Music Features

PREMIERE: Kendal Conrad's "Better On" is "The Sexiest Song" She's Ever Written

The budding country super star, whose new single premiered exclusively on Popdust, gave us the track's backstory.

She has opened for 32 of country's biggest stars including Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes, has sang alongside Keith Urban on MTV, and has performed at massive functions across the country for years.


"Those big moments felt so rewarding," said Conrad, whose new song "Better On" premiered exclusively on Popdust today. "The hard part as an artist is to be able to sustain that level of success." Conrad, who started singing country tunes at a young age, has recently performed on more patios than stages due to the pandemic, but her determination in the face of changing times is telling of Conrad's work ethic. "I do feel like I lost momentum," she said. "I had plans and a lot of opportunities coming up, but I've really grown my social media engagement, played virtual shows...performing on patios has definitely kept me busy! Discovering new ways to engage with my fans and promote my music has kept me sane."

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Colbert, Fallon, and Kimmel to Host a COVID-19 Benefit That Could Be the Biggest in TV History

One World: Together at Home is likely to draw a huge global audience

Global Citizen

On Saturday, April 18th, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon will be joining late-night forces to host a global television event.

The event, entitled One World: Together at Home, will promote the international fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic and raise money for the World Health Organization. From 8-10PM EST, it will be broadcast live on the big three American TV networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—as well as around the world and on a number of cable networks and streaming platforms.

Any TV event set to be broadcast on all three of those networks would automatically be a pretty big deal, but with a huge portion of the world currently under some form of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order—and a lot of TV and movies being shut down or delayed—this event has the potential to draw in a truly historic number of viewers. Of course that depends on whether the organizers can put together the kind of entertainment that will convince people to put down Animal Crossing to tune in. With that in mind, let's take a look at the lineup as it currently stands.

Along with the hosts of The Late Show, The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the event—which has been curated by Lady Gaga in cooperation with Global Citizen—will feature appearances from Alanis Morissette, Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Nigerian singer Burna Boy, Chris Martin of Coldplay, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Elton John, Idris Elba, Colombian Singer J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Lizzo, Colombian Singer Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, Stevie Wonder and some of the muppets of Sesame Street.

In other words, there will be recognizable stars for just about any part of the world and any age group. While it might not reach the level of the World Cup final—which draws an audience of over 500 million—One World: Together at Home has the potential to far-surpass the viewing numbers of an event like the Oscars. With any luck, it will, because the money raised will go to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which equips healthcare workers around the world and helps to provide food, shelter, and healthcare to people in need.

So tune in on Saturday at 8:00 PM, and donate if you can afford to. Because right now everyone could use the entertainment, and the whole world needs some help.

MUSIC

Abby Anderson is Country's Next Kacey Musgraves

The 22-year-old Country Pop singer's new single is as giddy as it is catchy

Abby Anderson is aiming to dominate the country-pop airwaves with her new single, "Good Lord."

2019 is slated to be a big year for the up-and-coming country starlet. The Texas-bred singer made her international debut at the Country 2 Country festival earlier this month in London, where she shared a stage with the likes of Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Hunter Hayes, and Lady Antebellum. But that's not all. In the coming months, she will also be opening for Rob Thomas in more than 44 cities on his Chip Tooth Smile Tour and is also set to perform at some big-name festivals, including Stagecoach, Tortuga, and Country Thunder Arizona. In addition to a very hectic touring schedule, Anderson's new single, "Good Lord," is bound to garner attention from country pop fans all over the world.

The song comes on strong, with a rock-driven guitar lick soaring over a plucked banjo and a dance-worthy drum loop. For the verse, the distorted guitar disappears, allowing plenty of room for Anderson's soulful voice to sprawl out as she lists off all the reasons she loves her man: "It's the way you kiss me like nobody's watchin'/ It's the way you lean in every time I'm talkin'."

This sweet and giddy verse gradually builds into a large and anthemic chorus that will have no trouble filling up the many theaters and arenas Anderson will be performing in this year. "I bet the good lord took his sweet time," Anderson belts, "on your dark hair and your brown eyes."

This ecstatic and sunny love song is perfect for singing along to, whether you catch Anderson on tour this Summer, or while driving with the windows down on a beautiful spring day.

GOOD LORD



Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).


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MUSIC

MUSIC MONDAY | American Idol's Dalton Rapattoni takes over

Season 15 American Idol runner up, Dalton Rapattoni hijacks Music Monday this week with a playlist that pumps him up.

Remember Dalton from American Idol Season 15? Let's refresh your memory. Dalton auditioned in Texas at the age of 19 for J-Lo, Harry Connick Jr, and Keith Urban. J-Lo called him, "so cute." Since his time on American Idol, Dalton has been working on his original music and recently released his single "Heaven" with an accompanying music video. Dalton took over #MUSICMONDAY to give you a taste of what he listens to in order to get pumped for performing.

#throwback

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Giphy

Check out his music video for "Heaven" here.

Spotify users can listen to the full playlist here.

1. "Ghost of Stephen Foster" | Squirrel Nut Zippers

So this one I found in my discover playlist. I know it's weird but it sounds like a polka party in an old dusty pub and sometimes that's what I'm in the mood for, you dig?

2. "Violet" | Hole

Okay so I love this one because the pre-chorus is so pretty and all of that but then it just goes into straight up yelling and it's just a classic man.

3. "Rusty Cage" | Johnny Cash

This one is kinda cheating because it's kind of two songs, but whatever, music is music to who's-its who use it. Plus I love the guitar work.

4. "The Sad Ballad of Danny Boy" | Floater

This one has a really cool juxtaposition in that it's a jolly ole drinking song and then it turns into a super dark peek into the mind of an alcoholic. Quite interesting.

5. "Survivalism" | Nine Inch Nails

This one is just a cool jam. Trent Reznor has one of my favorite voices on earth.

6. "Bloodstains" | Agent Orange

It's weird to try to write an explanation for why you like a punk song. Punk is angry and often pointless. You don't have to think too much when you listen to it.

7. "Wonderful Wonderful" | The Killers

See this is the opposite end of the spectrum. This is one that you can listen to a hundred times and hear something different every time. My favorite part is the post-chorus violin part that sounds kind of middle eastern-y.

8. "Jealous" | Labrinth

Lyrically this song is phenomenal. Also when it goes into those whacky key changes at the end it's glorious.

9. "Blood Waves" | Ho99o9

This song is just one of those that you kinda just sit back and let it blast you in the face.

10. "I've Seen Footage" | Death Grips

This is one of the most "consumable" Death Grips songs. I still have no idea what the lyrics are but hey man it's a cool tune.

11. "I Love You, Honeybear" | Father John Misty

My sister showed me this song, and she's a lot artsier and out there than me, but this one is great because it sounds like it's being played by the last guy on earth after an apocalypse. Totally haunting.

12. "Beast" | Nico Vega

This is one of the hype up adrenaline ones. It has this really simple structure but it's delivered perfectly.

13. "Breaking Out" | The Protomen

Okay so my dad makes fun of me for this one because whenever I turn this on he just says "why are you listening to this when you can listen to Bruce Springsteen? They sound exactly the same" BUT ITS NOT THE SAME DAD

14. "song" | Weatherman-Dead Sara

I love this one because her voice is so expressive. You can hear all of the grit and emotion perfectly, and the simple, yet perfectly catchy guitar work accents it perfectly.

15. "I Wanna Meet Richard Dreyfuss" | Gabriel Gundacker

Okay so this one just needs to be heard. Actually, listen to the whole album. Your life will be at least 40% better I promise.

16. "Majestic" | Wax Fang

Okay so Pink Floyd is my favorite band of all time, and I DARE you to tell me that the solo that starts at 2:48 wasn't written by David Gilmour.

17. "In A Sweater Poorly Knit" | mewithoutYou

I'm sorry but this song uses the word pumpernickel. Have you ever heard any other song use the word pumpernickel and not sound stupid? Didn't think so.

18. "Gay Bar" | Electric Six

The line "start a nuclear war at the gay bar" was something I never thought I'd hear in my life but here I am and the song is great.

19. "Same Drugs" | Chance The Rapper

I'm sure almost everyone knows this song but I listened to it almost nonstop for a month. The whole Peter Pan thing is so cool. Ps. The music video version of the song is slightly better.

20. "Sleep Is For The Weak" | The Dreadnoughts

So I'm a big fan of polka rock, and this one is probably in my top 10 of that genre. It's about some Ukrainian/Polish territory dispute and I have no clue what any of that means but hey the song is cool.

21. "Ebb and Flow" | Larry and His Flask

I've never had my face melted by a banjo before but dude that thing is ripping it in this one.

22. "Heavens Light / Hellfire" | Tony Jay (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Okay so this is way different but Hunchback is my favorite Disney cartoon and this one is so creepy and well written. Also if you don't occasionally break out into a Disney song you should go see a doctor because you might have a severe joy deficiency.

23. "I Wanna Get Better" | Bleachers

This is one of the best "feeling good kicking ass" songs out there. I can never turn it up loud enough.

24. "Oxford Comma" | Vampire Weekend

I always thought this song was funny because Ezra Koenig used to be an English teacher.

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FILM & TV

5 best performances from the 2017 CMT Awards

MUSIC | Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood lead with most wins.

From Miranda Lambert to Little Big Town, this year's telecast was packed with standout moments.

Last night's (June 7) CMT Music Awards were star-studded, joke-packed and exploded with music. From the debut of Kelsea Ballerini's sweeping new single "Legends" (listen here) to the fiery closing number between Lady Antebellum and Earth, Wind & Fire, the evening zipped by at a break-neck pace. Keith Urban leads the pack with most winners, snagging an impressive four buckles--including Video of the Year for "Blue Ain't Your Color" and Social Superstar. Carrie Underwood follows with two trophies, one for her "Church Bells" concert clip and the other for her collaborative effort with Urban on "The Fighter." The awards were just minor compared to the lineup, which featured Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, sultry R&B star Jason Derulo (teaming up with Luke Bryan) and many others.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

But there were, really, only a handful of performances which earned water-cooler-level buzz. Check out our picks of five best performances of the night. In no particular order:

"It Ain't My Fault," Brothers Osborne

Taking to the streets right outside the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, the performance was fed right into the fans' mouths. It was expectedly rowdy, clutching onto the duo's signature rock-soul-country hybrid. This is one of many reasons the pair are blowing down the country doors right now.

"The Fighter," Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood

The studio recording is a straight-up dance record, but Urban's reimagining as a sensitive singer-songwriter track was lovely. Underwood was then given license to show off her pipes, like she often does. Despite the return to the bubbly production in the latter half of the song--tearing away the more organic approach in the first half--the performance was enthralling.

"When Someone Stops Loving You," Little Big Town

You often forget what a powerful voice band member Jimi Westbrook has. But when you let him loose, he rips the roof off. This slow-burning ode to heartbreak is one of many standouts on the four-piece's latest album, The Breaker. It was, perhaps, the night's most gut-wrenching performance.

"Pink Sunglasses," Miranda Lambert

Taking a cut from her 2016 double-album, The Weight of These Wings, Lambert was sexy, flirty and fun. "I'm a firm believer in the power of the plastic," she cooed. She's often known for her brazen, sassy numbers, and this one particularly captured all the magic and charm of her personality. Many in the crowd donned pink sunglasses, too, for the song, a signal of camaraderie.

"Midnight Rider," Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley

In one of the night's surprisingly good performances, the tribute to the late, great Gregg Allman (of the Allman Brothers) kicked off the show on a throwback note. It was soulful, particularly for Kelley's and Rucker's contributions, and the a cappella intro was a lovely, poignant touch. Even when the blustering guitars and high-fire drums echoed across the space, the performance never lost its way, as can often happen with such thick production.

Check out the winners below:

Video of the Year: Keith Urban, "Blue Ain't Your Color"

Female Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood, "Church Bells"

Male Video of the Year: Keith Urban, "Blue Ain't Your Color"

Duo Video of the Year: Florida Georgia Line, "H.O.L.Y."

Group Video of the Year: Little Big Town, "Better Man"

Breakthrough Video of the Year: Lauren Alaina, "Road Less Traveled"

Collaborative Video of the Year: Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, "The Fighter"

CMT Performance of the Year: Luke Bryan and Jason Derulo from CMT Crossroads

Social Superstar: Keith Urban

J. Merritt/Getty


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2017 CMT Music Awards - Show

2017 CMT Music Awards - Show

2017 CMT Music Awards - Show

2017 CMT Music Awards - Show

Keith Urban still has those rugged good looks that helped shoot him to fame—along with the amazing voice and musical talent, natch.

But, is it just us, or are those rugged good looks looking…well….. somewhat less rugged with time?!!

Keith Urban Is A Bona Fide Sex God Apparently

Urban's Oscar winning wife, Nicole Kidman, has been vocal about her disdain for plastic surgery—when it comes to maintaining her visage—insisting that plain and simple keeping out of the sun, and a rigorous skin regime are behind her frozen-in-time face.

"I wear sunscreen, I don't smoke and I take care of myself, and I am proud to say that," Nicole claims.

However, after years of rumors and reports to the contrary, the 48-year-old did finally cop to trying Botox back in the day.

Nicole Kidman And Keith Urban Married After One Month Of Dating

"No surgery for me," Nicole told Italy's La Repubblica. "I did try Botox, unfortunately, but I got out of it and now I can finally move my face again."

[Somebody might want to inform Kidman's face of that fact…. ahem]

Meanwhile, what about Urban? Is the 47-year-old Voice Australia judge plastic fantastic, or au naturel?

Plastic surgery sites have been awash with speculation that Keith has had a little “something" done ever since he first hit the big time—with everything from dental veneers, to Botox, to cheek fillers and implants being mentioned.

Best Plastic Surgery Makeovers

Not surprisingly, Urban has kept schtum on the subject, but we spoke to an expert to get their opinion.

Dr. Anthony Youn weighs in on the singer's eternal boyish looks:

“Keith's face looks like he's had a recent visit with a plastic surgeon," Dr. Youn tells Popdust exclusively. “His cheeks, especially his upper cheeks, look fuller and more plump than they used to.

“I suspect that he may have undergone injections of a cheek filler like Voluma to fill out the grooves in his cheeks, otherwise known as the tear troughs. His face definitely looks smoother than it used to!"

Hmmm... perhaps Keith has just started using his wife's magical sunblock?