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Today’s Music News: Ringo Starr announces new studio album

Ringo Starr as seen in a video announcement of his latest album

Via YouTube last week, Ringo Starr announced that he’ll release a new studio album in 2015—his 18th solo studio album, and his first since Ringo 2012. Starr, 74, will be honored with the Award for Musical Excellence at next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “Peace and love, peace and love,” said Starr in his video update. “Don’t forget, peace and love!” (NME)

Starr’s Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney says that college courses teaching his music are flattering but ridiculous. “Ridiculous because we never studied anything,” said McCartney in a recent Q&A with fans. “We just loved our popular music: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, etc. And it wasn’t a case of ‘studying’ it. I think for us, we’d have felt it would have ruined it to study it.” (Billboard)

Last night in New York, Michael Stipe played a surprise solo show, opening for his longtime friend and collaborator Patti Smith. Stipe’s six-song set included two R.E.M. songs (“New Test Leper” and “Saturn Return”) in addition to four covers including “New York, New York” and Perfume Genius‘s “Hood.” (NME)

A newly-emerged video clip shows a teenage Nicki Minaj playing a highly dramatic scene in a high school theater class. (Rolling Stone)

Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens, 94, is in critical condition at a Nashville hospital, where he was admitted on Thursday. Dickens, the Opry’s oldest living member, has been with the Opry since 1948 and most recently performed on Dec. 20. (Rolling Stone)

On Saturday night Sharon Van Etten joined Deer Tick onstage at the Brooklyn Bowl—where the band are performing a six-show residency in honor of their tenth anniversary as a group, covering a different album in its entirety every night—to cover Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day” as part of a tribute to Transformer. (SPIN)

Jessie J, a rising star as a performer with her recent hit “Bang Bang,” was first a songwriter; among her credits is co-writing Miley Cyrus‘s “Party in the U.S.A.,” which Jessie J told Glamour UK “paid my rent for three years.” (Entertainment Tonight)

Christina Aguilera reportedly had a tantrum when recently celebrating her 34th birthday at Disney California Adventure. TMZ reports that when Aguilera tried to arrange a photo with Mickey only to be told the character was going on break, she called him a name that’s not quite appropriate for the Happiest Place on Earth.

Hulk Hogan has a new protege: flamboyant hip-hop star (and former Duluthian) Riff Raff, who says he wants to become a pro wrestler. (SPIN)