Quick Hits: Ed Sheeran, Slash, Pharrell, Kanye West, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Lorde, Queen
May 27, 2014

Ed Sheeran
Clear Channel will host the "Pepsi Presents iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Ed Sheeran" on Tuesday, June 17 at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. The Album Release Party will give fans a first listen to Sheeran's new album, x, (pronounced 'multiply') set to be released June 23. Pepsi and Clear Channel will also share a sneak peak into the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival lineup, announcing Sheeran as the first released performer. The event also will feature a live performance and Q&A, hosted by on-air talent and TV personality Mario Lopez. The iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Ed Sheeran will broadcast on-air as a 30-minute special across Clear Channel CHR and Hot AC stations, with a 60-minute stream online across station websites and iHeartRadio on Monday, June 23. Video streaming details will be announced at a later date.

Slash and his bandmates, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, will release their new album World On Fire on September 16 via the guitarist's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through Caroline. The title track also serves as the first single and it will arrive at radio on Friday, June 13. The group also announced some solo dates in between their summer tour with Aerosmith. The first headlining show is July 9 in Hampton Beach, NH and then the trek with Aerosmith kicks off July 10 in Wantagh, NY.

Pharrell Williams will kick off the latest installment of the "American Express Unstaged" live-streaming concert series, which is a partnership between Vevo and YouTube. Williams will play a special show at New York’s Apollo Theater on June 3 that will stream live at amexunstaged.com at 9 p.m. EST, featuring a production directed by Spike Lee. The live-stream will be free, but tickets for the concert itself were made available last week.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West finally tied the knot over the weekend in Florence, Italy, where they were reportedly surrounded by family and close friends. The couple got married on Saturday (May 24) at Fort di Belvedere, a 16th century fortress in the Italian city. According to Us Weekly, West offered a romantic speech about his new bride, and later in the night, he hopped back on the mic for another 20-minute spiel about "public warfare," and the perks and pitfalls of celebrity. "They feel like it's okay to put you on the tabloid covers to sell your image, to use you in an SNL spoof," he said, per the observer. "We don't negotiate. We're not like that. We're not stupid."

U.K. Pop crooner Sam Smith has announced an extensive tour in support of his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, due on June 17. Along with dates in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, Smith will travel to America in mid-September for a 15-city trek. Fans can also catch him sooner than that at the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits festivals.

Paul McCartney has been released from a Tokyo hospital and has left Japan, according to a Reuters report. McCartney called off his sold-out Japanese tour last week after falling ill with a viral infection. He later canceled a concert in South Korea as well. "Paul McCartney himself hopes to return to Japan for more concerts as soon as possible," the organizers said in a statement.

Lorde is on the mend after canceling her Australian tour due to poor health. The eight-date trek was originally scheduled for April and May, but it was scrapped when the singer was ordered to take "immediate rest and recuperation in order to regain complete health and continue touring for the rest of the year." At the time, Lorde tweeted that she'd been suffering with a "really nasty chest infection" and "general ill health." Her rescheduled tour now starts July 5 in Perth and wraps on July in Brisbane.

The surviving members of Queen are planning to put out an album of unreleased songs recorded with late frontman Freddie Mercury. In an interview with BBC Radio, guitarist Brian May said the release will likely be called Queen Forever and will surface by year's end. "It is quite emotional. It is the big, big ballads and the big, big epic sound," May said of the music, adding that he and Roger Taylor restoring and finishing the tracks themselves. "We had to start from scratch because we only had scraps. But knowing how it would have happened if we had finished it, I can sit there and make it happen with modern technology."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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