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Damon Albarn to receive NME Award for Innovation


Damon Albarn is to receive the NME Award For Innovation.
The Blur frontman - who is also a songwriter, producer and composer - has been honoured the accolade after being recognised as one of the UK's most influential artists.
NME magazine editor said: "Damon's enduring popularity is a testament to his unrivalled talent. He is somebody who is always pushing things forward, always operating in his own sphere and forever innovating via experimentation and collaboration.
"Britain rarely produces songwriters of Damon's calibre, which is why he's been so popular with NME's readers for the past two decades. I don't see that popularity waning any time soon, just as I don't see his ability to write life-affirming, jaw-dropping songs disappearing either. "We're lucky to have him, and it's an absolute honour for us to be giving Damon the NME Award For Innovation."
The 45-year-old star will pick up his award - which celebrates artists who push boundaries, surprise and shock fans - at the NME awards on February 26, 2014, at the O2 Academy in Brixton, London.
Fans have been casting votes across 20 categories for this year's awards, and the Arctic Monkeys currently stand in the lead with eight nominations, Haim follow closely with six, while Queens of The Stone Age, Lily Allen and Arcade Fire all have three nods.
The event is being sponsored by the city of Austin in Texas.

Taylor Swift performs with Emeli Sande


Taylor Swift was joined on stage by Emeli Sande at London's O2 Arena last night (10.02.14).
The country starlet surprised fans on her 'Red' tour as the pair launched into a rendition of Emeili's hit 'Next To Me' and Taylor described the singer as "heavenly."
She told the crowd: "I was thinking about playing the O2 and the last time I played it. Do you remember the BRIT Awards last year? I had a great time and I got to meet one of my favourite artists and I watched her clean up at the BRIT Awards. Then I got this idea she could come out and play for you. So what do you think about Emeli Sande coming out to play a song for you tonight?"
The 23-year-old beauty looked emotional as she took to the piano to play 'All Too Well' and tore through a number of other hits before performing 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'.
After the gig, Taylor took to Twitter to thank her fans and Emeli, she wrote: 'Tonight @emelisande surprised our London crowd with 'Next to Me'!! SHE IS SO HEAVENLY. I've had the best time here. Last show tomorrow....'
Taylor is currently performing the UK leg of her 'Red' Tour and her last gig will be tonight held again at the O2 Arena in London.
To coincide with her residency at the venue, the British Music Experience - which is situated inside the O2 - are showcasing select items from Taylor's wardrobe alongside photographs by Christie Goodwin in a pop-up exhibition.
Admission to 'Taylor Swift: A Photo Experience' is included within the price of a museum ticket, and costs just £4 to ticket holders for her O2 shows during the duration of her residency.
The exhibition runs until 23 March.

Liam Gallagher to hold castings for Beatles film


Liam Gallagher is set to hold castings in Los Angeles for a new Beatles film.
The Beady Eye frontman wants Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke to star in the movie and has convinced Michael Winterbottom to direct the film about The Beatles' company Apple Corps and the break-up of the group.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Liam is going to hold castings in the US in April. A lot of the lead roles are American, so he's keen to find the right names.
"He knows he's not going to manage to entice someone like Brad Pitt but he wants high-calibre people who are more on the indie scene of Hollywood. He thinks actors such as Jared and Ethan would be perfect."
The former Oasis lead singer, who split from his own band in 2009 after a huge bust-up with brother and bandmate Noel, is the executive producer of The Longest Cocktail Party and is currently looking for someone to fund his movie.
The source said the 41-year-old star aims to follow in the footsteps of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison, whose company HandMade Films produced hit movies 'Monty Python's Life Of Brian' and 'The Long Good Friday'.
The Beatles - also made up of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon - made their first debut on US TV 50 years ago and stars gathered for a special tribute show last month at The Los Angeles Convention Centre.
The group formed in Liverpool in 1960 and split in 1970 after Paul said he was quitting the band.

Elton John wants to make electronic music


Sir Elton John wants to make electronic music.
The 66-year-old singer and musician admits he's still a novice when it comes to recording but wants to collaborate with Pharrell Williams as he explores different musical genres.
He told Clash Magazine: "I adore electronic music. I get up in the morning and put on electronic music.
"I did a track with Timbaland. I hope to do something with Pharrell. I've done a track with Bright Light Bright Light, a guy called Rod Thomas, and it's brilliant. I like exploring other avenues."
But the 'Your Song' hitmaker admits he has a lot to learn and has been asking for advice from younger artists.
He said: "As a piano player I tend to overdo things, and electronic music is about simplicity. I had lunch with James Blake the other day, and listening to his album is so simple and beautiful.
"I would be tempted to do so much more, and he has the ability to be so minimalistic and I love it. They're like paintings, not songs."
The legendary star releases a reissue of his classic album 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' on March 24 but is waiting to decide what his next musical move will be and praised artists he's collaborated with in the past, including Kanye West.
Elton said: "I did things with Queens Of The Stone Age, and that was a completely different experience.
"Playing on the Kanye West record, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', which is genius from start to finish, was a f***ing honour. It was like: 'Wow, I'm on this f***ing record!' And it was different. You can always learn.
"By pooh-poohing dance music, rap or anything, you just lose so much, because if you get into the studio with these guys you realise they're onto something completely different to what you do.
"By you saying it's rubbish it's completely wrong, because what they do is something you don't understand but it's completely relevant and it's very exciting."

Boyband M.A.D getting mobbed by girls


Boyband M.A.D are getting used to being mobbed by school girls in the street.
The group - made up of Michael Sutthakorn, AB Pryer and Dan Lewis - are Britain's newest teen pop act and have already scored a Top 40 hit with their debut single 'Toyboy'.
Band member Dan, who moved from his home in South Wales to London to join M.A.D, told BANG Showbiz: "It kind of scared me before I moved because I didn't know what was going to happen, but once we got Top 40 it was all worth it.
"Now when I to go out in Cardiff with my friends, my local town, I get bombarded by fans, it's unreal.
"I've enjoyed the attention from girls and every time I went home it got worse and worse. The first time there were five, then ten, now there are hundreds and I can't walk about or shop properly because so many people come up to me, but it's so much fun."
Dan, 17, was first discovered on Facebook by a music scout who watched videos of him singing and playing guitar, and the lads now have young girls follow them home from rehearsals.
He said: "Every morning before they go to school they're outside the apartment. I remember once I was in the lounge playing Fifa in my boxers and there was a fan waving at me I was like, 'Oh no'."
The band were once mistaken for boy band The Vamps in a McDonald's restaurant but say they're more of a cross between Busted and One Direction.
Dan added: "We met some of the bands from the Big Reunion in the recording studio and met 5ive. They gave us a lot of advice, telling us to enjoy it because the time flies.
"We're all very different people and have only known each other for half a year but it's all great fun and we're just like brothers now."
The band's new single 'Fame & TV' is out on Sunday, February 16.

Semi Precious Weapons to release third album


Semi Precious Weapons have reassured fans their third album 'Aviation' will be released this year.
The Los Angeles rock band experienced "record label drama" but are now managed by RedZone Records, run by famous producer Tricky Stewart, who is known for his work with Beyonce, Rihanna and Frank Ocean.
Frontman Justin Tranter told BANG Showbiz: "Sadly the album was pushed back because of stereotypical label bulls**t. The label drama is over and the album finally comes out at the end of April."
The record 'Aviation' is the follow-up to the band's second album 'You Love You', which came out in 2010, and is hoped to be released in the UK in May following the US date.
Justin, 33, joked: "The fans are angry, I get tweets every day, they're gonna f***ing kill me if I don't put something out."
The glamorous rock band - also made up of Dan Crean, Stevy Pyne and Cole Whittle - say their goal for the new record was to simply write the best songs they could and they plan to tour after its release with a number of US and UK gigs.
Justin continued: "The UK fans are great, they're so passionate, and they actually love the music and not just the aesthetic.
"We're hoping to get back this summer, or maybe even late spring. "We have had such great experiences with the UK. It was a pretty surreal moment when Kate Moss came to one of our gigs. She couldn't have been sweeter, she loves the band and looked so gorgeous, I wanted to poke my eyes out."
Semi Precious Weapons are also famous for being pals with Lady Gaga, who was their opening act before she become one of the world's biggest stars.
Justin added: "Gaga is the hardest working woman on the planet. Even with how crazy her life is we still check in with each other a couple of times a month.
"If you go out in public with Gaga, you have a great f**king time but you can't really talk. When we do hang out now, it's in private, where we can enjoy each other's company."
The new album from Semi Precious Weapons, 'Aviation', will be released on April 8 in the US.

Busta Rhymes to perform at Bestival 2014


Busta Rhymes is set to perform at Bestival this year.
The hip-hop star will mark his first appearance at a UK festival this September when he joins the main stage line-up at the event, which takes place in the Isle of Wight, England.
Festival organiser Rob da Bank said: "Woo hah people! Yes it's true, Busta Rhymes has got you all in check and he's coming to Bestival for his first ever UK festi appearance!
"I'm such a Busta fan and it's amazing not just to see him back in the charts with another banger with 'Thank You' but also to know he's getting on the ferry and bringing it to Bestival!"
The 41-year-old rapper - who has been nominated for 11 Grammy awards in the past - will be playing some unreleased material ahead of the launch of his forthcoming album 'Extinction Level Event 2'.
Busta will play his set in the slot before the headliners, but it has not yet been announced what day he will be performing.
Meanwhile, OutKast have been named as the first headliners for this year's themed Desert Island Disco event, with Foals, Beck, Disclosure, Laura Mvula, Major Lazer and London Grammar also taking to the stage over the weekend.
More acts are due to be announced in coming months.
Bestival will take place between September 4-7.


Prince played another surprise London show


Prince performed another surprise show at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire last night (09.10.14).
Celebrities including Cara Delevingne, Nick Grimshaw and Florence Welch danced along to the 'Purple Rain' hitmaker and his all-female band, 3RDEYEGIRL.
The gig followed a secret 'open sound-check' and two gigs in one night at the Electric Ballroom in north London last week, tickets for which were just £10 for fans who queued for hours in the rain to see the music legend.
Last night's concert was announced on BBC 6 Music by the singer's band and hundreds of fans started queuing outside the venue for tickets which were labelled as £70 and later brought down to £10 once gig-goers reached the doors at 7pm.
The singer performed new material with his band and launched into a medley of 'How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?', 'Purple Rain' and 'Do Me Baby', which went down a storm with the audience.
Prince is continuing his string of surprise London performances at a number of "iconic venues" in the city which are causing a buzz on social media.
He has hinted at his desire to play venues such as Ronnie Scott's and the Bag O' Nails Club in Soho - although details for future gigs are being kept under wraps.
Prince also described his trip to London as "open-ended" and told fans: "We're gonna try and find somewhere else to play in this city. We'll stay as long as you'll have us."

Paolo Nutini wants to be a carpenter


Paolo Nutini wants to be a carpenter.
The 27-year-old star - who is set to make a comeback with his third album 'Caustic Love' on April 14 - wants to explore joinery after taking inspiration from a man he saw as his grandfather when he was younger.
He explained: "The man I grew up to I think of as a grandfather on my mother's side, a man called Eddie, he was this old army hand, big white bushy moustache. He dealt in scrap, he was always down at the lost-and-found at the airport or prison, and I'd be the little kid tagging along, because he'd often look after me during the day ... He worked with wood, and made me this little rocking horse when I was young, called Rocky. I still have it.
"Whittling and carving wood is something I've always wanted to do, yet I've only dipped my toe in the water. I find it therapeutic ... I need to do that, go away and separate myself from things, get some education, some life, outside of a tour bus or a venue."
The 'Candy' singer fled back to his Scottish homeland four years ago when being in the spotlight became too much to bear and he admits he needed the hiatus to repair his relationship with his family and friends.
In an interview with Culture Magazine, he explained: "It's not like I've been making an album for three, four years. We toured the last record for a year and a bit, and I got to this point where I was only seeing my family and friends at gigs, I was miles away from home, my relationship was handing by a thread and I realised I was losing everything."

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