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Lorde Wins Prestigious New Zealand Music Prize, Gives Away Her Winnings

Monty Brinton/CBSLorde has continued her winning ways by scooping a prestigious music award in her home country of New Zealand — but she’s decided to give away all the prize money.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Lorde’s album Pure Heroine won this year’s Taite Music Prize, which is given to a local album which is judged by a panel to be the best release of the past year. The winner is entitled to 10 thousand New Zealand dollars, as well as studio time, and Lorde has generously decided to donate the prize money to the other nominees.

In an acceptance speech via video from Las Vegas, Lorde said, “I think everyone is kind of sick of me winning stuff at the moment and I think there are people who are more in need of the funds and the exposure than I am right now. So if you will accept it, the prize money and the studio time have been split between this year’s nominees…if you don’t want it, that’s cool too.”

The Herald reports that the rest of the finalists, made up of artists largely unknown outside of New Zealand, seem to be OK with Lorde’s generosity, tweeting their thanks. If each artist agrees, everyone will receive a bit more than $1,666, and the group’ll have to divide up the studio time.

Provided by: The News Hound

“American Idol” Season 13′s Youngest Contestant Gives Advice, Reveals Which Champ Would Make Her Lose Control

Frank Micelotta/FOXMalaya Watson, the Michigan teen who was eliminated from American Idol last week, was this season’s youngest contestant, and the second-youngest ever to reach the live shows, after season 10′s Lauren Alaina. While she admits that the Idol experience is “a lot harder than it looks,” the 16-year-old says she’d still encourage other young people to try out, with one condition: your grades have to be good.

Speaking to ABC News Radio, Malaya says, “From the outside in, [American Idol] looks like so much fun, but then when you’re in show business, you notice all the details of everything. It’s a lot. It’s a whole lot!” That’s why any kid who wants to try out has to make sure the group’ll be able to simultaneously handle both their schoolwork and all the Idol commitments.

Asked if young teens like her should audition for the show, Malaya tells ABC News Radio, “If their school is good and the group have time on their hands, then yeah, if that’s something the group want to do.” But, she warns, “Don’t do it while you got all this debt, and your grades look terrible, because then you’re going to be bombarded with all this stuff plus American Idol.”

“You should do it when you’re really comfortable with yourself and what you’re doing, because that’s the best time to do stuff,” she adds.

While Malaya says that she grew considerably as a person and as a performer, thanks to being thrown headfirst into the grown-up world of Idol, she says that the rest of the finalists also have gotten much better since the group started on the show.

“Trust me, if you knew everybody…everybody has improved in their own ways,” she tells ABC News Radio. “So, there’s no specific person that’s in the lead. Everybody has just grown from that point to now.”

Helping the contestants grow last week was American Idol season seven champ David Cook, who worked with the finalists as a mentor. Malaya says she’d like to see David appear on the show more often in that role.

“Oh yeah, he’d be a good mentor because he’s, like, honest with all his opinions,” she tells ABC News Radio. “He’s very helpful and the man won, so he knows what he’s talking about! He knows the highs and the lows about American Idol.”

But as much as she liked David, there’s another former Idol winner who Malaya would have killed to work with. “Fantasia. Oh my God!” she gushed. “I would really pee on myself!”

American Idol returns Wednesday night with a new theme: Competitors’ Pick. For the first time in the show’s history, each finalist will select a song for their fellow finalists to perform. Each contestant will therefore get a list of six songs from which to choose.

Provided by: The News Hound

Got $10,000? You Could Meet Bruno Mars Backstage

Ray Mickshaw / FOXBruno Mars‘ Moonshine Jungle tour hits New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden on July 14, and if you’ve got the cash, you just might be able to hang with the singer backstage.

Bruno has teamed up with the website CharityBuzz.com to auction off four tickets for the show, as well as backstage access after the show; that’s where you’ll get a chance to meet Bruno in person. The only downside? You’ll have to get yourself to New York and pay for your own hotel.

Bidding for the auction closes on April 29, and when we last checked, the highest bid was already up to a whopping 10 grand. It’s sure to go higher still.

The money from the auction will go to the Stephen Gaynor School, an independent, non-profit New York City school for students with learning disabilities.

Provided by: The News Hound

Taylor Swift Pops Up on “Saturday Night Live” to Support Pal Ed Sheeran

Image Courtesy Ed Sheeran via Instagram

Taylor Swift’s now a part-time New York City resident, so she didn’t have to go out of her way too much to make a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

The singer appeared onstage during host Seth Rogen’s opening monologue, along with a few other unannounced guests: Zooey Deschanel and James Franco. Rogen angrily insisted that he didn’t need his famous friends to come by and help him out, and when he asked Taylor what she was doing there, she replied, “You’re getting really upset, and when a man shows emotion, I appear!”

But the real reason she was there was to support her good friend Ed Sheeran, who was making his Saturday Night Live debut. In fact, it was she, and not Rogen, who announced that he was the musical guest. Ed performed two songs from his forthcoming album, X: “Sing” and “Don’t.” The latter song is about a woman Ed was seeing, who he claims cheated on him with a friend while the group were staying at the same hotel. While the woman in question was a musician, Ed has insisted that Taylor is not the subject of the song.

At the end of the show, Taylor joined Ed, Rogen and the rest of the cast onstage for the traditional good-byes. Zooey Deschanel stayed around to say goodbye as well, and she and Taylor very spoke animatedly to each other and appeared to jump up and down with delight while chatting. You may recall that Taylor guest-starred on Deschanel’s show New Girl last year.

Provided by: The News Hound

Pharrell Williams Recalls Writing “Happy” in New Episode of Oprah Prime

Columbia RecordsPharrell Williams speaks candidly with Oprah Winfrey about this infectious hit “Happy” in an all-new episode of OWN’s Oprah Prime, airing Sunday.

In a newly released minute-long teaser, Pharrell’s asked how his Oscar-nominated song came together. “My best songs come from two different ways. Either when I have a really good gut feeling about something. It’s written in the shower or on a plane,” the hitmaker explains.

After trying to write the song several times for the Despicable Me soundtrack, Pharrell reveals that “Happy” came to him while in the shower.

“Some of my best verses come from there. Right? And some of my best songs. But then some of my crazy half-court shots, you know, where you just go — swish,” he says referring to his hit single. “And it’s not because you’re that good. It’s because you’re out of ideas. And that’s what happened. I hit zero. And I just hit a place of openness because I had nothing else left.”

The full interview will air Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

Provided by: The News Hound

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