NRG Park in Houston and is named for a closed Six Flag amusement park located across the street. Some 40,000 fans were on hand to watch Scott, Post Malone, Lil Wayne and Young Thug, among others, perform at the all-day event. In August, when the festival was announced, Scott's manager said their goal was to "bring some well-deserved recognition to Travis' hometown of Houston, the place that has made him both the man and creative artist he is today. H-Town has an incredible rich cultural history, and we look forward to showcasing to residents from Travis' own backyard and across the globe what makes this city so special." (PageSix)

Justin Timberlake Postpones Los Angeles Show Due to Continued Vocal Cord Issues. Citing bruised vocal cords, Justin Timberlake has postponed his Man of the Woods concert stop slated for Los Angeles' Staples Center Tuesday night, Nov. 27. Timberlake has been plagued by the issue for the last month, postponing a number of dates, including Oct. 24's Madison Square Garden date in New York; his Oct. 28 Buffalo, N.Y. appearance and two Tacoma (Wash.) Dome concerts originally slated for Nov. 12-13. He has rescheduled all of the dates other than Los Angeles. Timberlake's next date is Nov. 29 at Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Arena. The singer has been making the best of a bad situation, even doing a silent interview with his bestie on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote his new book, Hindsight.(Billboard)

Lorde Teases That Next Album Could Be Piano-Based. "I think this next one will probably be born out of the piano in my house," she told fans in a newsletter. The bad news: Lorde hasn't started properly working on her follow-up to Melodrama yet. The good news: she's got a new piano in her house and she intends to use it. The singer, who wrapped the world tour in support of her sophomore album last week with a show in Mexico City, sent out an email to fans thanking them for coming out and giving them a sneak peek at what's next. "I haven't started properly on the next record yet, and I'm not sure how long it'll be," Lorde wrote in the note posted by some fans. "But I've been teaching myself how to play piano, and here and there little bits come out. I think this next one will probably be born out of the piano in my house; me and my friends, keeping it simple. But we'll see." The singer, who gave up on social media, sent out the update to her followers in order to share some pics from her South American dates and news about what's next. "Eyeris counted up 116 performances this tour," she wrote. "That includes, shows, festivals, radio thingies, TV performances... holy shit I have no idea how we did all those bloody performances! And now it's the end, and I'm caught in an overwhelming mix of relief, gratitude, mourning, elation, and exhaustion. As I sit at home at my kitchen table with the dog under my feet and the doors wide open, I'm thankful to be back where I feel most like myself, but also a little spooked to think it will be a while before we see each other again, formally." A spokesperson for Lorde could not be reached for additional comment at press time. (Billboard)

Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" Trailer Includes a Joke About Her Engagement to Pete Davidson. After a week of teasing her highly anticipated "Thank U, Next" music video, Ariana Grande dropped an official trailer on Tuesday. Grande has already revealed that the new music video will be inspired by several fan-favorite films, including Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, 13 Going on 30 and Bring It On. The newly released sneak peek pays homage to the classic Mean Girls scene in which students describe Rachel McAdams' character, Regina George -- and viewers will likely recognize a few familiar faces. There are several celebrity cameos throughout the teaser, including quick appearances by Colleen Ballinger, Gabi DeMartino and her "Dance to This" co-star Troye Sivan. It even features a few appearances by original Mean Girls cast members, including Jonathan Bennett (who played Aaron Samuels in the 2004 film) and Stefanie Drummond (who famously recalled getting punched in the face by Regina George in the movie). Throughout the video, each celebrity tells a rumor he or she has heard about Grande. There was even a nod to her former engagement to Pete Davidson. "Ariana broke off an engagement. So, I found a guy to propose to me, and I broke off an engagement," the Bethany Byrd character said. We can't wait to see the video! (Eonline)

Christmas Light Display Timed to Taylor Swift's 'Ready For It' Rocks. Taylor Swift performs during Reputation Stadium Tour in Japan presented by Fujifilm instax at Tokyo Dome on Nov. 20, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. If you're like a lot of Americans, you spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend wrestling with strands of Christmas lights, untangling them and replacing bulbs to find just one that works. Or, if you're like a huge Taylor Swift fan who lives in Topeka, Kansas, you strung up the lights and timed them to the strains of that Xmas classic "Ready For It." According to The Wichita Eagle, the 30-minute long display has gone viral and people can't get enough of it. "It's like a precursor to the show itself," Topeka resident Louie Cortez told the paper about the beginning of the show, which opens with flashing lights and the question "Are you ready for it?" The whole house pulses, blinks and flashes to the strains of the song, flashing a rainbow of colors and shapes perfectly timed to the hit single's rhythms. "Those who see if for the first time aren't sure what to expect, so it's like a teaser for the rest of the show." Cortez said the show as inspired by the first show he ever went to: Swift's Reputation gig at Kansas City's Arrowhead stadium earlier this year. "I saw the stage in my mind and what I could do with the lights... so I thought it'd be really cool to program (the Christmas lights) to it." The Cortez family's fourth Christmas display opens with Swift and then transitions into more traditional holiday songs, all programmed by Cortez, an IT systems analyst at the University of Kansas. (Billboard)

Cobb is also a four-time Grammy winner. Music producer Dave Cobb, who produced the soundtrack for this year's A Star Is Born, has signed with CAA, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The agency will help expand his work in film and television. Cobb served as music consultant on the film, whose soundtrack was No. 1 for three straight weeks and is still in the top five, seven weeks after it was released. The Nashville-based producer recently won single of the year honors at the CMAs for Chris Stapleton's "Broken Halos." Cobb also produced Stapleton's albums Traveller (which went triple platinum) and From a Room: Volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1 was hailed as best country album by the Grammys and Billboard Music Awards, while the CMA and ACM Awards named it album of the year. His other Grammy-winning records include Jason Isbell's The Nashville Sound and Something More Than Free. Cobb also produced Sturgill Simpson's critically acclaimed Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, as well as projects by Brandi Carlile, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen, Elle King, Zac Brown Band, Anderson East, The Revivalists, Brent Cobb, Ashley Monroe, Bob Weir, Amanda Shires, Colter Wall and Lori McKenna. Cobb continues to be managed by Andrew Brightman at Brightman Music. CAA Music's recent crossover work for its clients include: Mark Ronson composing original music for Orion Pictures' upcoming Songs of the Damned; Annie Lennox writing and performing an original song for Aviron Pictures' A Private War; Troye Sivan and Jonsi writing an original song for Focus Features' Boy Erased; Julia Michaels reimagining and recording an end-title song for Disney Animation's Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet; Tim McGraw co-writing with McKenna and performing "Gravity" for the Nat Geo documentary Free Solo; and the prolific soundtrack work of La La Land and The Greatest Showman's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Hollywood Reporter)

Grimes to release new music after calling industry 'trash'. Maybe Grimes isn't done with music after all. Months after she told fans not to expect new music from her any time soon, the Canadian musician announced that she's releasing some Wednesday. "New music coming Nov 29!" she tweeted Monday with a link to new merchandise. Earlier this year, the singer-songwriter wrote on Instagram, "welp no music any time soon after all music industry is trash." Soon after, she apologized for the post, tweeting, "i'm sorry negative stuf i said ended up in the press today, i didn't mean to spread bad vibes ugh." The music, the first she's released since her 2015 album "Art Angels," will also be the first finished material she's put out since she and tech oddball Elon Musk went public with their relationship at the 2018 Met Gala. No word if the new songs will feature Azealia Banks, who Grimes was reportedly working on music with when the rapper posted about being stranded on the billionaire's Southern California compound during the summer. The posts in which Banks accused Musk of tweeting while high, claimed the couple wanted to have a threesome with her and called them both names, including referring to the Tesla founder as a "trash ass beta male pig" were rumored to have led to couple's breakup in August, when it was discovered they had stopped following each other on social media. They have both since re-followed one another on Twitter. (PageSix)

Why Shania Twain Is "Bored" With Country Music Right Now. Shania Twain is saying "That Don't Impress Me Much" to the amount of women in country music. In fact, she's the opposite of impressed. The country star talked to E! News' Carissa Culiner about her new show Real Country, which airs Tuesday on USA, and how she's hoping that more females will feel inspired to get involved in the genre. Culiner began by the conversation with Twain about wanting "to talk about women in country music today." The singer replied, "What women?!" If that wasn't evidence enough of the "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" singer's displeasure with the current state of affairs in country music, she continued to explain how disappointed she is that there are "too few" women in it. Female presence on the radio is a whole other can of worms, too. "We are not making radio progress, but we are making very small, steady steps towards awareness that we're lacking women on country radio," she told E! News. Twain revealed that she has some ideas as to how to jump-start the progress, which includes Real Country. "We have too much of the sameness right now. I'm a little bit bored of it, and I want to pick it up. The only way to do that is to be proactive," she explained. "I wanted a show that, when you talk about diversity, that includes gender diversity, style diversity, lifestyle diversity." She's also "fed up with the ageist and sexist thing" when it comes to limits on helping talent break into the scene. Come one, come all! Twain acknowledged some progress has been made throughout her tenure in country music, albeit small. "When I first came on the scene in country music, the limits were way too narrow for me, and it was hard for me," she shared. "There are a lot of artists out there who are intimidated of what they believe country music is...I want to show them there are no limits." For any women out there wanting to get her foot in the door, the "Any Man of Mine" artist is all ears. She heeded, "I want to know who you are and I want to help you. I want to give you an opportunity." If there's one major saving grace in country music, Twain insists that it's the fans. Despite the music itself being narrow, she praised the devoted supporters of the genre. "Who am I am as an artist, as a songwriter, as a performer is completely outside the box of where we've narrowed country music to be right now," she pointed out. "But the fans aren't narrow-minded." (Eonline)

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