Sia set to score her first No. 1 album in the U.S. next week

Her victory comes as the summer doldrums set in

Sia picked a good week to release her excellent “1000 Forms of Fear.”  The Australian singer/songwriter’s latest album will come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with a very only 53,000, making it one of the lowest sales tallies ever for a debuting chart topper.  The summer doldrums are in full effect as the sum total of all 10 albums in top 10 will hover around 300,000 or more than 80,000 less than Coldplay sold in its opening week for “Ghost Stories” this spring.

Sam Smith’s “In The Lonely Hour” hangs out at No. 2  (45,000). The unsinkable “Frozen” soundtrack will be No. 3 (40,000), while Trey Songz’ current No. 1, “Trigga” and Ed Sheeran’s “X” are too close to call for No. 4.

Next come two more debuts: Judas Priest’s “Redeemer of Souls” at No. 6 (32,000) and Dirty Heads’ “Sound Of Change” at No. 7 (24,000).

Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum” is No. 8 (22,000), “Now That’s What I Call Music 50” at No. 9 (21,000) and Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” at No. 10 (20).

YouTube phenom Jacob Whitesides will likely come in at No. 14 (15,000).

With sales so low at the top of the chart, it will be interesting to see what the No. 200 title sells and it if will be in the 3 digits.

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John Legend

We have just one small problem with John Legend's video for 'You & I (Nobody In The World)'

It's a lovely sentiment, but I don't know if I believe the messenger


Following “All of Me,” John Legend continues his “most-sensitive-man-in-the-world” campaign with the video for new single, “You & I (Nobody In The World).”

The song follows the same trajectory as “All of Me,” in which he declares his love for a women—she is perfect just as she is in his eyes even as she continues to fuss with her make up and clothing.

The video features shots of women, girls, and toddlers of all shapes and sizes, races and ages  looking straight into the camera as if it it were a mirror, adjusting their hair, scrutinizing their faces and bodies, and displaying the general amount of fine-tuning  and judging women constantly do to themselves in an effort to meet some ridiculously high standard of beauty.  Some of the most moving images include an older woman removing her wig to show a bald head, as well as a woman taking off her shirt following a double mastectomy, and cancer survivor/comedian Tig Notaro. Transgender actress Laverne Cox, who was nominated for an Emmy yesterday in the guest actress comedy category, also appears.

On the face of it, the video is truly lovely and a message that women can't hear enough because there are so many messages that tell us every day that we are not good enough just as we are and I like the song (what woman wouldn't want to hear that from her partner?) Perhaps I’m being too cynical, but the video’s message might be a little more impactful if the woman Legend is telling “you don’t even have to try” didn’t just happen to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, his wife, Chrissy Teigen, who appears with Legend in the beginning and end of the video. There’s exactly one woman in this video who apparently truly meets his standard and it is his super model wife.  But, hey, super models get to have their insecure moments as well and maybe it's wrong to doubt the video's sincerity simply because Legend married to someone gorgeous.  My non-cynical side would like to believe that women's romantic partners the world over feel this way about their girlfriends/wives, even if they won't ever be on the cover of the swimsuit edition of "Sports Illustrated." Or maybe they're just trying to get them out of the door a little faster. As Legend sings, "You were fine in my eyes a half hour ago."

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Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kiss part of Live Nation/Yahoo free concert streaming service

Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kiss part of Live Nation/Yahoo free concert streaming service

Dave Matthews Band kicks off daily concert for 365 days on July 15

Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews Band, Ray LaMontagne, John Legend, Wiz Khalifa, Kiss, and OneRepublic are among the acts whose concerts you can watch for free as part of Yahoo and Live Nation’s new partnership that will feature one live concert a day for 365 days.

The partnership, originally announced in April, released the first month’s line-up today. The series kicks off July 15 with Dave Matthews Band from its sold out show at  Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.

Live Nation has plenty of shows to choose from: the world’s largest promoter presents 23,000 concerts each year, said CEO Michael Rapino, in a statement. Kellogg has signed on as the sponsor of the series.

Concerts will air on Here’s the line-up for the first month:

July 15 Dave Matthews Band
July 16 The Fray
July 17 The Neighbourhood
July 18 Michael Franti &Spearhead
July 19 KISS
July 20 Chevelle
July 21 Common
July 22 Everclear
July 23 Jurassic 5
July 24 311
July 25 Wiz Khalifa
July 26 Ray LaMontagne
July 27 Three Days Grace
July 28 Jess McCartney
July 29 Gogol Bordello
July 30 Panic @ the Disco
Aug 01 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Aug 02 Rixton
Aug 03 Daughtry
Aug 04 Sick Puppies
Aug 05 Gavin DeGraw
Aug 07 MKTO
Aug 08 The Kooks
Aug 09 David Gray
Aug 10 OneRepublic
Aug 11 Lila Downs
Aug 13 Emblem3

(We don’t know if the Emblem3 date should be Aug. 12 or if Yahoo still needs to fill in Aug. 12)



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Mary Lambert

Mary Lambert confesses in fun lyric video for new song, 'Secrets'

New single from forthcoming album, 'Heart On My Sleeve'

There’s a saying that you’re only as sick as your secrets. If that’s the case, then Mary Lambert is very,very healthy.

On her new single, “Secrets,” the singer best know for her feature on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” proudly declares all her secrets: she’s bi polar, her family is dysfunctional, sometimes she cries all day, and some less secret ones— she’s overweight and gay.

All these confessions are sung over an impossibly jaunty tune as she refreshingly reveals all in the lyric video. “‘Secrets’ might be the first fun song I’ve ever written,” says Lambert. And, indeed, the bouncy track has an irrepressible Katy Perry, “Roar” vibe. She co-wrote the track with Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette and MoZella. Rosee and Cassette are also executive producers on her new album, “Heart On My Sleeve,” out Oct. 14 on Capitol Records.
The song is about accepting yourself, flaws and all. “I felt like there were a lot of songs coming out about self-empowerment and challenging beauty standards and I wanted to write a sgon along those same lines, but in my voice,” Lambert says in a statement. “There is so much shame and guilt in our society and I think it has deprived a lot of people from living fully. We are all facing battles, We’ve all had someone who has hurt us. So let’s talk bout it.”

We can already imagine the fan-posted videos that “Secrets” will spawn, with folks posting they videos confessing all their closet skeletons with abandon. Bring it on!

Lambert is on the road this summer with Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw. Below the video are tour dates.


07/10  Cedar Rapids, IA                  McGrath Amphitheater*
07/11  Fargo, ND                              The Venue*
07/12  Green Bay, WI                      Green Bay Pride
07/16  Toronto, ON                          Sound Academy*
07/17  Toledo, OH                            Toledo Zoo Amphitheater*
07/20  Vancouver, BC                     Vancouver Folk Music Festival @ Jericho Beach Park
07/23  New York, NY                       RBaby Foundation Concert @ Hammerstein Ballroom
08/10  Chicago, IL                            Northalsted Market Days
08/23  Saratoga Springs, CA         Luscious Queer Music Festival
09/20  New York, NY                       SubCulture
09/26  Thousand Oaks, CA            Scherr Forum-Thousand Oaks Civic Arts
09/27  San Francisco, CA              Nourse Theatre


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Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks finally joins the digital age, new album and tour plans

Will downloads be album only? Plus his thoughts on the Dublin fiasco

Garth Brooks’ five comeback shows in Dublin slated for later this month may still be in jeopardy, but the rest of his comeback is now taking shape.

Brooks, the top-selling solo artist in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, held an occasionally emotional press conference today in Nashville that addressed many key points for his return, following his 13-year retirement, including his music finally being available digitally, a new label deal with Sony Music, and his world tour. He also addressed the status of the July 25-29 Ireland shows, which were cancelled on Tuesday because of permit issues, but talks are now ongoing to revive the shows.

Here’s what you need to know:

*His music will finally be available digitally. He has been the lone holdout among superstars at iTunes and will continue to be. Instead, his music will be available through his website,, within the next two-to-three weeks. Though he didn’t address this in the press conference, Brooks’ reluctance to put his music on iTunes stemmed from the fact that he wanted his music sold as full albums, not as individual song downloads. We've asked his publicist about the album only and she said details to come, which indicates there may be some wiggle room there.  Brooks has long offered very low pricing on his packages and he hinted at an introductory offer for the downloads that will be so low, “people will think we’re giving it away.”  That’s a smart move. He rewards the fans who have been waiting a very long time to get their hands on his unavailable catalog and, by selling it in album-only form, he increases his album numbers. UPDATE: Here's how the downloads will work: For the new material, fans can buy the single, but they are pre-ordering the full album when they do so. He has to have the singles available for individual sale in order for him to chart on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, so this is his way around it. I'm not sure how it will work for singles that come out after the album has come out.

*There will be a world tour and he will announce the kick-off city on July 14.   (When he said the date for the announcement, he said Sept. 14, so that may have been a bit of a slip, as the tour is rumored to start this fall). Though Brooks would not confirm ticket prices or dates, Billboard reported that he will charge no more $80 per ticket, and  that a $60 ticket is more likely. Brooks have never believed in scaling the house, so all tickets will be the same price. Other outlets are reporting that he will do multiple dates in cities to meet demand, which isn’t so much of a leak as just common sense given the likely pent-up demand.

*Expect new music within the next two months. Brooks owns his music, including his back catalog, and he has made a licensing deal for his label, Pearl, to go through Sony Music’s RCA Nashville imprint (putting him on the same label as Elvis Presley).  He hinted that a single will come out within two months and that the album, a double album, will come around around Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. He’s writing for the album, but added that the material he’s receiving from outside songwriters is better than his stuff so he’s been cutting outside material more than his own songs. The new album will be available through all physical retailers and his website, not just through Walmart, as has been the case for his last several projects since leaving Capitol.

*He admitted there was a “black cloud” over the day’s proceedings as the five Dublin shows  are still up in the air. They were initially cancelled on Tuesday, but he sent a letter to the promoter yesterday that has now opened back up talks, all the way up to the level of Ireland’s prime minister, who is now trying to save the concerts. Brooks said he will drop everything if the prime minister wants to talk with him and fly over to Dublin. “I will drop on my knees and beg for those 400,000 people to be able to come and have fun and sing.” At issue is that the Dublin City Council only approved licenses for three of the five shows, citing regulations that only permit three concerts at the 80,000-seat Croke Park per year. Brooks refuses to play unless he can perform all five shows. He got quite emotional discussing Ireland during the press conference and his feelings that he couldn’t let down the 160,000 who wouldn’t get to see him play if he caved and did only the the three shows. “They said to me, ‘With a simple yes, you cane make 240,000 people happy. And my statement back was ‘with a simple yes, you can make 400,000 people happy’.” And if there was any question as to whether young fans were eager to hear him, he said that a staggering 75% of the tickets sold to the Ireland shows were to people 25 and under.

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Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea ties Adele on the singles chart with 'Fancy'

Will she catch up with Rihanna?


As “Fancy” logs its seventh week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Iggy Azalea is tied with Adele in fifth place for the most weeks spent by a female artist in a lead role atop the singles chart this decade.

The record belongs to Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris, which was No. 1 for 10 weeks in 2011 and 2012. (The overall record still belongs to Mariah Carey for her 1995 duet with Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day,” which holds the record for most weeks spent at No. 1 by any act at 16 weeks.)

It’s unlikely that Azalea will capture Rihanna’s record, given that Magic!’s “Rude,” which holds at No. 2 this week, is gaining on “Fancy,” and could push Azalea out next week.  The rest of the top 5 remains the same from last week: Ariana Grande’s “Problem, “ featuring Azalea, is No. 3, Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong” is No. 4, and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is No. 5. (To see why all these new acts are breaking through this summer, check this out).

The bottom half of the Top 10 is a little less static. Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle,” featuring Snoop Dogg remains at No. 6, while Calvin Harris’ “Summer” heats up 8-7, swapping places with John Legend’s former No. 1, “All of Me.”

Maroon 5 leaps 13-9 with “Maps,” the first single from its Sept. 2 album, V,” and the group’s ninth top 10. It pushes DH Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What”  9-10.

In other noteworthy chart moves, Grande bows at No 15 with “Break Free,” featuring Zedd, while 5 Seconds of Summer enters the chart at No. 16 with “Amnesia.”

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Jay Z

Jay Z, No Doubt and Carrie Underwood headline 3rd Global Citzen Festival

Central Park event highlight global poverty

Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood and fun., will headline the 3rd annual Global Citizen Festival, held Sept. 27 in New York’s Central Park.

The free, ticketed event, which coincides with the UN General Assembly, brings awareness to extreme poverty around the globe and will air live on MSNBC. Additionally, NBC News will produce a one-hour primetime special about the issue that will air the night of the concert.

Also on the bill are The Roots and Tiesto.

To receive tickets, go to and take action on one of the campaigns fighting poverty by signing a petition or sharing on a social network to enter. Tickets will be doled out throughout the summer.


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Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen shoots a modern day Western in 'Hunter of Invisible Game' video

The Boss co-directed the 10-minute short film

Bruce Springsteen has never been a fan of appearing in his music videos, so it’s somewhat of a surprise that today on his website he released a 10-minute short film for “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” a haunting, elegiac track from this year’s “High Hopes” album starring Bruce Springsteen.

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Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line drop the bro-country for new single, 'Dirt': Listen

First single from new album is a gentle ballad

Florida Georgia Line’s new single, “Dirt,” veers the duo far from the bro-country they embraced with such songs as “Cruise" and "This Is How We Roll."

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Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande

Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Magic!: Why are so many brand new acts in the Top 5?

We ask the experts

When Ariana Grande is the most established act in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, it’s time to wonder what’s going on with the singles chart.

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