<p>Axl Rose</p>
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Axl Rose

Credit: AP

Music Power Rankings: Britney Spears reappears, Madonna falls

Justin Bieber and One Direction also make the list

1) One Direction: The British boy band is so hot that they are taking the unprecedented step of putting their 2013 concert tickets on sale more than a year in advance.

2) Britney Spears: She reportedly accepts a $15 million deal to be a judge on Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.” Looks like we have a new Material Girl.

3) Madonna: Speaking of, Madge, who topped last week's list,  falls hard as sales for “MDNA” drop 88% in its first week, the highest decline ever. The good news is that years from now, people will only remember that the album came in at No. 1, not the cliff dive. #SuperBowldoesnotcoverallpromotionalneeds

4) Axl Rose: In perhaps the politest letter he’s ever written, the Guns N’ Roses singer asks to not be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And to please take him off the call list forever and ever.

5) Green Day: Pop punk band will release three albums in 2012.  Haven’t they heard that we live in a singles world now?

6) Coachella: The desert festival kicked off Friday night in its expanded version spread out over two weeks. Come rain or come shine.

7) Spotify: As the streaming service continues to gain traction in the U.S., co-founder Daniel Ek says 2012 revenue will exceed $889 million. That’s almost four times the 2011 revenue. We’ll see if it can move into the black as it lost $59 million last year. Maybe Instagram’s founders will buy the company. We’ve heard they came into some cash.

8) “American Idol”: Its luster may be fading slightly, but it’s not done yet: or at least not by a long shot over at iTunes where “American Idol Top 7 Season 11” hit No. 1 on Friday.

9) Justin Bieber: First single “Boyfriend” set record this week, now the Bieb breaks news that he and Taylor Swift have collaborated on a song for his forthcoming album, “Believe.” Just don’t date her, Justin, or you’ll be on her next album and it won’t be a duet.

10) Courtney Love:
Eager to keep her name in the news, Love hits a new low as she accuses Dave Grohl of hitting on her teenage daughter, Frances Cobain.  Someone is off her meds and we suspect, sadly, this will not be the last time Frances has to apologize for her mama.

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Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Look who springs back to the top of the Billboard 200 next week

Plus, a slew of newer artists make strong showings

Look who is likely to pop back up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week after five weeks out of the top spot: it’s Adele and “21.” The title should reign supreme once again next week with sales of up to 95,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

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Watch: Van Halen's new video for 'She's The Woman'

Eddie Van Halen's fingers still go really fast

Van Halen is taking you on the road with them in the new video for “She’s The Woman.” The clip, like the Springsteen clip we wrote up earlier today, is basically live, but takes footage culled from several shows instead of just one and switches randomly from black and white to color.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden</p>

Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden

Credit: AP Photo

Bruce Springsteen sets summer US stadium dates

Check out what you're missing with live 'Death To My Hometown' video

If this Spring’s first leg of Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” tour isn’t  stopping in your hometown, the Boss released eight new cities he and the E Street Band will visit the fall following a summer European jaunt.

Centered primarily on the East Coast (with the obvious exception of Chicago), the tour will start a stadium run in Boston at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 18 and finish with a three-night stand at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Sept. 19-22. It will be Springsteen’s first time playing the new Jets/Giants home and as “Wrecking Ball” fans know, the song was written about the old stadium being torn down in 2009.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Kris Allen talks about inspiration behind 'The Vision of Love'

'American Idol' says song is a 'call not to be scared'

Kris Allen’s new single “The Vision of Love” and accompanying video seems to have arrived at just the right time. As bullying remains all too prevalent in schools, the song and music clip encourage us to be our best selves and  take those small extra steps to help those in need.

“We tried to make sure we created these characters...that people can relate to,” he says about co-writing “The Vision of Love.” “I wanted people to feel like they knew those people. It’s a call for us to not be scared... to not be afraid to offer up ourselves to help people.”

“The Vision of Love” is from “Thank You Camellia,” the “American Idol” winner’s second full-length set.  Allen co-wrote every song on the album, and collaborated with such writeres and producers as Nasri & Adam Messinger, Tim Pagnotta and Boots Ottestad.

The album’s title is a nod of appreciation to Camellia St. in Los Angeles and the house on that street where Allen and his band stayed as they worked on the new project.  He explained the album title’s meaning last week, but in our longer interview with Allen, which will run closer to the album’s May 22 release date, he reveals some of the crazy guesses fans had on Camellia’s identity.


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<p>&nbsp;One Direction</p>

 One Direction

Credit: AP Photo

Why One Direction is brilliant to set 2013 tour dates

Do you know where you'll be summer 2013?

Talk about striking while the iron is hot. One Direction is the leading the charge in the new boy band craze we find ourselves in. Tickets to their shows are selling so fast that they have very smartly, 14 months in advance, announced a summer 2013 tour.

The group opened for fellow boy band Big Time Rush this spring, but very quickly overtook BTR in popularity. First album, “Up All Night” bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 a few weeks ago, the first album by a British band to ever come in in the top spot, and the group’s first headlining U.S. tour, which starts later this Spring, sold out in minutes.

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<p>&nbsp;Adam Lambert</p>

 Adam Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Adam Lambert's new single, 'Never Close Our Eyes'

Bruno Mars and Dr. Luke write and produce for the 'American Idol' runner-up

Adam Lambert gets it right on “Never Close Our Eyes,” the second single from “Trespassing.” Listen to it here.

The mid-tempo love song, written and produced by Bruno Mars and Dr. Luke, has a grand, anthemic feel and is much stronger than first single, “Better Than I Know Myself.” The electro-pop feel sounds a little dated (even though we know it’s all the rage right now and it is part of Lambert’s sound), but we’d love to hear a remix that doesn’t have that. Having said that, this version is only a very short leap to some undoubtedly great dance remixes of the song (especially after the bridge). Plus, the cold ending is very compelling.

Thematically, the song takes the same approach as Aerosmith’s massive “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” in that Lambert doesn’t want to waste any time with his loved one by sleeping. That’s time they could be spending together living life.

A different version of this song emerged a few weeks ago. We like this one better, especially the opening that focuses on how strong Lambert’s voice is.

“Trespassing” comes out May 15.

What do you think of “Never Close Our Eyes?”


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<p>Britney Spears: Can she do it?</p>

Britney Spears: Can she do it?

Credit: AP Photo

Why Britney Spears is not a good fit for 'The X Factor'

Singer on verge of inking deal for Simon Cowell's talent show

As Britney Spears' signing on a judge on the U.S. edition of “The X Factor” appears to be moving closer and closer to reality, we have serious doubts that the pop singer could add anything of merit to the program.

Instead, her main draw will be to curiosity seekers who tune in to see if she can form a sentence unaided by others. And guess what? The people who view to see a potential  train wreck count just as much in the ratings as those who honestly watch to see the talent competition. And at this point, show founder Simon Cowell, who has not delivered the ratings he bragged his program would, needs a big name to bring in eyeballs. And he’s apparently willing to pay $15 million to Spears to do just that.

Here’s why we have doubts about Spears as a viable draw: While she remains a ubiquitous fixture in the gossip pages as we see pictures of her and her two sons or her and her fiancee out and about, any actual speaking that we’ve heard from Spears in the past few years has been as carefully controlled as a politician’s and about as revealing.

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'We Are Young' from fun. continues its good time on the Billboard Hot 100

How many teen idols are in the top 10?

Fun.’s “We Are Young” continues to age gracefully on the Billboard Hot 100 as it spends its sixth week atop the chart.

In doing so, it also becomes the first song to sell 300,000 downloads for six consecutive weeks, according to Billboard. The Hot 100 tallies airplay, social media play/streaming and digital sales. “We Are Young” is the first song to surpass the 3 million mark in digital downloads this year.

No new titles enter the Top 10 this week so it’s really a matter of a little rearranging in the top tier. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra slides  3-2, a position he should easily hold as he appears on “Saturday Night Live” this week. The tune replaces Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which drops from 2 to 5. In between in the top 5 are The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” which inches 4-3 and  One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” which leaps 9-4, in part based on their appearance on “SNL” last Saturday.

In case you had any doubt that we are back in pop land after a long dry spell, that means No. 3-5 are occupied by teen idols. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. If so, it was at least 10 years ago when Backstreet Boys and N’Sync ruled supreme.

Nicki Minaj, whose album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” is at the top of the Billboard 200,  remains at No. 6 with “Starships,” while Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia holds at No. 7, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”  stays at No. 10. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” falls 5-8 and Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” declines one from 8-9.

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<p>Red Hot Chili Peppers</p>

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Black Keys, Black Sabbath and Red Hot Chili Peppers headline Lollapalooza 2012

Jack White, The Shins join more than 120 acts on the Chicago fest bill

It will be a colorful Lollapalooza this August as headliners include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, the Black Keys and Jack White.

The line-up for the Aug. 3-5 festival, held at Chicago’s Grant Park, broke on the Lollapalooza website at midnight Central time.

The Black Keys are also headlining this year's Coachella, which will be held April 13-15 and April 20-22. Similarly,  RHCP are headlining both Lollapalooza and June's Bonnaroo. They last headlined Lollapalooza in 2006. The Black Keys played Lollapalooza in 2010, but this is their first go-round as a headliner.

[More after the jump...]

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