Quick Hits: Mumford and Sons, The Wanted, Jay-Z & Beyonce, 3 Doors Down & Daughtry, Billboard Music Awards
April 17, 2013

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons will play their biggest headlining show yet at London's Olympic Park on July 6. The outdoor event, the first headline show to take place on the renovated Olympic site, will also feature Vampire Weekend, Ben Howard, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Haim and newcomers Bear's Den. "We wanted to do something special, more than just another arena date," multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett told NME. "So when the opportunity to do this came about, and the opportunity to pick a line-up of bands we feel really strongly about, we were naturally pretty excited." Lovett added that although writing has "loosely started" on a follow-up to Babel, it's unlikely that the band will debut new material in concert at this point. "We're always writing, that never stops, so there's some ideas in place but I doubt we'll rush anything for these shows," he said. "Never say never, but it's not something we've discussed. But that's not to say we don't have big plans."

The Wanted has announced that vocalist Nathan Sykes will take an "unforeseen hiatus" from the band in order to undergo throat surgery in Los Angeles. In a message posted on Facebook, the boy band wrote: "Our lil Nath has to go in for an op on his throat on his birthday [April 18] to make him better so join us in wishing him well. We love ya! #GetWellNath." They followed with a tweet to concerned fans that read, "We will be passing on all your words of support and love, it means the world to him and you definitely help us all through this." MTV confirmed that the other four members will stick to their promotional schedule while Sykes recovers. In other news, the band's E! reality series, The Wanted Life, will debut on June 2.

With people still questioning Jay-Z's lyrics to the song "Open Letter," in which he says he got White House clearance for his recent trip to Cuba, President Obama was asked about the song on the Today show. "I wasn't familiar that they were taking the trip," the President said. "My understanding is that they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba. This is not something that the White House was involved with. We've got better things to do." Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also was forced to remind people during a daily briefing that sometimes rhymes are just rhymes. "Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel. The White House has nothing to do with it," he stated to the media. "It's a song. The President did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip."
     In related news, Vogue UK reports that Jay and his wife Beyonce have becoming the music industry's first billionaire couple. According to the magazine, Beyonce's current world tour The Mrs. Carter Show and endorsement deals have pushed the couple's earnings past the billion dollar mark.

3 Doors Down has announced the third leg of its co-headline tour with Daughtry. The run kicks off on July 5 in Solomons, MD, and will continue until August 3 in Cleveland. Halestorm and Ed Kowalczyk will appear as special guests on select dates.

Comedian Tracy Morgan has been tapped to host the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, live from Las Vegas at the MGM Grand on Sunday, May 19. The show will air on ABC. Morgan joins a lineup of performers that includes Justin Bieber, Miguel, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. The show will also include a performance from Prince, who is receiving the Billboard Icon Award. "I'm honored to be a part of one of music's biggest nights," Morgan said in a statement. "When you look at the artists who have come up through Billboard over the years, it's incredible. And how can you say no when Prince is going to be there?"

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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