<p>Ingrid Michaelson accompanied by children from Newtown, Conn. and Sandy Hook Elementary school perform &quot;Somewhere Over the Rainbow&quot; on ABC's &quot;Good Morning America&quot; </p>

Ingrid Michaelson accompanied by children from Newtown, Conn. and Sandy Hook Elementary school perform "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on ABC's "Good Morning America"

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Sandy Hook students sing 'Over the Rainbow' with Ingrid Michaelson

Train releases 'Imagine' single to benefit Sandy-devastated Sea Bright

Grab your tissues. There’s no way you can get  watch students from Newtown, Conn’s Sandy Hook Elementary performing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” without tearing up.

One month after the shooting that claimed 26 lives at the school, 21 current and former students from the school sang the “Wizard Of Oz” classic on “Good Morning America.” Singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson accompanied the children ukulele on an arrangement of the song made famous by Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

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Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake
Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

How is Justin Timberlake's new song 'Suit & Tie' selling?

Read what other critics are saying about his comeback single

We weighed in on “Suit & Tie,”  Justin Timberlake’s first new song in more than six years, last night. We felt it was a good start and a nice, retro-soundng track.

And you are responding loud and clear as well: the song is on top of the iTunes Songs chart (in part because Timberlake’s label, RCA, is swatting the song down any time it appears on YouTube). The response at radio has been strong with many Clear Channel  and CBS-owned stations playing it hourly.  Billboard predicts the single could sell as many as 400,000 copies in its first week.

Here’s what some other critics are saying about the song, the first tune from Timberlake’s forthcoming album “The 20/20 Experience.”

The Los Angeles Times’ August Brown says: "We’re pleased to report that the results are quite sexy. "Suit & Tie" is a radiant, ramshackle song that's less of a coherent single and more of a coronation event. It grafts at least three different Timberlake settings -- the slow-rolling futurist, crisp-collared soul man and backseat driver to a rap kingpin (here, Jay-Z) -- into one strange track that comes off like a best-man wedding toast. It’s rambling and full of awkward transitions; yet occasionally finds its feet and ultimately heralds a joyful event:  Justin Timberlake making music again."

People Magazine’s Chuck Arnold give it a thumbs up: "JT goes for a more retro vibe on this suave single, which previews his much-anticipated third solo album, The 20/20 Experience, due out later this year. With its smooth, horn-kissed lushness, it recalls the '70s R&B of Marvin Gaye as well as Robin Thicke's modern-day take on old-school soul." 

PItchfork likes Timberlake, Jay-Z not so much. Writes Stephen M. Deusner: "While not quite as risky as "SexyBack" or as rewarding as "My Love", "Suit & Tie" is still one hell of a wedding reception jam, as bubbly as champagne. Timbaland creates a smooth beat out of a marimba roll and harp gliassando that Marvin Gaye must have left on the cutting-room floor, and Timberlake rides it with that fluid, effortless falsetto. "Let me show you a few things," he sings by way of seduction. Because it’s a song called "Suit & Tie", Jay-Z is on here, delivering the obligatory rapped verse like he's crashed a wedding. It's another in a string of uninspired cameos by Hova."  

Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz is Team Timberlake...with reservations: "Suit and Tie" is a good song, but it's not the artifact from another planet that we've been expecting, nor it is the ambitious experiment that Timberlake alludes to when he describes heading into the studio and "just creating with no rules." Comparing "SexyBack" with "Suit And Tie" makes the latter seem almost impossibly safe: it's a sumptuous, fairly straightforward love song with forgettable lyrics ("Love is swinging in the air tonight"?), a useless opening 40 seconds and a Jay-Z verse that dutifully penetrates the beat while offering nothing unexpected."

Rolling Stone’s Dan Hyman
says "Suit and Tie," a horn-addled shuffler likely to inspire many new dance routines, finds JT waxing poetic about his love for dapper duds. "I be on my suit and tie shit/ Can I show you a few things, little baby?" he croons. Jay-Z later joins in with lines about "truffle season," wearing tuxedos for no reason and the trendy designer Alexander Wang

How do you feel about "Suit & Tie?" Hear it here.
 

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Watch: Johnny Marr's new video for 'Upstarts'

Watch: Johnny Marr's new video for 'Upstarts'

Bouncy first single from Smiths' first solo album, 'The Messenger'

Johnny Marr recently told The Guardian that The Smiths “invented indie.” I’m not so sure that he’s right about that, much less what that actually means.

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Watch: Beyonce reveals Blue Ivy's ultrasound in new documentary trailer

Watch: Beyonce reveals Blue Ivy's ultrasound in new documentary trailer

She wants us to know that she's 'a human being'

Beyonce wants us to know that she’s “a human being. I cry. I get scared. I get nervous, just like anyone else.”

In the trailer for her new HBO documentary, “Life Is But A Dream,” her voice over hints at how difficult it is to be Beyonce and that her struggles to balance a commercial life with her artistic vision: “I always battle with how much do I reveal about myself...how do I stay current. How do I stay soulful,” she asks.

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Listen: Justin Timberlake dresses up for new song, 'Suit & Tie,' with Jay-Z
Credit: RCA Records

Listen: Justin Timberlake dresses up for new song, 'Suit & Tie,' with Jay-Z

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First single from new album, "The 20/20 Experience"

In his seven years away, it’s clear that Justin Timberlake has studied his masters.

His new single, “Suit And Tie,” is a throwback to old-school R&B. Leave it to Timberlake to represent R&B in a way that few contemporary artists are today (notable exceptions include Bruno Mars and Miguel). As ZZ Top noted, every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man.

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<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

Adam Lambert and 19 Recordings part ways

Singer remains signed to RCA Records

Adam Lambert and 19 Recordings  have “amicably” split.

The “American Idol” runner-up remains signed to RCA, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  To explain a little further, the recording division of 19 Entertainment has dibs on signing any of the “American Idol” finalists and then places them with a label. For the first nine seasons, 19 Recordings when through BMG labels --and Sony after the Sony BMG merger-- and then switched to Universal Music Group two seasons ago. For example, Carrie Underwood is signed to 19/Arista, Kelly Clarkson to 19/RCA, Scotty McCreery to 19/Mercury. The deal allows 19 to have a say in the creative direction of the artist's music, while continuing to profit from sales.

Lambert split from 19 Management  in August 2011 and is handled by Direct Management Group by the same team who manages Katy Perry. 19 Management manages such former "AI" contestants as Casey Abrams, Philip Phillips and Haley Reinhart.

No reason was given for the break-up by either side, though a representative for Lambert told THR, as one does in this situation, that the two parties split “amicably and with the utmost respect for each other.”

While signed to 19/RCA, Lambert has released two studio albums and several live projects. His second studio album, “Trespassing,” while critically acclaimed, did not do well at radio and spawned no major hits, even after debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

It looks like Lambert will stay on RCA direct for his third studio album. THR says conversations about the set have already begun.

Lambert, who has gone on Twitter spiels lately about “Les Miserables” and bullying, has been silent about the label changes.

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<p>The cover of Chris Tomlin's &quot;Burning Lights&quot;</p>

The cover of Chris Tomlin's "Burning Lights"

Big changes at the top of the Billboard 200 with Chris Tomlin in the lead

What happens to Taylor Swift and 'Les Mis?'

The holidays are officially over. If you had any doubt, just look at the numbers projected for next week’s Top 10 on the Billboard 200. Gone are sales numbers in the six figures. Back are lesser-act acts who waited until January to drop new titles rather than compete with superstars.

Christian Contemporary artist Chris Tomlin’s “Burning Lights” looks good for  a No. 1 debut, with sales of up to 75,000. Close behind him are “Notes from the Underground” from Hollywood Undead at No. 2 and “Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones” from Black Veil Brides” at No. 3.

After the trio of debuts, we get back to some returning names. This week’s No. 1, the soundtrack to “Les Miserables,” likely drops to No. 4, although it and Taylor Swift’s “Red” are locked in a race that’s too close to call for the No. 4 and No. 5 spot right now. Both should sell between 45,000 and 50,000.

Vying for No. 6 are Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” and the soundtrack to “Pitch Perfect,” both pegged for 35,000-40,000.

It’s a two-way race for No. 8 as well, as the new set from Dropkick Murphys, “Signed and Sealed in Blood”  and The Lumineers’ self-titled set are neck and neck with sales between 30,000 and 35,000 for each.

Likely coming in at No. 10 is Pink’s “The Truth About Love,” which will sell between 27,000 and 30,000, according to Hits Daily Double.
 

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: AP Photo

Confirmed: Britney Spears leaves 'X Factor' - What's next?

Is Las Vegas the next stop?

Britney Spears is officially out at “The X Factor,” y’all. This is, of course, not news to anyone who had followed the back and forth over the past few weeks: First came the rumors that Spears was fired, then came word that she was quitting.

Regardless of the how it went down, the result is the same: Spears can get back to her music. And signs are that she’s ready to double down. There are lots of rumors floating around about what's coming next, but our hope is that, as she's suggested, she will really focus on the music.  The last three albums have provided hits, but it's time for Spears to push a little bit. 

Whether it was her attempt to spin things her way or the reality or both, she already laid the foundation for folks last week when she tweeted that she was “really focused on my music right now.” 

Among the collaborators she’s working with on for her eighth studio album  are will.i.am, Nate “Danja” Hills, and Hit-Boy. She’s worked with will.i.am and Danja before, but this marks her first stint with Hit-Boy, who’s on a role fresh from his work with Kanye West and Jay-Z on “Ni***s in Paris” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle.”  As you know, she and will.i.am are in the Top 10 right know on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Scream and Shout.”

Just as telling as her departure from “The X Factor” is Thursday’s news that she’s switched booking agencies, from William Morris Endeavor to Creative Artists Agency When an artist makes such a move, it can portend some shift, in that they want to get into a new area or expand their existing domain (Or in this case, she could just want a clean start after “The X Factor.) UPDATE:  Word just came down of Spears' split with fiance Jason Trawick, who had been an agent at WME. He'd left the agency more than a year ago, but that could the reason for the shift to CAA).

While there’s no word yet on a new Spears tour, she remains a touring machine. Her last tour in 2011, to support latest album “Femme Fatale,” grossed $37 million from 39 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore.
In her statement today confirming her exit, Spears reiterated the desire to focus on her music and that she missed touring. “I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love most,” she says.

Is one of the possibilities a Las Vegas residency? TMZ reports she is in “serious talks” to ink a deal with one of the Caesars properties.

As Elton John and other acts have proved, an act can commit to a certain number of dates in Las Vegas per year and still have a very healthy touring slate around the rest of the country and world. Plus, if she’s looking for a quick way to replace the $15 million she reportedly received from “The X Factor,” look no further.

Before we’ve got her commuting from LA to LV, let’s have her focus on making good, solid music.  As I mentioned, "Blackout," "Circus" and "Femme Fatale"—the three albums since her 2007 breakdown— have all had strong moments, but haven’t been consistent.

What would happen if she really focused on digging deep and making an album that tried something new instead of just some new beats? I’m not suggesting she go acoustic or get too serious, but hearing basically the same sexual themes over slightly different beats and lyrics blaring out of the radio is getting tiresome. What's the last Spears hit  you could actually sing along to?   Maybe it’s time to focus a little more on the substance since it would appear she has some time on her hands.
 

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift heads back into the studio

Does that mean 'Trouble' for One Direction's Harry Styles?

Give Taylor Swift credit for poking fun at her own reputation. The singer tweeted Thursday night that she’s returned to the recording studio and then added a warning...

“Back in the studio. Uh oh...,” Taylor tweeted.  Such news should have One Direction’s Harry Styles and Conor Kennedy quaking in their boots since they are her two latest paramours-- or whatever we want to call the rotating list of boys she’s churning through.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ke$ha's C'Mon</p>

Ke$ha's C'Mon

Watch: Ke$ha and her furry friends wreak havoc in 'C'mon' video

Wayward waitress time travels back to the '70s

Ke$ha’s obviously never heard the rule about not getting into a car with strangers.

Luckily it all works out OK. There are no unicorns, but Ke$ha still manages to bring on the trippy fun in her video for “C’mon," her new single from "Warrior."

After quitting her job as a waitress as the “Awful House” dinner, she hops into a makeshift version of what looks like the Scoobymobile and time travels back to the ‘70s (or so it seems given the presence of an 8-Track player, the clothes and the headbands. But she’s not alone. She has all kinds of full-size furry animals, including a rabbit and an owl, with her. She rescues them from their homeless ways and somehow loses her pants along the way. But no worries, she doesn't need pants where she's going.

[More after the jump...]

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