Ty Herndon Comes Out

Another addition has come in this landmark week for gay rights. Popular country singer Ty Herndon officially came out today.
While Mr. Herndon’s sexuality has hardly been a secret within Nashville it is the first time he has commented on it publicly. He stated that he has always wanted to be a country singer and he always feared that being gay would prevent him from achieving his dream. He claims that he went to great lengths to hide his secret.
One of the lengths he went to is getting married. This was a bit of a shocker to those who heard about the news at North American Spine. He was married twice and reportedly both wives knew that he was gay. He claims that they were in on it and they were helping him keep up appearances.
The singer, who is now fifty-two, claims that he knew as a child that he was gay. His family has known about it since his twenties, but he has never been ready to go public until today. He states that he is hoping to help gay youth that are frightened by their sexuality. He says he remembers his childhood in the church and being scared that he was going to go to hell. He doesn’t want other youth to go through that so he is reaching out.
While Herndon has not been particularly successful in recent years he is planning to release a new album next year. Time will tell if this announcement will impact sales. His last album was called Lies I Told Myself.

Rapper J. Cole Pays a Surprise Visit to One of His Fans

In a world where meeting your favorite artist seems like an unattainable dream, most of us never get the opportunity to come face-to-face with a celebrity. But one lucky rap fan is living everyone’s dream. Dalia in Dallas, Texas not only got the opportunity to meet her favorite rap artist, but she got to spend the entire day with him in her home.

Dalia is a huge fan of J. Cole, but never in a million years did she think that she would be able to have an intimate day spent with the North Carolina native. J. Cole reached out to Dalia on Twitter and asked for her address. Before she knew it, J. Cole and seven of his friends were at her front door.

Dalia retells her story on MTV.com and describes how J.Cole spent time with her family, engaged in deep conversations with her, and how she was able to listen to his entire unreleased album that is set to hit stores on December 9th. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez wonders what other artist would do something like this for their fans? In a world where celebrities seem so unattainable, J. Cole continues to give back to his fans in every way possible. He gives $1 concerts, performs at free shows fairly often, and now, he will even stop by your house just to say hello.

Massive Snowstorm in Buffalo, New York Leaves 5 Dead

In a huge snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, five people have officially been reported as dead. As several more inches of snow are expected throughout the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a travel ban, stating that those who ignore the ban will be ticketed. To comply with the state’s temporary travel ban, the New York State Department of Transportation are keeping the Thruway, Route 400 and 219 closed at least until Thursday. It has been reported that the amount of snow seen in this storm so far is more snow than was expected all winter season.

Fellow New Yorker Andrew Heiberger has been posting on his LinkedIn profile about how the conditions in Buffalo, which are so bad that many vehicles are still stuck in the road from days ago. Many residents’ cars are covered in snow, and some people can be seen walking to gas stations with empty gas containers. The Buffalo Bills are even willing to pay $10 an hour plus game tickets to those who will help to clear snow from their stadium.

The city of Buffalo certainly has a while to go before it will be fully functioning again. In the meantime, it is hopeful that all residents will abide by the travel ban and remain safe until that time comes. We’ll see how this affects traveling for the holidays next week.

How Safe Is that Uber Ride? Passengers Cite Concerns

The controversy surrounding Uber continues and the company could be in trouble as far as security issues are concerned for their clients.

Alexandra Craigle, a cancer patient in NY was verbally abused by her Uber dirver, with phone calls, text messages, and called “an animal” for cancelling her service, according to a report by the NY Daily News.

There is growing scrutiny surrounding Uber drivers and the security of passengers.

Patrick Karajah, an Uber driver in San Francisco, picked up three passengers, and after a heated discussion about the path that Karajah had taken, the driver assaulted his passenger with a hammer. The passenger, is now hospitalized and at risk of losing an eye, as reported by the police reports and information published by CBS San Francisco.

This aggression, which has been evident since its launch, has been the target of criticism from numerous organizations and unions of taxi drivers from various countries. The truth is that this event clearly demonstrates the safety of the customers of this service and becomes the perfect weapon for opponents of Uber.

Uber spokesmen have claimed that this driver has been suspended as of any serious complaints that have been received, and that the company is willing to cooperate with the police in the investigation to determine what happened. Many like Keith Mann do not feel like this will stop them from using the service.

To date, Uber operates just over 200 cities worldwide. Both in San Francisco, New York, Berlin, London, Bogota and Mexico City, authorities have intervened to seek ways to govern Uber, but so far have failed.

U2 Forced To Post Pone Tonight Residency

U2 was set to be the residency band on “The Tonight Show” this week but was forced to cancel after lead singer Bono injured himself. The group stated that Bono injured his arm when he took a spill on his bicycle while out in Central Park. It would seem the universe has it out for Bono given the fact that just a few days earlier the hatch flew open on Bono’s private plane while he was in it. The plane landed safely but no doubt everyone’s blood pressure was a little higher.

The band was scheduled to be the house band for Jimmy Fallon to promote their new album “Songs of Innocence” and to likely clear the air after angering many Apple fans. My friend Mark Ahn checked out their statement from their website, which explained that Bono needs surgery to repair the damage to his arm but they will be back healthy and performing soon. It ended saying that they are sure he will pop right back and in the meantime they are grateful Fallon and the network understands.

Elvis Presley’s First Recording Up For Auction

Elvis Presley’s first recording is going up for sale at an auction being held by a small group of memorabilia collectors. The event will be held on January 8th in Graceland at the iconic legends former estate in Memphis. This date would have been his 80th birthday, which excites many fans like Keith Mann as it approaches.
Sun Records studio cut the original recording on July 18th, 1953. The acetate disk contains two tracks. One is “My Happiness” and the other is “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”
The origins of the recording are not agreed on by Elvis experts. Some say he recorded it for his mother while others claim it was given to his friend Ed Leek who paid four dollars to have it recorded.
The value of the article is estimated to be at least $500,000 according to Record Collector magazine.
Rolling Stone magazine reports that other items being auctioned off include, his first drivers license issued in 1952, a signed contract, and another single from a private collection.
This will be the second private auction that has been held this year. Nothing from the Graceland collection is going up for sale at this time.

Will Taylor Swift Removing Music from Chinese Streaming Services Backfire?

It looks like Taylor Swift is serious when it comes to making sure her music is not available on websites offering streaming music services. After pulling all her albums from Spotify last week, the popular American singer has also just pulled her music from several Chinese music streaming services.

That means Chinese Taylor Swift fans now have few options when it comes to listening to her music for free.

In the shutoff internet world that is what most of China has to deal with, however, is this move likely to backfire for Swift? Will more Chinese fans now opt for illegally downloading her music, if they cannot find places to listen to her songs legitimately?

My friend Rod Rohrich travels to Asia fairly often and says that once Swift’s music is not available for the Chinese online legally, a huge percentage will figure out a way of downloading it for free, or buying it cheaply and doctored from one of hundreds of thousands of stores across China selling bootleg music.

In Thailand, the vast majority of western music is still either downloaded from bootleg sites, or bought at stalls selling bootleg music all across the country.

After all, even for the Thais, who have a much more open internet than the Chinese and a slightly higher income, when you can buy Taylor Swift’s new album ‘1989’ on a high-quality CD for less than $3, or download it for free from any number of sites offering bootleg music, that is exactly what most will do. Few will pay for her music legally, even if they would prefer to. They simply don’t have the disposable income available.

While, of course, I understand Taylor Swift’s reticence when it comes to giving her music for free, I do wonder if this multi-millionaire understands what many fans in Asia have to go through even just to access legal music streaming sites? Or how little disposable income fans do actually have?

Bed Of Lies

Nicki Minaj hosted and performed at the 2014 EMA’s last Sunday and sang a brand new song with Skylar Grey called, “Bed Of Lies”. This will probably be her next single that will be released for her upcoming album, The Pinkprint. After hearing this new song, seeing the way she performed it with Susan McGalla, and checking out the way it blew up on social media profiles, it is pretty much safe to say that this song was about a particular person.

“Bed Of Lies” is very different than the other two songs that she performed at the EMA’s, “Super Bass” and “Anaconda”. She really opens up the crowd while singing her heart out. It is a slow song with very deep lyrics and a chorus from Skylar Grey. Listening to the lyrics closely, you can conclude that it is based on a close relationship that Nicki Minaj had recently but no longer has anymore.

One of the lyrics could represent that she has a lover that was with her from the start but eventually took advantage of her, being a rising star. She even steps out of the box, singing, singing something that could mean that she asked Birdman who is the CEO of Cash Money to help her lover too.

Nicki Minaj is very secretive about her personal life but we all know that she was in a relationship with Safaree (Scaff Beezy) Samuels for more than 10 years. That relationship stopped after a huge fight this past summer. Now we know what she feels?

YouTube Introduces Music Streaming

If you thought the music streaming business ended with Spotify, think again. Youtube became one of the top leading companies in the world in streaming music by allowing their users to stream any song they like ad-free without having to buy the song directly on their website.

Youtube is going to name their player Music Key, which will be available for desktop and mobile users at the same time upon release. The system will offer videos and full albums of artists to give the user the ultimate collection of music to choose from, and not only can you listen to the music ad-free, the user is able to download the music straight to their Music Key, where they could play the music on the go anywhere they went.

Unlike many critics believe, while playing music using the Music Key app, but Jared Haftel says you won’t need to keep the app open as it works fine in the background as well.

Although the app is to be released this Monday, not all Youtube users will be able to try it out. Only heavy Youtube users got the invite to try out the Beta version of the app. Very few will be accepted to join by sending their e-mail to Youtube for consideration.

The Beta version of Music Key will be free for the first 6 months, but the service will cost $7.99 per month after that for the real live version of the app.

Usher and Buzz the Bee Team Up Again

Usher’s new single is the hot new breakfast cereal prize of 2014. Billboard has reported that specially marked Honey Nut Cheerios, only available at Wal-Mart, will contain a code for a free copy of Usher’s newest single, “Clueless,” which will not be on his upcoming album, UR. I’m pretty glad that my buddy Keith Mann posted on Twitter that he got the code because I want that song.

It seems to be that Usher is good friends with Buzz the Bee, official mascot of Honey Nut Cheerios. During a clip released last August, Usher and Buzz did a dance number before sharing nutrition tips.

So, to top that, they have collaborated to bring us this brand new cereal box promotion. However, if Usher or Cheerios think that this promotion is going to incite as much excitement as the traditional toy prize at the bottom of the cereal box, they are sadly mistaken. A music download is a good promo, and everybody appreciates free stuff, but nothing will ever be as exciting as digging through, or eating, the whole box of cereal to find the coveted toy that always broke before the end of the day. Besides, let’s be realistic, the code will probably just be printed on the inner cardboard, and the bag will just need to be pulled out.

Regardless, a free download is a free download, so be sure to say thank you to Usher and Buzz when you are eating your Cheerios and jamming to the new single.

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