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Charli XCX’s Bizarre Tour Rider Request

Kaitlin Christy/Atlantic RecordsWe’ve all heard the stories about stars and their backstage diva demands when they’re on tour: they’ve got to have bouquets of white lilies, or water at exactly 68 degrees, or black plastic cups, or specific brands of cereal and snack foods. But Charli XCX has a request for her rider — that’s what those demands are called — that is completely bizarre.

Speaking to the U.K. publication Metro, Charli says she’s a huge fan of actor Bill Murray. How huge? “I sometimes ask for a framed picture of Bill Murray on my rider just because I think he is really cool,” she reveals. “‘There are a few I have collected, and some of them have been in nice frames!”

“‘I have a weird Bill Murray collection, I guess. Although it’s not some weird obsession,” she insists. The British “Boom Clap” singer says it’d be “sick” to have Murray appear in one of her music videos.

The “Fancy” co-writer also says she’d love to collaborate with Coldplay‘s Chris Martin.

“I actually listened to [Coldplay's new album] on a plane the other day and I cried! I think that album is so good,” she tells Metro. “To collaborate definitely would be cool. I think Chris Martin is one of the best, top line writers around at the moment. I’ve always thought his melodies are incredible.”


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Tough-Guy Actor Danny Trejo on Starring in Train’s “Angel in Blue Jeans” Video: “It’s Awesome!”

Columbia Records70-year-old tough-guy actor Danny Trejo, best known for playing a badass in movies like Machete Kills and on TV shows like Breaking Bad, is an unlikely music video star, but he’s front and center in Train’s new clip for “Angel in Blue Jeans.” He tells Entertainment Weekly that when the band reached out to him, he said yes right away.

“It’s awesome,” Trejo tells EW. “You know what? That band was really, really cool. I’d heard of them before, and when they asked me to do it I said ‘absolutely.’ It came out really good. All my friends say, we didn’t know you could sing!”

Trejo doesn’t actually sing in the video — he lip syncs to Train singer Pat Monahan‘s voice. But he does it so well that the effect is startling. “The minute I open my mouth everyone screams,” he laughs.

In the video, Trejo plays a motorcycle-riding tough guy in the desert who’s pining for his lost love, stolen by an evil sheriff played by Pat Monahan. In the end, Trejo gets the girl back, and gets to pistol-whip Pat as well.

“The shoot was hot. We were out in the desert. But we kept it going. We shot all day,” Trejo tells EW. “It was so funny, they were all worried about asking me, can you ride a motorcycle? I’ve been riding a motorcycle since I was about 12!”

Over the years, Trejo has also appeared in videos for artists ranging from Enrique Iglesias, to the Jonas Brothers, to the Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura. “I love doing them,” he tells EW. “I love doing them because I meet a completely different bunch of people than in the movie business. A lot of the rock stars are really a lot of fun.”

Trejo says he personally prefers to listen to oldies and hip-hop, but adds, “Any kind of music, I don’t care.”

“Angel in Blue Jeans” also stars Hannah Simone from New Girl as Trejo’s love interest. The song is the first release from Train’s upcoming album Bulletproof Picasso.


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Sia Explains Why She’s Avoiding Fame & the Spotlight: “That’s Just Not Something I Want”

Courtesy PRETTYPUKE/ RCA RecordsSia saw her album 1000 Forms of Fear debut at #1 recently, and she’s got a big hit on the charts with “Chandelier.” But even though her music’s everywhere, the Aussie singer/songwriter’s image is not. She won’t show her face in interviews, she doesn’t appear on the cover of her album, she posed for the cover of Billboard with a bag over her head, and in her publicity photos, she’s wearing a bag as well. So what’s the deal?

“I don’t want to be famous,” she tells ABC News. “I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look [on the Internet].” So far, her strategy appears to be effective.

“I was at Target the other day, buying a hose and nobody recognized me, and my song was on the radio,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘Okay, this experiment is working!’”

But the next question is, why doesn’t she want to be famous? Sia, who’s written some huge pop hits for other artists, like Rihanna‘s “Diamonds,” and even scored some herself — that’s her singing on David Guetta‘s hit “Titanium”– says she’s been close enough to fame to know it isn’t for her.

“I’ve been writing pop songs for pop stars now for a couple years and have become, you know, friends with them and see what their life is like,” she tells ABC News. And that’s just not something I want.”

OK, well then why release an album in the first place? Why not just stay behind the scenes as a songwriter and rake in the cash? It has to do with personal expression, says Sia.

“I didn’t think that this music would get heard otherwise,” she says of the music on 1000 Forms of Fear.

Besides, being behind the scenes as a songwriter isn’t without its own problems. What if you wrote a song and offered it to a bunch of big stars, and they all wanted to record it? Who do you give it to? That very thing happened to Sia recently, with the song “Pretty Hurts,” recorded by Beyonce.

“I wrote it on the sofa three years ago for Katy Perry, sent it to Katy Perry, then I sent it to…Rihanna and Beyonce’s people,” Sia tells ABC News. “Beyonce just slid it into home base and like, threw the money down. It was a really awkward situation.”

So what could she do? Telling Rihanna she couldn’t have the song because she was giving it to Beyonce would not have been easy. But it all worked out in the end.

“Rihanna’s engineer had a great idea,” reveals Sia. “He was like, ‘Why don’t you play her ‘Diamonds’?” Rihanna was like, ‘I love this song “Diamonds,” it’s mine!’” That song ended up topping the charts…something “Pretty Hurts” has yet to do.

No matter how popular her own songs become, though, don’t expect Sia to change her mind about the whole fame thing. She’s not going to announce a tour anytime soon. “It may change but right now that’s not on the cards for me,” she says of the prospect of touring. We’ll just have to listen to her album and watch her videos…which, of course, she doesn’t appear in, either.


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Taylor Swift Shares Love Advice with Fan: “Unrequited Love Is Just as Valid as Any Other Kind”

Image Courtesy CMAIf she ever steps away from her music career, Taylor Swift definitely has a future as an advice columnist.

A fan named Hannah reached out to Taylor on Instagram asking the superstar for advice on how to deal with her unrequited feelings for a guy she’s known for years.

Hannah, whose name on Instagram is SherbetSwift, describes her love interest as “a guy who’s sweet and charming and makes me laugh. A guy who said sorry for eating in front of me after finding out I had to skip breakfast…A guy who was my first best friend.” It turns out this guy has a girlfriend, whom Hannah describes as “pretty” and “nice” with an “amazing figure.”

Taylor wrote a lengthy reply to Hannah, telling her that true love isn’t just “the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized.” She continues, “I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It’s just as crushing and just as thrilling. No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind.”

Taylor goes on to tell Hannah she’ll someday find someone who loves her in that same, selfless way.


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Hilary Duff Returns with New Album, New Single Written by Colbie Caillat

RCA RecordsIt’s been a while since ex-Disney star Hilary Duff released any music: 2007, to be exact, which is when she put out her album Dignity. But now, the singer and actress is back with a brand-new single called “Chasing the Sun,” a new record label — RCA — and a new album, due this fall.

The single, due out July 29, was co-written by Colbie Caillat. The video for the song will debut on VEVO that same day. Hilary has also worked with Ed Sheeran on material for the album.

In a statement, Hilary says of her new label home, “I came to them with my vision for the album and it has been a real labor of love, but something I am so proud of. ‘Chasing the Sun’ is just a peek into my new album. I’ve worked very hard and the album is a great representation of the experiences I’ve had in my life and where I want to go from here!”

She adds, “I took a break from music for quite awhile, but it gave me the power to choose my next steps carefully and I’m really proud of the album I’ve made. ‘Chasing the Sun’ is a light and fun summer song that I hope helps people to feel a little more carefree.”

The new album will be Hilary’s fifth. Since her last album, she’s acted, started her own clothing line, launched several fragrances, written three books, and focused on charitable works. She married NHL player Mike Comrie in 2010; their son Luca Cruz is two years old. The couple announced in early 2014 that they were splitting.

Recently, both Lorde and Charli XCX have expressed admiration for Hilary.


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