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50 Songs To Celebrate The 4th Of July

7/4/2015 9:00am EDT
Katy Perry
Ah, the wonderful country that is the United States of America – sigh? What better way to celebrate the great USA than through song? Music moves, and these 50 songs – one for each state – should ‘move’ you. Well, maybe not all of them ‘move’ and maybe not even all are celebratory, but these 50 songs should tickle your fancy and potentially beef up your playlist. There’s also plenty of diversity here – veteran artists, obscurer lesser known artists and a variety of genres. So, here goes nothing!!!

But first, how about a little “Fifty Nifty United States”… “From 13 original colonies!”


5th Album Is A Charm For Breaking Benjamin

7/2/2015 8:56am EDT
Breaking Benjamin Becomes The Latest Musicians To Score First No
2015 must be the year of chart dreams realized – at least for some artists. Not everybody can boast of the chart glory (looking at you Ciara). For Breaking Benjamin, a band on their fifth album, reaching the penthouse on the Billboard 200 had eluded them four times before. Finally, the fifth time proved to be charm and Dark Before Dawn earned the band their first #1 album. The numbers are rock solid, as Dark Before Dawn shows no darkness whatsoever with 141,000 units, most of which were album sales. BB is certainly doing its thing – kudos boys, kudos.

Being the jam-packed week it was...

James Taylor And Tony Bennett Have One Thing In Common

6/28/2015 10:00am EDT
James Taylor's Amazing Journey: Taylor Scores First No. 1 Album
"How Sweet It Is" for James Taylor!

The iconic singer and guitarist scored his first number one on the Billboard 200 with the release of his latest album, "Before This World," at the young age of 67 years old! But he isn't the only one to accomplish such a feat!

Only forty-seven years after his debut album, "Before This World" sold 97,000 copies in its debut week, according to Rolling Stone. This allows the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to enjoy his first ever number one.

"Before This World" is Taylor's first collection of new music in 13 years.

The singer of hits such as "How Sweet It Is...

At 67 James Taylor Did This For The First Time -- See Details

6/25/2015 8:37am EDT
James Taylor Earns First No. 1 Album At Age 67
Prepare to be shocked! 67-year old veteran singer/songwriter James Taylor debuts at # 1 on the Billboard 200 with Before This World, impacting to the tune of 97,000 units, which was almost entirely sales. Those are solid numbers by all means for anybody regardless of age or status. Why is the news shocking about Taylor debuting "in the penthouse?" It's because as unbelievable as it may be, until this particular album, Taylor experienced a career-long drought in the "#1 album" department. Taylor had scored a #1 single before, but until Before This World, the “You’ve Got A Friend” singer exp...

Longtime Band Scores First No. 1 Album

6/18/2015 9:45am EDT
Muse Rocks Its Way To First No. 1 Album With 'Drones'
Another week and another new number one album on the Billboard 200. This week, British alternative band Muse takes the top spot with Drones, their first number one album. Muse’s numbers weren’t the sexiest ever, but the 84,000 units are respectable, with nearly all of those units being pure sales. Interestingly, Muse’s last three albums have debuted in reverse order – The Resistance at #3, The 2nd Law at #2, and now Drones at #1. Wasn’t Muse totally destined to spend some time in the penthouse eventually?

The only other newbie to the Billboard 200 top ten this week came courtesy of ...

Notable Albums To Check Out This Week

6/16/2015 8:00am EDT
Adam Lambert & James Taylor Among Albums To Check Out
Last week was sort of a quieter week on the new release front. This week, there are some notable newbies gracing the retail shelves and digital music outlets. This week isn’t quite as stacked as next week (it’s gargantuan), but there’s a little bit of something for everybody. A former American Idol runner-up and a veteran singer/songwriter lead albums to check out this week.

1) Adam Lambert, The Original High (Warner Bros)

Pop star and former American Idol Adam Lambert made history when his sophomore album Trespassing bowed back in 2012 – he was the first openly gay artist to debut ...

Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, Others Perform At Boston Strong Benefit Concert

5/31/2013 5:11pm EDT
Aerosmith, Carole King, New Kids on the Block, Dropkick Murphys, and many more took the stage Thursday night to raise money to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration event at a sold-out TD Garden in Boston lasted an astonishing 5 1/2 hours, starting at the national anthem and ending with a group rendition of the Beatles' "Come Together" and Boston anthem "Dirty Water."

Joey McIntyre shared his story from the Boston Marathon - the New Kids on the Block star had finished the race 10 minutes before the bombs went off. He s...

Aerosmith And NKOTB To Headline Boston Strong Benefit Concert

5/3/2013 11:27pm EDT
Aerosmith and New Kids On The Block are set to headline a special benefit concert to raise money for victims of the recent Boston Marathon bombing.

The Massachusetts heroes will be joined by Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Carole King, country singer Jason Aldean, rockers Godsmack and The J. Geils Band at Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration.

The event will boost funds for The One Fund Boston, which was set up in the wake of the tragedy by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help those affected by the bombings.

The concert will be particula...

James Taylor To Receive France's Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

8/30/2012 1:18pm EDT
James Taylor
James Taylor has landed one of France's top cultural awards in honor of his lengthy music career.

Officials in the country have told the singer/songwriter he has been named as the latest recipient of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, which recognizes individuals who have contributed to the arts.

A post on Taylor's website reads, "James has received word that the French government has conferred on him the distinguished honor of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters."

"The announcement will be followed by a private medal ceremony at a later date at the French Embassy i...

Happy 50th Birthday, Garth Brooks!

2/7/2012 8:30am EST
Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks will be partying with "Friends In Low Places" on Tuesday - the country superstar turns 50 today!

Since his debut in 1989, Oklahoma-born Troyal Garth Brooks has won a haul of trophies including two Grammys and 24 Billboard Music Awards, wooed and wed country star Trisha Yearwood, and been named one of the top selling solo artists of the 20th century - second only to Elvis Presley.

Credited with helping turn country music into a worldwide phenomenon, Brooks shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to draw thousands of fans to the Las Vegas strip every week for his sold-o...

Taylor Swift Rocks Madison Square Garden With Some Help From Johnny Rzeznik, Selena Gomez & James Taylor (Watch!)

11/23/2011 2:00pm EST
Taylor Swift and Johnny Rzeznik
Taylor Swift loves to perform cover songs during her concerts, and she had a little help during Monday and Tuesday night's shows at New York City's fabled Madison Square Garden.

During Monday night's show it came time for her to play her regular cover of the Goo Goo Dolls' hit "Iris" and she surprised the crowd with the Dolls' lead singer Johnny Rzeznik.

"What would you say, New York City, if Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls was here to sing that song for you tonight?" she asked the crowd before the spotlight lit up Rzeznik and the two belted out a rousing duet of the song (video bel...

Fashion At The 2011 Academy Of Country Music Awards

4/4/2011 8:41am EDT
Academy of Country Music Awards
Miranda Lambert dominated last night's Academy of Country Music Awards after taking home four trophies (check out all the winners here), but did she dominate the red carpet?

Carrie Underwood looked resplendent in a grape-colored gown with sequin embellishment, while Taylor Swift opted for a more subtle look in a yellow dress.

Miranda Lambert looked like Aphrodite in a white, Goddess-like gown and later changed into a short strapless hot pink frock.

Julianne Hough dazzled in a sleeveless peach dress with a turqouise and gold bracelet.

Check them out in the photos below, and tell us who y...

Miranda Lambert Dominates At Academy Of Country Music Awards

4/4/2011 8:26am EDT
Miranda Lambert
The 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards belonged to Miranda Lambert after she scooped four trophies at the ceremony in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The country star was crowned Female Vocalist of The Year, while her track The House That Built Me received honors for Song of The Year, Single Record of The Year and Video of The Year.

Brad Paisley took home the Male Vocalist of The Year trophy and trio Lady Antebellum accepted awards for Top Vocal Group and Album of The Year for Need You Know.

Picking up their prize, Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley joked, "Thank you, Miranda Lambert, for winnin...

James Taylor Breaks Leg While Skiing In Utah

3/16/2011 8:41am EDT
James Taylor
Singer/songwriter James Taylor has broken his leg in a skiing accident.

The "Sweet Baby James" star was vacationing in Utah on Monday when he took a tumble.

An assistant has confirmed the news, telling the Boston Globe newspaper that Taylor fractured his leg on the first day of a family vacation.

Allison Janney Goes From Political Heavyweight to Politically Incorrect on Mr. Sunshine

2/9/2011 10:15am EST
Allison Janney | Photo Credits: Adam Larkey/ABC
According to Allison Janney, it only took one line of dialogue to convince her to return to series television after a four-year absence.

"'Have you seen a small white pill with some Spanish written on it?'" she said, quoting her Mr. Sunshine character. "I read the first line that Crystal said and I knew I was going to play it."

After playing White House press secretary (and later Chief of Staff) C.J. Cregg on The West Wing for six seasons, the 51-year-old actress says she was looking for a role as far from the morally upright C.J. as possible. Crystal is the pill-popping, narcissistic ow...

Elton John Buys His Baby An iPod

1/31/2011 12:55pm EST
Elton John
Elton John is determined his baby son becomes a music fan before he's a toddler - the tot has his own miniature iPod. The Rocket Man and his partner David Furnish welcomed little Zachary via a surrogate mother at Christmas, and they are reveling in their new roles as parents.

The singer is eager for his child to have great taste in tunes, so he has downloaded his favorite songs onto an MP3 music player for the baby - and the selection includes some of his own classic hits.

He tells Britain's Hello! magazine, "It's a teen-tiny little thing, so small you can hardly believe it even is an i...

Carly Simon Holds Music Video Competition

2/15/2010 4:00pm EST
Carly Simon Holds Music Video Competition
Carly Simon is appealing to fans and wannabe filmmakers to submit footage to make a music video for her smash hit You're So Vain - 38 years after it was first released. The song, which is rumored to take aim at one of Simon's former lovers, catapulted the singer to fame in 1972 but she never shot a promo to accompany it.

An acoustic version of the track was released last year and Simon wants her devotees to come up with creative ideas for its first official video in a new competition. She says, "People ask me all the time why is there no video of this song. I think it's that people were...

2009 Grammy Award Predictions

1/30/2009 12:05pm EST
My Morning Jacket
What can I say? I'm a sucker for the Grammys and the Oscars, and after a few years of real yawners, the Grammys in particular are back with a vengeance! The performances lineup is Coachella-esque impressive, with U2 and Coldplay joining the likes of Jonas Brothers, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne(!), Paul McCartney(!!) and Radiohead(!!!). But just as important as the performers are the award winners, and if you're in an office pool somewhere or on your way to Vegas and need a little help predicting the winners, you've come to the right place! (Well actually, if you're on your way to Vegas you ...

Get In The Mood With A Little Holiday Music

12/22/2008 9:47am EST
Harry Connick, Jr. What a Night! A Christmas Album
Some old, some new, there's no other way to spice up the holidays with a little music. Check out a few of our December favorites below, and let us know some of your season picks!

Faith Hill - Joy To The World

Given the longevity of her career, Joy To The World is Faith Hill's debut holiday release. Hill covers holiday standards with a very disciplined approach. Her vocal talent, orchestral backdrops, and singing choir are highlights.

Keith Sweat - A Christmas Of Love

Keith Sweat provides a groovilicious holiday with the funky smooth sounds of...

It's Not Over at 40 For All Musicians

10/27/2008 2:15pm EDT
The early 90's pop hit "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" is perhaps the same sentiment the keeps some musicians in the music industry from packing it all in to keep on truckin'. While many leave to live normal lives, there are others who still have some impact on today's music scene. Check out our 40/40+ club of musicians who's careers are still rockin'. Should musicians over the age of forty give it a break? Let us know what you think!

Metallica / 40+

Since the band's inception in the 1980's, with a career spanning nearly three decades, Metallica are still magnetic as far ...

James Taylor To Perform On Good Morning America Tomorrow

9/14/2008 8:30am EDT
James Taylor
Legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor will perform live on Good Morning America on Monday, September 15. Taylor's performance kicks off the unprecedented "50 States in 50 Days" initiative that will take ABC News and USA Today reporters to every state in the union in the days leading up to the Presidential election in November. GMA's "Whistle Stop '08" tour begins with James Taylor's performance in his home state of Massachusetts on the porch of the historic Red Lion Inn. Taylor will perform material from his forthcoming release Covers, which will be available on Hear Music on Septembe...

Check Out Singer/Songwriter Jason Reeves

8/7/2008 7:00am EDT
Jason Reeves
From the uplifting opening track "Someone Somewhere" through reflective closer "The End," singer/songwriter Jason Reeves' forthcoming album "The Magnificent Adventures of Heartache (and Other Frightening Tales)" takes listeners on a contemplative journey of love, hope, heartbreak and renewal.

Originally only available online and at his shows, the album's beauty and raw honesty connected with listeners and earned a "Top Folk Album of 2007" distinction from iTunes, which also named Reeves one of the Top Indie Singer-Songwriters of that year. Now signed to Warner Bros. Records, which wil...

Return of the 70's Singer-Songwriter

4/4/2008 2:01pm EDT
Sheryl Crow
Successful singer-songwriters have spanned across the decades, but no era saw them flourish like the 1970s. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Dan Fogelberg, Carly Simon, Jackson Browne and Neil Young (to name a few) were tearing up the airwaves. Their simple, thought-provoking melodies struck a chord with a Vietnam War-torn America and left an indelible mark on the modern music biz. Well, tune your radios and adjust your mp3 players, folks. The 70s singer-songwriter sound is back - with a whole new batch of artists.

Jackson Browne live (1978):

Carrying the Torch

'1968 With Tom Brokaw' Premieres This Weekend

12/8/2007 9:15am EST
Tom Brokaw
Cities burned. Students marched. Idealism flourished. Drugs flowed. A nation mourned its slain leaders. It was a year both tragic and galvanizing. But was 1968 truly as revolutionary as it felt? Did its fury and pain propel us forward?

Now a new, two-hour special on The History Channel explores the significance of 1968 and the ways it continues to affect the American landscape. The special “1968 with Tom Brokaw” premieres Sunday, December 9 at 9-11pm ET/PT on The History Channel.

Brokaw, author of the newly released book BOOM! Voices of the Sixties, Personal Reflections on the ’6...

Starpulse's Christmas Music Guide

11/23/2007 11:00am EST
Mannheim Steamroller
Okay, as of today the holiday season is officially upon us. Traditionally known as 'Black Friday' to shoppers across the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving marks the biggest shopping day of the year in the country. There will be sales galore and alarm clocks will be ringing in the wee hours of the night to get the masses ready to hit their local Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target, etc., to hunt for those earlybird specials-- rewards for those who line up early to catch those 5-9am one-time-only superdeals while the rest of us are having breakfast.

As the hustle and bustle of the seaso...

Babyface Adds Tour Dates

11/1/2007 5:48pm EDT
Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds will return to the road for his first U.S. tour date schedule in years this fall, in support of Playlist. His newest album is the first release on the newly re-launched Mercury Records label, and feat­ur­es his new Top 10 version of James Taylor's "Fire & Rain." The U.S. tour has just been expanded to a dozen cities, opening Friday, November 23rd at The Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA, and running to December 14th at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, VA. Kenny's special guest is Ayo, the critically-acclaimed, International platinum soul singer/songwriter whose U.S. debut C...

James Taylor's 'One Man Band' Revisits Classic Material In Raw Form; CD/DVD Out Nov. 13

10/24/2007 7:38pm EDT
James Taylor
"Performing these songs in their original, stripped-down form in small halls is like going to the well for water," says James Taylor. "It reconnects me to the music and puts me back in touch with the audience."

Iconic singer/songwriter James Taylor's latest CD/DVD set is more than just the live version of the some of the most treasured recordings in the history of American music. "One Man Band" tells the story of Taylor's songs through exclusive interviews and rare multi-media footage, including home movies and photographs from Taylor's personal archives. The result is an extraordina...

Babyface And Trisha Yearwood Team Up For 'CMT Crossroads' Sept. 21

9/5/2007 6:00pm EDT
NASHVILLE – Sept. 5, 2007 – The series that proves great music knows no boundaries returns, bringing together multiple Grammy winners, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Trisha Yearwood. Known for his smooth voice and prolific songwriting, Edmonds joins country superstar Yearwood for a magical evening that was taped before an invitation only audience in Nashville. The two soulful voices will join as one on the latest episode of CMT Crossroads: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds And Trisha Yearwood premiering Friday, Sept. 21 at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT.

CMT Crossroads: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds And Trisha ...

Luciana Souza Releases Seventh Album, 'The New Bossa Nova'

8/29/2007 6:45pm EDT
Luciana Souza
"I wanted to make a record that would be accessible yet truthful," Luciana Souza says of The New Bossa Nova, her seventh album and her Verve debut. "The world is so loud and noisy and overwhelming now that it can be a challenge to get people to sit and listen to something that's quiet. But I have faith that they will."

The New Bossa Nova marks an exciting new chapter for the Brazilian-born vocalist and three-time Grammy® nominee, who's already widely acknowledged as one of jazz's most respected and accomplished vocalists. The 11-song album finds the artist crafting a fresh and highl...

That Was The Week That Was For Aug. 26-Sept. 1

8/26/2007 8:15am EDT
The Beatles
Entertainment highlights during the week of Aug. 26-Sept. 1:

1961: Motown released its first No. 1 hit, ''Please Mr. Postman'' by The Marvelettes.

1968: The Beatles released ''Hey Jude'' as a single.

1974: The last episode of ''The Brady Bunch'' aired on ABC.

1982: Actress Ingrid Bergman died of cancer.

1987: The album ''Bad'' by Michael Jackson was released in North America. It was the long-awaited follow-up to ''Thriller.''

1990: Garth Brooks released his album ''No Fences.''

1991: Randy Newman won an Emmy Award for writing music for the TV show ''Cop Ro...