Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters ranks as 2012's top tours
Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Demianchuk, Pool

Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters ranks as 2012's top tours

Just how much did Madge rake in from the MDNA tour?

Madonna stirred up plenty of controversy on the MDNA tour by bearing arms and baring body parts in 2012, but it turns out she also brought in a ton of cold hard cash.

Her MDNA outing grossed $228.4 million to make it the top-grossing tour of 2012, according to Billboard. The tally come from 72 shows, all of which, according to Billboard, were sell out.

Coming in at No. 2 is Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. They grossed $199.4 million, also from 72 shows.  Springsteen’s ticket price was considerably lower than Madge’s: His 72 shows drew 2.165 million people, compared with the Material Girl’s 1.63 million.

Rock relics continued to rule the top 10:  Roger Waters’ tour, also with 72 shows (we’re sensing a theme here) comes in at No. 3 with a gross of $186.5 million.

Proving that his legacy goes on and on even after his death,  “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil” claims the No. 4 slot with a tally of $147.3 million, based on 183 shows reporting.

Coldplay rounds out the top 5 with $147.2 million from 67 shows. That should tied them over nicely during the band’s recently announced hiatus.

One has to go to No. 6 to find an act that first started releasing music in this millennium. Lady Gaga’s 65 sell-outs register at No. 6 with a gross of $124.9 million.

That’s the end of the $100 million club. Coming in at No. 7 are Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw’s Brother of the Sun tour, which shone brightly enough to raise $96.4 million from only 23 shows (they were all stadiums).
Van Halen’s thwarted reunion tour ended with a slate of cancellations due to band burn-out (or any other reason you want to believe), but it still managed to gross $54.4 million from 46 shows to come in at No. 8.  Coming in at No. 9 is Jay-Z and Kanye West’s The Throne tour with $46.9 million from 31 shows. And rounding out the top 10 is Andre Rieu, the Dutch composer/violinist who is astonishingly popular throughout the world even though you’re probably never heard of him. He brought in $46.8 million from 99 shows.

To see the list of the Top 25 tours, ranked by Billboard, go here.
 

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<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Adam Lambert and Miley Cyrus pay tribute to Madonna and Billy Idol

Who belts the loudest on VH1 Divas?

Adam Lambert paid tribute to Madonna’s 30+ years of hitmaking at Sunday night’s VH1 “Divas,” with this odd cover of “Ray Of Light.”

Dressed in some kind of very strange hieroglyphic robe, or perhaps as a medieval knight,  Lambert starts off really shaky vocally, but then he rises to the occasion.  It’s an amped up version of Madonna’s take on the song.  We’re not sure about the squat thrusts.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bruno Mars, Ke$ha and Rihanna</p>

Bruno Mars, Ke$ha and Rihanna

DJ Earworm's 2012 pop music mash-up 'Shine Brighter': Listen

Get the year's worth of hits in under four minutes

We wait for it every year:  DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop’s mash-up of the previous 12 months top hits.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&nbsp;Taylor Swift</p>

 Taylor Swift

Credit: Frank Augstein/AP

Music Power Rankings: Taylor Swift soars over Adele and Bruno Mars

Britney Spears and Mariah Carey also make the list

1. 12-12-12 Concert: The nearly six-hour Boomerfest raised more than $35 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. From the line-up however, it would appear that only old, white rockers care about helping hurricane victims.

2. Taylor Swift:
It’s a banner week as “Red” returns to No. 1, Swift earns her first Golden Globes nomination, and she celebrates her 23rd birthday with new beau, One Direction’s Harry Styles. Hmmm, which one of these will we get a song about first? 

3. Adele: “21” is the gift that just keeps on giving. Billboard names the British singer the biggest artist of 2012 and her 2011 album the biggest seller. The sky’s not falling out of her career any time soon.

4. Rush:
The power trio finally gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after years of lobbying bitching by its fans. KISS fans will now need to amp up their game.

5. Bruno Mars: He lands his 4th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 shorter than any other solo male artist since Bobby Vinton 48 years ago. Maybe they can record a doo-wop duet together.

6. Whitney Houston: It’s a sad honor to be sure, but Houston was the “top trending” search of the year. Hey, at least the late legend came in ahead of Psy, who galloped into second place.

7. Britney Spears: Forbes names Spears the richest woman in music in 2012, shortly after naming Dr. Dre the richest artist in music. Note: neither one achieved this feat by putting out a new album in 2012. That tells you all you need to know about album sales, doesn’t it?

8. Mariah Carey:
Eighteen years after she first released it, the new holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas” finally enters the Top 40.

9. Depeche Mode: The British post-punk pioneers sign a new worldwide deal with Columbia Records. We hear it comes with their own personal Jesus.

10. Jenni Rivera:
RIP

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<p>The cover of Bruno Mars' &quot;Unorthodox Jukebox&quot;</p>

The cover of Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox"

Taylor Swift's 'Red' looks good for another week atop the Billboard 200

Bruno Mars will be locked out of No. 1 by 'Red'

Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” is no match for Taylor Swift’s “Red,” as the Nashville-based singer’s latest album spends a second week at No. 1 after returning there this week.

“Red,” which came out in October, will likely sell up to 200,000 copies next week, giving it a commanding lead over Michael Buble’s “Christmas,” which is aimed at No. 2, but “Jukebox” may overcome it by the time the chart week ends on Sunday. Now, both titles are projected to sell between 150,000 and 160,000, according to Hits Daily Double. Aside from Mars’ “Jukebox,” Game’s “Jesus Piece” is the only other debut in the Top 10 at No. 6.

Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” will move another 125,000 units for No. 4. One Direction’s “Take Me Home” is No. 5, with sales of up to 115,000.

Other Christmas titles likely having their last hurrah in the top 10 are Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” at No. 7 and Lady Antebellum’s “On This Winter’s Night” at No. 9.

Phillip Phillips’ “World From The Side Of the Moon” is at No. 8, while “Girl On Fire,” Alicia Keys’ former No. 1 falls to No. 10.

Both Wiz Khalifa’s “O.N.I.F.C.” and Ke$ha’s “Warrior” fall out of the top 10 after bowing at No. 2 and No 6, respectively, this week.

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Watch: Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and Sean Lennon spread cheer on 'Colbert Report'

Watch: Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and Sean Lennon spread cheer on 'Colbert Report'

Trio sings Lennon/Ono classic, 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'

Stephen Colbert spread a lot of Christmas cheer last night as Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples, and John Lennon/Yoko Ono’s son Sean Lennon performed Lennon/Ono’s holiday staple, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” on “The Colbert Report” final new show of the season.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Taylor Swift gets led astray in new video for 'I Knew You Were Trouble'

Watch: Taylor Swift gets led astray in new video for 'I Knew You Were Trouble'

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Reeve Carney takes our golden girl down a dark path

Taylor Swift’s a good girl led astray in her edgy new video for “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which debuted on MTV today.  It’s her 23rd video and she’s releasing it on her 23rd birthday. Yay synchronicity! The song is on "Red," her new album which leapt back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.

The video opens as Swift wakes up in the morning on the littered ground, (“the cold hard ground” of the song’s lyrics), seemingly the only one left over from a hell of a rave the night before. The memories start to come back in flashes as New Wave/Post Punk Swift, in skinny jeans, a wig with pink highlights, and a torn t-shirt, tries to reconstruct the past 24 hours. Or she’s figuring out how the hell everyone else left and now she doesn’t have a ride home.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Hayley Williams of Paramore</p>

Hayley Williams of Paramore

Credit: AP Photo

Paramore sets its sights on April for fourth studio album

Self-titled release will be the first without the founding Farro brothers

Paramore will release its first album in more than three years when its self-titled fourth studio album comes out April 9, 2013. The first single, whose release has not been announced, will be “Now.”

The album, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnson, will be the first studio set since 2009’s “Brand New Eyes” and the 2010 departure of founding members/brothers Josh and Zac Farro. The band now officially exists as a trio: singer Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York.

“The whole making of this album was a rediscovering of ourselves as a band an as friend,” the trio wrote on its website. “It was a process that allowed us the freedom to explore new territory artistically and to liberate ourselves as musicians, singers, as people! Sincerely, we feel that the best way to give it a name is just to call it what it is. This album is us.”

The band has originally promised a new album out by the end of 2012. That didn’t happen and the last we’ve heard from the band were a couple of tunes released through Paramore’s Singles Club, including “Renegades” and “Hello Cold World.” The group announced the Singles Club in October 2011 as a way to get new songs to fans by the end of 2011 to tide them over until the new album in 2012 2013.

Paramore also announced a Southeast Asian/Australian tour, which will start in the Spring.  The outing will include dates in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

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<p>Adele vs. Taylor Swift</p>

Adele vs. Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

It's Adele vs. Taylor Swift for Golden Globe for best original song

Keith Urban and Jon Bon Jovi also in the running

With both Adele and Taylor Swift in the running, the Golden Globe best original song slate looks more like a rundown of artists normally found on the Billboard Hot 100.   (By the way, today is Swift's 23rd birthday: Nice birthday present, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.!)

Other than nominating “Suddenly,” a new song written for  “Les Miserables” to give the musical a Golden Globe and Oscar contender, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has turned to tunes written and performed by some of the biggest names in pop music to fill the slate.

The nominees are:

*"For You"— "Act of Valor" (performed by Keith Urban)
Music and lyrics by Monty Powell and Keith Urban

*"Not Running Anymore" — "Stand Up Guys" (performed by Jon Bon Jovi)
Music and lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi

*"Safe & Sound" — "The Hunger Games" (performed by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars)
Music and lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett

*“Skyfall”  (performed by Adele)
Music and lyrics  by: Adele and Paul Epworth

*"Suddenly)" — "Les Miserables" (performed by Hugh Jackman)
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg;  Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg

The pop slant is nothing particularly new, as the Globes often tend to sway toward big pop names (some deserving, some merely selected for star power)  more than songs penned by traditional film composers. (Hello, remember Madonna's "Masterpiece" won last year). In this case though, there's not a dud in the bunch.

No offense to the gentlemen, but this year’s race is between the ladies: Swift and Adele. Adele’s Bond theme, “Skyfall,” is sweeping and dramatic and pays homage to the original Bond theme. Swift’s haunting, atmospheric "Safe & Sound" is groundbreaking in that it paired the teen pop/country queen  with the Civil Wars, which gave her a new depth, while creating a song that deeply resonated with "Hunger Games" fans.

A slight caveat before we totally write off the men: it’s important to remember that Bon Jovi is the only one here who has actually won a Golden Globe for best original song: he won in 1990 for the title tune to “Blaze Of Glory.”

There are some notable omissions, including any of the possible contenders from “Django Unchained,” as well as any tunes from an animated feature, such as “Learn Me Right” by Birdy and Mumford & Sons from “Brave.”

The voters also stayed away from Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” which was the biggest chart hit among the potential contenders, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fellow pop stars Florence & The Machine were also ignored for “Breath of Life” from “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

And as far as these nominations being any predictor of names we’ll see again come the Oscar nominations on Jan. 10?  Don’t bet on it. For the last eight years, other than “Crazy Heart’s” “The Weary Kind,” the Golden Globe winner for Best Original Song has not even been an Oscar nominee.

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<p>Judd Apatow and Graham Parker on the set of Universal Pictures' &quot;This Is 40.&quot;</p>

Judd Apatow and Graham Parker on the set of Universal Pictures' "This Is 40."

Credit: AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Suzanne Hanover

Graham Parker & The Rumour thrill at 'This is 40' soundtrack release party

Judd Apatow and Paul Rudd look on as Ryan Adams and Lindsey Buckingham also play

LOS ANGELES—In Judd Apatow’s  “This is 40,” Paul Rudd plays a music executive trying to bring back British singer/songwriter Graham Parker. At last night’s sold-out show at the Roxy here, Parker proved he needs no help.

Playing his first show with his original band, The Rumour, at the venue in more than 30 years, Parker headlined the “This Is 40” soundtrack release party. Fittingly enough, Apatow opened the evening, announcing, “This is a ridiculously good show,” before sitting beside Rudd for the rest of the evening.  He was right. Also appearing on the bill were Ryan Adams and Lindsey Buckingham, both of whom have songs on the movie’s soundtrack.

Adams took the stage first for a three-song set, opening with the lovely “Shining Through The Dark,” a live version of which appears on the soundtrack. The prolific songwriter sat on a low stool for his set, making all but the crown of his head invisible for  the standing audience.  No idea how he looked, but he sounded lovely as he also ran through “Lucky Now” and “Everybody Knows,” accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar.

In a nod to Buckingham (and to Parker's band, no doubt), Adams joked “I was going to play [Fleetwood Mac's] ‘Rumours’ front to back. I was going to play it on a Casio keyboard and dress up as a vampire.”

If Adams' short opener was lovely, Buckingham, introduced by the soundtrack’s producer Jon Brion,  reached transcendence in his remarkable four-sing set. Giving a short bow to the audience before strapping on an electric guitar, Buckingham was fully engaged from the first note. He skipped his two songs on the “This Is 40” soundtrack —”Sick Of You” and “She Acts Like You— and instead played an extended, incendiary “Shut Us Down,” which appeared on Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” soundtrack. The sound man took a second to catch up, but by the time Buckingham eased into a menacing, sensual “Go Insane,” his guitar playing was crystal clear. That’s a good thing because there are few guitarists who can play with his precision, speed and melodicism. He gets more sound out of a guitar than most musicians do from a full band. A slowed-down, time-shifting, hypnotic “Never Going Back Again” followed before he wrapped with “Big Love.” He remarked on how when he originally wrote the song in 1987, the line “Looking out for love”  hinted at a sense of alienation. Now he sees the song as “a meditation on the power of change.”

The evening belonged to Graham Parker & The Rumour, who played a wide-ranging 22-song set that spanned the title track from his 1976 debut album, “Howlin’ Wind” through this year’s “Three Chords Good.”

He parted with The Rumour in 1980, not reuniting until last year when they began recording “Three Chords Good.”  All five of the original members are on tour with him: guitarists Brinsley Schwarz and Martin Belmont, bassist Andrew Bodnar, keyboardist Bob Andrews, and drummer Steve Goulding. Though it took them a few minutes to seeming get into the groove, by “Get Started, Start a Fire” (from 1988’s “The Mona Lisa’s Sister”), the band was locked into a solid groove.

Though he slightly preceded them, Parker’s music recalls his fellow angry young man/British pre-punk colleagues Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, as well as U.S. singer/songwriter John Hiatt. His literate lyrics wrapped around guitar-driven, often ska-inflected, soulful melodies, and, while embraced by critics, he never had the breakthrough in the U.S. that many anticipated for him given his songs’ infectious nature.

Now 62, his once-legendary performances are still spirited, especially when he strips off the guitar and engages with the audience, as he did on the spiky “Nobody Hurts You” and the classic “Protection,” leaning over the audience and shading his eyes on the lyric, “You wanna hide?”

His most engaging tunes remain those that embrace a rollicking twanginess, including “Hotel Chambermaid” and “What Do You Like,” which he recorded with the Punch Bros. for “This Is 40.” He also performed the atmospheric 1977 track, “Watch The Moon Come Down,” another song Apatow snagged for the soundtrack.

It was hard to tell who was having more fun: Parker or the audience, as the crowd’s loud applause brought him back for two  encores. He concluded the evening with his bounciest track, “Soul Shoes” and his sparkling cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which he’s been performing for decades not.

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