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1. The Grammy nominations: While there is no sure frontrunner like Adele was last year, Dec. 5’s nominations showed a wide breadth of potential mega winners on Feb. 10 as Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, fun., Jay-Z and Frank Ocean all receive six nominations.
2. Alicia Keys: She is truly a “Girl On Fire,” as her album’s No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 this week ties her for the most consecutive No. 1 albums by solo artists. She joins DMX, R. Kelly, Kanye West and Luther Vandross.
3. DMX: Speaking of DMX, the rapper delivers an impromptu version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” during a radio station visit and instantly creates a new classic. What?
4. Rihanna: Her domination of the pop charts isn’t enough: now the star has set her sights on TV: She will appear in “Styled To Rock,” a new Style Network series featuring 12 designers handpicked by Ri-Ri. Move over “Project Runway.”
5. Tamar Braxton: The power of Lady Gaga is undeniable. She tweets about “Love & War,” Braxton’s new single (yes, Tamar, not Toni) and the single goes straight to No. 1 on iTunes. It’s no coincidence, however: Braxton is married to Vincent Herbert, the music exec who signed a 20-year old Lady Gaga.
6. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta: The pair’s stultifyingly so-bad-it’s-good video for Christmas-themed “I Think You Might Like It” shows why you can really never go back home again. Rizzo was smart enough to stay away.
7. Justin Bieber: The teen heart throb gets the wrong kind of attention after his manager tells the Grammys they “blew it” by not nominating Bieber. Man up: You don’t see Lionel Richie crying that he didn’t get nominated for “Tuskegee,” and he sold more than Bieber.
8. Metallica: The band streams its full back catalog on Spotify, ending any lingering rift between Napster’s co-founder/Spotify investor Sean Parker, whom the band sued in 2000. The true winner? Metallica fans.
9. Superstorm Sandy Benefit: The Rolling Stones are the latest superstars added to 12/12/12’s Madison Square Garden benefit, joining Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Bon Jovi, The Who, Kanye West, and several more. You don’t have to wait for the show to donate to the Robin Hood Foundation, which will disperse the funds to communities still reeling from the storm’s devastation. Go here.
10. Led Zeppelin: The world’s greatest rock band puts on tuxes and cleans up real nice as President Obama shows them a whole lotta love at the Kennedy Center Honors.