Quick Hits: Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, Primus / Tool, Becky G, John Mellencamp
August 14, 2014
Taylor Swift appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday and confirmed reports that she'll perform at the 2014 MTV VMAs on Sunday, August 24. This will mark her fourth time as a performer on the awards show. Meanwhile, Swift also will appear in a worldwide live stream with Yahoo! on August 18 at 5 p.m. ET, when she presumably will announce and/or debut a new single off her forthcoming fifth album, and perhaps reveal a release date as well. The live stream also will simulcast on Clear Channel's 100+ Top 40 stations and more than 40 Hot AC stations nationwide.
Sam Smith has become the first U.K. male artist to ever to have his debut single, "Stay With Me," reach #1 at Triple A, AC and Pop radio. The ballad is being equally adored across seven radio formats in the U.S., and has been certified three times platinum. Capitol Music Group Chairman Steve Barnett comments, "Sam's feat is further validation of what all of us at Capitol have known since first hearing the voice and songs of this amazing new artist: That Sam's artistry would shatter the boundaries that too often pigeonhole artists, and his appeal wouldn't be limited to any one audience or radio format. Fans are embracing 'Stay With Me' as a classic, and we couldn't be happier for Sam." The singer will make his way back to the States for a North American tour starting September 15 in Boston. In related news, Smith and Iggy Azalea will headline the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards concert to benefit Lifebeat – Music Fights HIV/AIDS, a national nonprofit focused on educating America's youth about HIV/AIDS prevention. The special concert will take place at The Avalon in Los Angeles on Friday, August 22 as a lead up to the 2014 MTV VMAs, which will air live from The Forum in Inglewood, CA on Sunday, August 24.
Meghan Trainor, who currently has the #1 Digital single in the country with "All About That Bass," will release her debut EP on September 9. Simply called Title, the four song digital EP will feature "All About That Bass" and three new tracks. Epic will release Trainor's debut full-length album later in 2014.
Tool drummer Danny Carey will sit in on a handful of Primus dates in September while the band's original drummer, Tim "Herb" Alexander, continues to recover from open heart surgery. "The mighty Tim 'Herb' Alexander is a polyrhythmic Viking of extreme and unique talent so the one person that we thought could step into his shoes and do it justice is the one and only Mr. Danny Carey," Primus frontman Les Claypool told Rolling Stone. "I can't wait to see that menacing grin of Danny's shine out as we pound our way through 'Here Come the Bastards' and 'Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers.' He's a dear old friend and we are extremely excited to have him aboard, and I would wager we are equally if not more intrigued than most by what kind of sounds are going to come out of the three of us once we actually get in a room together and do more than just consume fancy booze." Carey will play with Primus at their Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver, as well as an after party at the Windy City's Concord Music Hall on September 13. Alexander will be back behind the kit for the Primus and the Chocolate Factory tour, beginning in October.
Seventeen-year-old singer, songwriter, and rapper Becky G will join Jason Derulo's Talk Dirty tour for a portion of dates from October 21 in Sayreville, NJ to November 2 in Miami. Becky G is currently in the studio finishing her debut album, and she will open some shows for Katy Perry on select dates of the Prismatic tour in October.
John Mellencamp's 22nd album, Plain Spoken, has been set for a September 23 release via Republic Records. On its release in September, Plain Spoken will be available in a 10-track edition on CD, vinyl and download. The lead track, "Troubled Man," is available on iTunes August 19 and impacts radio on September 8.