Quick Hits: Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Billie Joe Armstrong, D'Angelo / ?uestlove
December 1, 2011

Katy Perry

Barbara Walters has announced her annual list of "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011," and Pop queen Katy Perry has made the cut. It's a big week for Perry after she also was nominated for several Grammy Awards on Wednesday night, including Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her single "Firework." Walters' annual primetime special will air on December 14 on ABC, and Perry will appear alongside other fascinating people such as Simon Cowell, longtime Yankee Derek Jeter, TV personality/entrepreneur Donald Trump and Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa Middleton.

Beyoncé will appear on 20/20 this Friday night for an interview with Katie Couric, in which she talks about her pregnancy and also takes a stroll past New York's Roseland Ballroom, where she filmed her just-released Live At Roseland DVD. "When I was here it was raining and there were thousands of people in their coats and umbrellas waiting outside for hours," Beyoncé tells Couric about the Roseland shows, according to MTV News. "Which always feels a little overwhelming because I'm like, 'I hope I give them enough.' But everyone had a great time." The singer also dashes rumors that she has had strange pregnancy cravings for bizarre food combinations, and she stays mum on whether she's having a boy or a girl. When Couric asks whether to get the singer a pink or blue baby gift, Beyoncé smiles and gives a coy, "hmmm."

Bruce Springsteen will be the keynote speaker at the annual South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX next year. The event will be held on March 15 at the Austin Convention Center. "Springsteen's artistry has drawn worldwide acclaim and honors. His recordings include time-tested classics of rock and acoustic-based albums celebrating folk traditions," reads a post on SXSW.com. "His live shows are truly fervent celebrations of the communal power of music. As SXSW fosters connection and communication in the music community, this event will undoubtedly further those aims in an unique conference session." Meanwhile, Springsteen and the E Street Band have already confirmed that they will tour next year in support of a new album. Dates for the European leg kick off on May 13 in Spain, but so far there's no official word about the American leg of the tour.

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and his wife Adrienne are lending their support to the "Green Gifts" campaign, encouraging consumers to give gifts that “will actually put the world back together again.” You can see a video of the Armstrongs explaining the initiative below:

With R&B singer D'Angelo planning to make a comeback next year with a new album and a European tour starting in January, Roots drummer ?uestlove is comparing the new album to "the black version of [The Beach Boys'] Smile." "The album is pretty much 97 percent done. He's just finishing his lyrics now. He needs somebody to smack him and take the record away from him because it's pretty much finished," ?uest, who helped D'Angelo work on the record, told Pitchfork. "But I know he must turn this record in like three days before Christmas and that his first show is in Europe, and that he's going to do a whole bunch. They even named it the Occupy Music Tour, so I know they're serious about it. For all intents and purposes, this album is the black version of Smile -- at best, it will go down in the Smile/There's a Riot Goin' On/Miles Davis' On the Corner category. That's what I'm hoping for."

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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