Brad Paisley Breaks Ground on Free Nashville Grocery Shop. Country star Brad Paisley took the controls of a backhoe to dig up the first pile of dirt in the space that will become a free grocery store to support needy families in Nashville, Tennessee. Paisley donned a cowboy hat-shaped construction helmet for part of Wednesday's (April 3) groundbreaking ceremony for The Store, which is a partnership with his alma mater Belmont University. The country star and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, said they got the idea after volunteering with their kids at a similar store called the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California. Construction on the Nashville store is projected to be completed by the end of the year. "Hunger and food insecurity is a real issue in Nashville," said Williams-Paisley. "One in seven people deal with food insecurity. That means they don't know where their next meal is coming from. And it's even worse for kids, one in five children." The store will operate like a real grocery store so that people can go shopping through the aisles and Belmont students and other volunteers will scan their items, but no money will change hands. "We really want to get people before this is a major crisis," Williams-Paisley said. "We want to help people in this gap where they are trying to get back on their feet." The store will be located on Belmont's campus and next to the university's Ministry Center, which will provide heath care and legal aid ministry clinics. Paisley said this model "takes away the sting of embarrassment for a parent who maybe feels that way because they can't feed their kid." Even the mechanical horse for kids on the outside of the store will be free, he said. "The kids should not know what their parent is going through," Paisley said. "That's not stress a child needs." (Billboard)
Owning a HUGE piece of John Lennon history has never been easier -- assuming you can get a little help from your friends ... and your friends are filthy rich. The folks over at Gotta Have Rock and Roll are set to auction off the piano Lennon used to write The Beatles' eighth studio album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Fans looking to score the iconic upright piano are gonna need a small fortune ... it's expected to fetch upwards of $1.2 MILLION!!! This is the same piano Lennon stored and used at his famous Kenwood house on St. George's Hill estate in Weybridge, England. Legend has it, he had at least 2 pianos at the crib but this particular one was his fave. The piano itself is a piece of history ... it dates back to 1872!! It's a product of John Broadwood & Sons, which was founded in 1728 and whose previous customers include a couple of dudes named Mozart and Beethoven. The instrument has a plaque that says, "On this piano was written: A Day in the Life, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Good Morning, Good Morning, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite and many others. John Lennon. 1971." The online-only auction starts April 10 and ends April 19. Minimum bid is a whopping $575k. Quick point of reference -- the piano Lennon used to write "Imagine" sold back in 2000 for an insane $1.7 MILLION ... to George Michael. (TMZ)
Cardi B Leads 2019 Billboard Music Awards Nominations With 21. Cardi B leads all nominees at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. The "I Like It" rapper is nominated 21 times in 18 categories -- just missing the record for most nominations set by Drake and The Chainsmokers, who each had 22 in 2017. Cardi will compete against herself in three categories -- top Hot 100 song, top selling song, and top collaboration. Following Cardi B, Drake and Post Malone each have 17 nominations. Travis Scott is up for 12 awards, and XXXTentacion is up for 10. Among the other nominees are Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper -- who are up for the chart achievement award, top soundtrack for A Star Is Born, and top selling song for "Shallow." Gaga is up separately for top song sales artist. For this year's ceremony, there are two fan-voted categories -- top social artist, and chart achievement. Kelly Clarkson hosts the 2019 Billboard Music Awards from the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 1. The show will air live at 8PM ET on NBC. (Billboard)
XXXTentacion Nominated for 2019 Billboard Music Awards 10 Months After His Death. While he's no longer with us, XXXTentacion's legacy lives on in the musical world. Such was the case on Thursday morning as the nominations for the 2019 Billboard Music Awards were announced live on Today. The late 20-year-old rapper, who was fatally shot in June 2018, was named a nominee in multiple categories, including "Top Male Artist" against Drake, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone and Travis Scott, as well as "Top R&B Male Artist," "Top R&B Artist," "Top Streaming Songs Artist" and "Top Billboard 200 Artist," "Top Billboard 200 Album," "Top R&B Album," for 17, "Top Rap Album" for ?, "Top Streaming Song (Audio)" and "Top Streaming Song (Video) for "Sad!" His March 2018 album,?, reached number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. Three months later, the star was gunned down in his car in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His third studio album, Skins, was posthumously released the following December and also hit number one on the Billboard 200. Shortly before his passing, the rapper reflected on death. "Worst thing comes to worse, I f--king die a tragic death and I'm not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceived my message and were able to make something of themselves and use it to turn it into something positive," he said into the camera in an apparent live stream. He continued, "If I'm going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least 5 million kids happy." With 10 nominations, his work has certainly made an impact on the industry. (Eonline)
Killer Mike Delivers Moving Speech at Nipsey Hussle's Atlanta Vigil: 'I'm Tired Of My Enemy Looking Like Me'. Killer Mike has called for love, peace and community spirit in the wake of Nipsey Hussle's murder in South Los Angeles. The Atlanta native, a longtime political activist and community organizer with a reputation for speaking his mind, addressed the crowd gathered at Morris Brown College on Tuesday (April 2) for Hussle's vigil. One of those looking on was Charlamagne Tha God, who shared a clip of Mike (real name Michael Render) delivering a powerful speech asking where the love is and calling for an end to black-on-black violence. "We have a choice," Mike says in the video. "That rag that is over your forehead or out of your left pocket is better served wiping the sweat off your head for the work you are doing on behalf of your community in a way that does not murder other Africans... You do not have to kill one another to prove your worth to your neighborhood." He continued, "Your enemies don't give a f*** what color rag you wear. They will murder you in the streets, they will leave you dead for your momma to find, and I'm tired of my enemy looking like me." Hussle, 33, the hip-hop star and community activist, was gunned down on Sunday afternoon outside his Marathon Clothing outlet. The prime suspect in the murder, Eric Holder, is now in custody with bail reportedly set around $7 million. Overnight, California Congresswoman Karen Bass vowed to formally enter Hussle's community contributions to into the Congressional Record where it would "be a part of United States history forever." (Billboard)
Spanish Artist El Guincho Extends Deal With Warner/Chappell Music. Pablo Diaz-Reixa, the Spanish composer, producer, musician and DJ known as El Guincho, has renewed his publishing contract with Warner/Chappell Music. The deal will also cover other artists and songwriters who he signs to his new production and publishing company, Rico Publishing. El Guincho has been in the spotlight of late for Rosala's "El Mal Querer," which he co-wrote and co-produced with the singer. The album was a No. 1 album in Spain and took the top spot on Billboard's Latin Pop chart. The record's breakthrough single "Malamente" won a 2018 Latin Grammy. El Guincho shares writing credits and performs on "Con Altura," Rosala's latest single featuring J Balvin. A native of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, El Guincho has also worked with Julieta Venegas, Javiera Mena and C Tangana, among other artists, and collaborated with Bjrk. "El Guincho is an incredible creative force whose influences range from Afrobeat to tropiclia, and dub to rock," Santiago Menendez-Pidal, managing director of Warner/Chappell Music Spain, said in a statement. "It's been an immense pleasure to support his stellar career to date and I'm delighted that he's invested his trust in us again. And we're delighted to back his new venture, Rico Publishing, which is sure to be a hotbed of talent."