'Harlem Shake' zooms to the top of the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Mad Decent

'Harlem Shake' zooms to the top of the Billboard Hot 100

A change in methodology upends the weekly chart

A change in chart methodology leads to viral sensation “Harlem Shake” by Baauer  catapulting to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Starting this week, YouTube streaming data will be included in the media tallied for the Billboard Hot 100, joining radio play, other social steaming media, and digital sales (imagine how long “Gangnam Style” would have been at No. 1 if YouTube had been added only a few months ago!).

“Harlem Shake” is the 21st song in the 55-year history of the chart to debut at No. 1, according to Billboard.

“Shake” knocks Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” which topped the chart for four weeks, down to No. 2.  Rihanna’s  “Stay, featuring Mikky Ekko,” charges to No. 3 from No. 57, propelled by the new methodology and her Grammy performance. “Stay” is Rihanna’s 24th top 10 hit. She surpasses both Whitney Houston and the Rolling Stones, who had 23 each.

Will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” falls 3-4, while Taylor Swift’s “I Knew Your Were Trouble” stays at No. 5.

The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” slides 4-6 and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven”  falls to earth, slipping 2-7. But it’s not all bad news for Mars, as his new single, “When I Was Your Man” inches 9-8.

Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay-Z moves 8-9 and Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” makes it way toward the top as it flies 63-10.
 

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<p>Clive Davis and Kelly Clarkson</p>

Clive Davis and Kelly Clarkson

Credit: AP Photos

Kelly Clarkson vs. Clive Davis: Where does it rate among label spats with artists?

He said/she said takes a new turn today

Clive Davis got off lucky.  His public spat with Kelly Clarkson has so far only involved words. 

Once, an artist was so pissed off at her A&R executive at a record company that she jumped up on his desk, squatted, and took a dump. This is a true story. She thought it was the ultimate act of rebellion, but all it did was get her dumped from the label.

To catch you up to speed, yesterday Davis, a legendary label executive, released his second book, “ The Soundtrack of My Life.”   In it, he told his version of what happened with Kelly Clarkson’s third album, “My December.” She was in a dark place when she wrote many of the songs for the album and Davis was concerned that it wouldn’t have the commercial appeal of the “American Idol” winner’s first glossy two albums.

Davis describes the ongoing battle over the album one way and Clarkson remembers it very, very differently, so she took to Whosay yesterday to post her version of events. She calls Davis's account "a violation." 

This morning, Davis decided to chime in again and in a long Twitter posting, replied:

“As anyone who has read ‘The Soundtrack of My Life’ knows, I think Kelly Clarkson is a tremendous vocal talent and performer. In the book, I provide an in-depth look at our years together during which we shared major multi-platinum success, as well as a few creative differences. I am truly very sorry that she has decided to take issue with what I know to be an accurate depiction of our time together. Before the book was published, I had every fact checked with five independent individuals who were present on a daily basis throughout it all. The chapter as it is written was thoroughly verified by each and every one of them. I stand by the chapter as written in my book. At the same time I wish, and will always wish, Kelly's talent and her career to soar to ever new heights.”

So he’s not backing down and she won’t either. Let’s just say we won’t be seeing Clarkson perform at any of Davis’s pre-Grammy parties any time soon.

In the annals of recorded music, this he said/she said doesn’t even rate a 2 on the spat-o-meter.  Artists have taken swings at record executives: Diddy, then going as Puffy, struck label exec/artist manager Steve Stoute with a champagne bottle because he was mad over a scene kept in a Nas video (they settled out of court).

Maybe Clarkson will get another song out of it: the road is strewn with songs by artists railing against their record label, including Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label,”  Cracker’s “It Ain’t Gonna Suck Itself,” Against’s Me’s “Unprotected Sex with Multiple Partners” and, of course, Pink’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me.”

So does the public really want to see how the sausage is made? The vast majority  of fans don’t care that artists and label execs go toe-to-toe every day...they’re just quiet about it. It’s really part of the creative process and, while it’s nice to believe that an artist should always get to make the album he or she wants to, when a label is investing millions of dollars in that artist (most of which it will never recoup), it does get to have a say.

In this court of public opinion, Clarkson will likely win this one and I applaud her for speaking up  since she clearly felt wronged (she wasn’t quiet when the incident happened the first time, so why should she be now). For Davis, it’s all part of publicity machine and even he knows this is great for his book.

Who do you think is right?

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Watch: Passion Pit's new video for 'Carried Away' featuring Sophia Bush
Credit: Columbia Records

Watch: Passion Pit's new video for 'Carried Away' featuring Sophia Bush

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' cinematographer Ben Richardson lensed the clip

Boys love crazy girls. If you need further proof, just watch the dysfunctional relationship played out in Passion Pit’s new video, “Carried Away," a track from 2012's "Gossamer."

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Chris Brown</p>

Chris Brown

Credit: AP Photo

Chris Brown turns to Timbaland and Diplo for sixth studio set

Like Rihanna, he's on the album-a-year plan

Chris Brown has recruited Timbaland, Danja and Diplo to work on his sixth studio album, which will come out later this year.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the Grammys.</p>

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the Grammys.

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z headline London's Wireless Festival

When will the U.S. stadium dates be announced?

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z will headline this summer’s ninth annual Wireless Festival held at London’s Olympic Park , July 12-13.

Timberlake will headline on July 12 and Jay-Z on July 13, though we have sneaking suspicion there will be some crossover at each other’s gigs.  Also on the July 12 are Snoop Dogg, Trey Songz, John Legend, Miguel and Frank Ocean. Appearing on July 13 are Emile Sande, Rita Ora, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Fresh, Calvin and Harris, and Miguel, who, so far, is the only artist pulling double duty.

Tickets for on sale Feb. 22. For more information, go here.

Timberlake and Jay-Z are also planning some stateside action. As we reported last week, the pair are putting together a U.S. stadium tour that will likely be around a dozen dates.  Timberlake’s new album, “The 20/20 Experience,” comes out March 19 .

 

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Listen: Mariah Carey's new track 'Almost Home' misses by a mile
Credit: Island Records

Listen: Mariah Carey's new track 'Almost Home' misses by a mile

HitFix
C-
Readers
B+
Mid-tempo ballad from 'Oz the Great and Powerful' could use some heart

Hear Mariah Carey like you’re never heard her...and that’s not a good thing.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Why we don't believe the Rihanna headlining Glastonbury rumors

The Rolling Stones seem a much more likely bet

Is Rihanna headed to Glastonbury or is the rumor as off target as the Rolling Stones/Coachella whispers?  As the news is spreading like on the interwebs, we’re crying foul on the suggestion.

The U.K.’s Daily Star reports that the singer will headline this year’s British festival, which takes place June 26-30 and returns after last year’s edition was canceled because of the London Olympics.

One big red flag that the Daily Star could be wrong? (in addition to the fact that it’s a tabloid better known for its hot “babe” pix rather than breaking news) is that the newspaper suggests Rihanna will headline Sunday night on the Pyramid stage. A quick look at the “Diamonds” tour schedule shows her only open night during the festival is Friday June 28. She is playing at Cologne’s Lanxess Arena on Jan. 26 and 27 and Zurich’s  Hallenstadion on June 29-30.

That’s pretty conclusive proof, however, the final nail in the rumor’s coffin is that less than two weeks before the festival starts, she is playing throughout the U.K., including two nights at London’s Twickenham Stadium, two nights in Manchester and one night in Birmingham. No promoter in the world would book her for a festival that close to her own headlining dates.

We have a request in for a comment from Rihanna's rep, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this one doesn't have legs.

As far as the Rolling Stones rumor, that one seems to hold more promise. Guitarist Ronnie Wood told the much more respectable U.K. newspaper The Independent last week that he plans to "twist the arms" of his fellow bandmates to get them to play the festival. He plans to bring it up at the band's next meeting in March. That's a little late to leave Glastonbury twisting in the wind if Jagger and co. can't come to terms, however.
 

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<p>Jason Aldean</p>

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan headline new Faster Horses Festival

3-day country event set for July launch in Michigan

Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan will headline the inaugural Faster Horses Festival, set for July 19-21 in Brooklyn, Mich.

Among those also  appearing at the new festival will be Chris Young, Thompson Square, Thomas Rhett, Kix Brooks, David Nail, Jerrod Neimann Jon Pardi, Greg Bates and Ashley Monroe.

Live Nation will produce the festival, which is a part of the national tour promoters desire to expand further into country markets.  AEG/Golden Voice has the best known and largest country festival with Stagecoach, which takes place ... in Indio, Calif. However, last year, Live Nation launched Watershed Festival at the Gorge, in George Washington, and feels that the genre is an area of growth in an otherwise crowded festival space.

Three-day passes start at $170 and go on sale next Monday. For more information, go to fasterhorsesfestival.com.

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Music Power Rankings: Mumford & Sons, Adele and Justin Timberlake top the list

Why does Ted Nugent make the tally?

1. Mumford & Sons: The British quartet accomplishes something the likes of  Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys and R.E.M. have never done by winning the Grammy for album of the year. In doing so, “Babel” towers over all over albums next week on the Billboard 200.

2. Adele: She doesn’t even have to put out new music to win a Grammy... or any award. We just want her to promise she’ll attend and give a hilariously candid acceptance speech.

3. Justin Timberlake:
After a six year absence, he and Jay-Z will tour stadiums this summer. That’s a lot of sexy.

4. The 55th annual Grammy Awards:
The show couldn’t top last year’s numbers, but still managed to score the second highest ratings in 20 years. Better yet: no one had to die for it to happen.

5. Harlem Shake: "Gangnam Style" meet the "Harlem Shake."  The king is dead, long live the king.

6. Eric Church: The Academy of Country Music Awards voters show their religion: Eric Church tops all artists with seven nominations.

7. Beyonce: With help from such high-powered friends as Oprah, her “Life Is But A Dream” HBO documentary, directed by her, gets a rousing premiere.

8. Lady Gaga
: One of touring’s most powerful new acts of the last decade has to cancel 21 dates in order to have hip surgery. Maybe she should change her name to Lady Dowager  (seriously, speedy recovery, LG).

9. Justin Bieber:
His fans unleash their wrath on Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney after he says the Biebs doesn’t deserve a Grammy. Some of them even spelled "drop dead” correctly.

10. Ted Nugent: He attended the State of the Union address and doesn’t turn to stone in the presence of a man he’s called “evil.” What a pity.

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Mumford & Sons ride Grammy victory back to No. 1 on Billboard 200

Who else gets a nice Grammy bounce?

Talk about a Grammy bump... Mumford & Son’s “Babel,” which was crowned album of the year during Feb. 10’s Grammy Awards, soars back to the top of the charts next week with estimated sales of 150,000-160,000 copies.

The effects were felt by the band immediately following the Grammy broadcast as the album rose from 7-4 on the Billboard 200 this week and then back to No. 1 next week.

A number of other Grammy participants also see increases. The “2013 Grammy Nominees” CD threatens to hit the 100,000 mark as it likely rises to No. 2, according to Hits Daily Double.

Bruno Mars, who performed “Locked Out Of Heaven,” sees his album, “Unorthodox Jukebox” climb back to No. 3, while Taylor Swift, who opened the show, sees “Red” sell up to 75,000, and move up to No. 4 after falling out of the Top 10 this week.

This week’s No. 1 album, Josh Groban’s “All That Echoes,” probably falls to No. 5, although it and “Now 45” are both on target to sell between 60,000-70,000, so it could be No. 6.

Andrea Bocelli’s “Passione” looks good for No. 7, although fun.’s “Some Nights” may snag that spot, leaving “Passione” to fall to No. 8. Pink’s “The Truth About Love” looks good for No. 9, while the Lumineers, who also performed on the show, will see its self-titled album hold steady at No. 10.
 

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