Quick Hits: Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Smashing Pumpkins, Janelle Monáe & Kimbra
April 14, 2014

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran has announced plans for his first-ever headlining arena tour of North America. The cross-country trek kicks off in Seattle on August 22 and is scheduled through September 18 in Toronto, with more dates to be announced. This will be the singer/songwriter's first stateside tour to support his forthcoming album, X (pronounced "multiply"), which is slated to arrive on June 23. This past weekend, Sheeran delivered performances of his new single, "Sing," as well as the album track "Don't," on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

After debuting her next single, "West Coast," for a huge crowd at the Coachella festival over the weekend, Lana Del Rey has released the studio version of the track. Fans can check it out now via www.lanadelrey.com. Del Rey has been working with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on her new album, titled Ultraviolence, and it is expected to be released later this year. Commenting on "West Coast" and Ultraviolence, the singer explains, "The record is finished and it's beautiful - it's so wrong and exquisite. It is absolutely gorgeous - darker than the first." Meanwhile, Del Rey kicks off a 16-date North American tour on April 16 in Texas.

The Smashing Pumpkins have signed a worldwide exclusive Artist Services Deal with BMG Chrysalis U.S. to release the band's next two albums, Monuments To An Elegy and Day For Night. The first single is expected at the end of 2014, with the albums coming in 2015. The two new Smashing Pumpkins albums will be released jointly through BMG Artist Services and the band's own Martha's Music label. Frontman Billy Corgan says that "Plenty of songs have been written and are ready to go. We expect a single out by year's end."

Janelle Monáe will tour Down Under with local native Kimbra for a five-city trek through Australia and New Zealand. The Golden Electric Tour starts May 16 in Perth, and visits Sydney (May 19), Brisbane (May 21), Auckland (May 24), and Melbourne (May 26). Both artists will perform separate sets with their bands, and they will perform together. Kimbra, who dueted on Gotye's 2012 smash hit "Somebody That I Used To Know," is expected to release her sophomore album later this year.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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