Bringing holiday cheer to 'SportsCenter'

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
11:50
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PentatonixCourtesy of RCA RecordsPentatonix's new holiday album was certified gold this month.
The winter holiday season and vocal music go together like cookies and milk. And when it comes to seasonal music, Pentatonix has earned its way into the traditional rotation. The five-person a cappella group earned a gold record (500,000 sales) for their new holiday album "That's Christmas To Me" just this month.

You might recall Pentatonix from their winning appearance on NBC's "The Sing-Off" reality competition in 2011. Since then, they've released six full length albums and EPs and become a YouTube staple.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, ESPN's "SportsCenter" is featuring "Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy" from the “That’s Christmas To Me” album. You can download the song and/or the album here: (iTunes | Amazon)

Green Day leads Rock Hall Class of 2015

December, 16, 2014
Dec 16
11:36
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Green Day Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty ImagesTre Cool, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt will be indicted to the Rock Hall on April 18.
Green Day got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their first try.

The punk rock power trio from California's East Bay leads the Class of 2015, along with the late Lou Reed, soul singer/songwriter Bill Withers, 1960s blues rock pioneers the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, garage rock royalty Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Reed, who died last year, is already in the Hall as a member of the Velvet Underground.
SportsNation

Which of these artists not elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the worst snub?

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    5%
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    17%
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    26%
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    10%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 58)



Among nominees who didn't make it this time were N.W.A., Chic, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, Sting (who is already a Hall of Famer with The Police), The Marvelettes, The Spinners and Kraftwerk.

Rolling Stone has the story with quotes from the honorees and links to longer interview sessions.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told Rolling Stone that it's "just an incredible feeling" to be recognized by the band's fans and peers.

"For me, rock & roll is not an outdated term. To me, it means freedom. It was a way for me to express myself and I'm eternally grateful for the fact that I've been able to do that pretty much my whole life. It's never lost that meaning for me, whether I'm a fan myself or for Green Day fans. It's just the most liberating thing in the world," Armstrong told Rolling Stone in this Q&A.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and 1950s R&B group the "5" Royales will also be honored at the induction ceremony, scheduled for April 18 in Cleveland. Starr will be presented with the Hall's Award For Musical Excellence, while the "5" Royales will receive the Early Influence Award.
Wu-Tang Clan Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic/Getty ImagesThe Wu-Tang Clan is back with a new album, "A Better Tomorrow"


Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN programming this month, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Wu Tang Clan: "Ruckus in B Minor" from the "A Better Tomorrow" album. (iTunes)

Walk the Moon: "Shut Up and Dance" and "Up 2 U" from the "Talking is Hard" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

DJ Bitman: "From the Back" and "Could it Be Love" from the "Airplane" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Music from Sunday NFL Countdown

December, 5, 2014
Dec 5
10:26
AM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

TI and Iggy Azalea: "No Mediocre" single.

X Ambassadors: "Jungle ft. Jamie N Commons" from "The Reason" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

Taylor Swift: "Shake it Off" from "1989" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

November 'First Take' Music

December, 5, 2014
Dec 5
10:18
AM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s First Take, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Canon: "Point of View" from the "Loose Canon Vol 2" album. (iTunes | Amazon) The Mounties: "Made Up My Mind" from the "Thrash Rock Legacy" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Lana Shea: "Shut Ya Face" from the "R.A.P.S." EP.

Katy Perry to play Super Bowl

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
12:03
PM ET
Katy Perry AP Images, Rex Features An elaborate stage and lots of hits are likely possibilities for Katy Perry's Super Bowl performance.


Yes, you're going to hear her roar.
SportsNation

What do you make of Katy Perry performing at the Super Bowl 49 halftime show?

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    32%
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    44%
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    24%

Discuss (Total votes: 27,702)



Sunday night, one of entertainment's worst-kept secrets -- we started hearing about this in October -- was finally made official when it was announced that Katy Perry would be performing at Super Bowl 49.

The NFL released the news on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" broadcast, while Perry announced it on Twitter, saying "Yeppers! And I've already started testing out ideas!"

On Monday morning, Perry struck a more introspective tone:



The Super Bowl will be Perry's second high-profile football appearance this season. As you may recall, she had a blast at ESPN's College Gameday visit to Ole Miss, where she correctly picked Ole Miss' win over Alabama, flung corn dogs into the crowd and stormed the field when the Rebels pulled off the upset, as she had predicted.

For the NFL, the selection of Perry continues a trend of enlisting pop superstars rather than big names from classic rock, as was the case for years. But Perry has some big shoes to fill, given the memorable halftime performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers last season and Beyonce and Destiny's Child at Super Bowl 47.

College basketball featured music

November, 12, 2014
Nov 12
3:15
PM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s College Basketball programming, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Chromeo: "Come Alive and "Somethin' Good" from the “White Women” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Skrillex: "Recess" from the “Recess” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

NeedtoBreathe: "Feet Don’t Fail Me Now" from the “Rivers in the Wasteland” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Ed Sheeran: "Sing"from the “X” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Wiz Khalifa: "We Dem Boyz" from the “Blacc Hollywood" album.(iTunes

David Guetta: "Blast Off" single.

Blake Shelton: " Just Getting Started " from the “Bringing Back the Shine” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Yeah Boy: "You Make Me" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Big Smo: "Come On" from the “Kuntry Livin’” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Alt J: "Left Hand Free" from the “This is All Yours” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Gloriana: "Trouble" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Vinyl Theatre: "Shine On" from the “Electrogram” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Oh Honey: "Get it Right" from the “With Love” EP. (iTunes | Amazon)


College Basketball Coaches Vs Cancer

Gym Class Heroes: "The Fighter" from the “The Papercut Chronicles II” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

College Basketball Tip Off Marathon

Avicii: "The Days" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Hawk Nelson: "Just Getting Started" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Mischa Chillak: "Ready or Not" single. (iTunes)

November 'NFL Countdown' music

November, 12, 2014
Nov 12
11:41
AM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s "Sunday NFL Countdown" this month, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Kongos: "Come With Me Now" from the “Lunatic” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Panic! At The Disco: "This is Gospel" from the “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Music from ESPN's NBA coverage

November, 12, 2014
Nov 12
11:28
AM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s NBA programming, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Lenny Kravitz: "I’m a Believer" from the “Strut” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Aloe Blacc: "The Man, Wake Me Up, and Can You Do This" from the “Lift Your Spirit” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Mark Morrison: "Return of the Mack" from the “Return of the Mack” EP (iTunes | Amazon)

Imagine Dragons: "I Bet My Life" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

ESPN NBA on "SportsCenter"

Flo Rida: "GDFR" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Vintage Trouble: "Run Like the River" from the “The Bomb Shelter Sessions” album.
(iTunes | Amazon)

Music on 'First Take' this month

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
4:38
PM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s First Take, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

PRhyme: "Dat Sounds Good" from the “PRhyme” album.

The Madden Brothers: "We Are Done" from the “Greetings From California” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

AC/DC: "Play Ball" from the “Rock or Bust" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Ozzy Osbourne: "Let Me Hear You Scream" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Papa Roach: "Face Everything and Rise" from the “F.E.A.R.” album. Not yet available online.

Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys: "Born Leader" single. Not yet available online.

Jesse Blaze Snider: "Promised Land" single. Not yet available online.

Music this month on 'Monday Night Football'

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
3:39
PM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

KJ52: "Tonight" from the "Mental" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Wild Cub: "Thunder Clatter" from the "Youth" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

AC/DC: "Play Ball" from the "Rock or Bust" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Ozzy Osbourne: "Let Me Hear You Scream" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Papa Roach: "Face Everything and Rise" from the “F.E.A.R.” album. Not yet available online.

Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys: "Born Leader" single. Not yet available online.

Jesse Blaze Snider: "Promised Land" single. Not yet available online.

Theory of a Deadman: "World War Me" from the "Savages" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Everfound: "Take This City" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

The Devil City Angels: "All My People" single (Reverb Nation)

Avicii: "You Make Me" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

G Unit: "Watch Me" from the "Beauty of Independence" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

Young the Giant: "It's About Time" from the "Savages" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

The Last Royals: "Only the Brave" from the "Twistification" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Foo Fighters, Jungle Fire featured

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
2:28
PM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's Featured Music of the Month, links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Foo Fighters: "Congregation, Something From Nothing and The Feast and the Famine" from the "Sonic Highways" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Jungle Fire: "Village Hustle and "Firewalker" from the "Tropicoso" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

'Monday Night Football' November music

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
11:52
AM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" programming, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

KJ52: "Tonight" from the "Mental" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Wild Cub: "Thunder Clatter" from the "Youth" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

AC/DC: "Play Ball" from the "Rock or Bust" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Ozzy Osbourne: "Let Me Hear You Scream" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Papa Roach: "Face Everything and Rise" from the "F.E.A.R." album. Not yet available online.

Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys: "Born Leader" single. Not yet available online.

Jesse Blaze Snider: "Promised Land" single. Not yet available online.

'Gruden's Groove' on Slacker Radio

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
1:43
PM ET
Gruden's Grooves
ESPN MusicThe "Gruden's Groove" custom station debuts Wednesday on Slacker Radio.
ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden has an appreciation for classic rock and roll. And each Wednesday during his weekly appearance on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike." the show features "Gruden's Groove" -- his classic rock pick of the week.

His taste in music is about to get a wider audience. Starting Wednesday, the Slacker Radio Internet music service will be offering "Gruden's Groove" as a custom classic rock station, as part of its "I Am The DJ" series.

On the station, listeners will find Gruden’s personally-selected songs and his own commentary on why he picked them. You can find it here.


Rock and Roll Hall Vote 2015: Your choice?

October, 9, 2014
Oct 9
3:03
PM ET
Stevie Ray Vaughan Annamaria DiSanto/WireImageStevie Ray Vaughan is among the 2015 nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sting, Green Day and Nine Inch Nails are among the first-time nominees up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. And as was the case last year, the Hall of Fame is giving fans a chance to vote for their favorite nominees.

You can access the ballot at the hall's website, or via Rolling Stone.

Voting will continue through Dec. 9 and the top five vote-getters will count as one of 700 ballots that will determine which artists are inducted.

Now, we're not saying we're qualified to handicap who will get in this time around. But some nominees seem more likely to be contenders:

• Stevie Ray Vaughan, with his backing band Double Trouble, sparked a blues renaissance in the 1980s with his searing guitar playing and heartfelt vocals. He was killed in a helicopter crash in 1990. The fact that he'd never been nominated, let alone inducted, seems like a glaring oversight.

• First-time nominees Green Day kicked off a punk rock resurgence in the 1990s and went on to record the critically-acclaimed "American Idiot." Let's put it this way: Not every punk album winds up becoming a successful Broadway musical.

• West Coast rap pioneers N.W.A changed the hip-hop game with its use of classic 1970s soul samples and raw, unflinching lyrics about the drug trade, gang culture and violence of South Central Los Angeles. They also launched the solo careers of members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.

• Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails brought industrial rock from the underground into the mainstream, in no small part thanks to Reznor's emotionally honest lyrics. (Remember Johnny Cash's searing cover of "Hurt"? Reznor wrote that.)

• The late Lou Reed, who is already enshrined as a member of the Velvet Underground, also enjoyed great success as a solo artist. You might know his hit "Walk On The Wild Side," but his albums, like those of his former band, received significant critical acclaim.

• Sting, who is enshrined as a member of The Police, broke out of the rock idiom as a solo artist, leaving the reggae, punk and rock of that band behind for a more nuanced, jazz-influenced sound. But Sting's strengths as a songwriter and singer didn't change, and he enjoyed critical and commercial success despite his change in direction.

• The Smiths, one of the most influential alternative bands of the 1980s, also launched the solo career of lead singer Morrissey. They're a cult favorite that has retained its popularity and critical acclaim despite a relatively short career.

The remaining nominees also can make compelling cases for induction:

• Chic: Disco hitmakers powered by the rhythm guitar and production genius of Nile Rodgers, Chic were responsible for some of the genre's biggest hits including "Good Times" and "Le Freak."

• Kraftwerk: Influential electronic dance music and synth rock pioneers from Germany.

• Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Garage rock heroine who had a huge hit with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in the 1980s.

• The Spinners: Philly soul vocal group that had a string of hits in the 1970s with "I'll Be Around" and "Rubber Band Man."

• The Marvelettes: Motown girl group which scored the label's first No. 1 hit with "Please Mr. Postman" in 1961, paving the way for The Supremes and Martha & The Vandellas.

• Bill Withers: Talented songwriter and soulful singer whose titles include some of the 1970s' most-recognized hits, including "Lean on Me," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me," "Just the Two of Us" and "Lovely Day."

• Paul Butterfield Blues Band: 1960s Chicago blues band fronted by the late singer/harmonica player, they merged the blues, rock and jazz and played the era's two most important festival concerts (Woodstock and Monterey Pop).

Meanwhile, it appears Deep Purple has taken over for Rush as the classic rock band getting the coldest shoulder from the hall. The heavy metal pioneers are not on the ballot for 2015 after missing out on induction this year, despite Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's stumping for them in April.

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