<p>Kris Allen's new album cover</p>

Kris Allen's new album cover

Credit: 19/RCA

'American Idol's Kris Allen sets release date for 'Thank You Camellia'

He also launches remix contest for 'The Vision of Love'

American Idol” fans rejoice:  As we've previously reported, Season eight runner-up  Adam Lambert will release “Trespassing” on May 15  and now we get word that the season’s winner Kris Allen’s sophomore set, “Thank You Camellia” will come out a week later on May 22.

We already wrote about first single, “The Vision of Love,” which Allen co-wrote. Now it turns out Allen co-wrote every song on the album.  He is wrapping up recording with producers and co-writers, including Neon Trees’ Tim Pagnotta, Chris Brown/Justin Bieber producer Nasri and Adam Messinger, and Kevin Kadish, who has worked with Jason Mraz and Rob Thomas.

Speaking of Mraz, he and Allen are both part of the Live in the Vineyard festival, which takes place April 13 at the Uptown Theater in Napa, Calif.

Allen has also launched a remix contest for “The Vision of Love.” The winner, selected by Allen, will receive $2,000, a pair of Beats by Dre headphones and a signed CD and photo by Allen.

As far as who the Camellia is Allen name checks in the title,  we don’t know if it’s a reference to the beautiful southern flower or someone specific. Or maybe Camellia is the adorable dog on the album cover.


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Chris Brown
Chris Brown
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Chris Brown wants to make 'Sweet Love' to you

He promises lots of grinding and whatnot on new single

Chris Brown’s “Fortune,” out May 8, has already spawned one hit, “Turn Up the Music,” now he’s looking for the next with “Sweet Love,”  a very busy track about getting very busy.

The track, which premiered on Funkmaster Flex’s show (hence the tag at the beginning), opens with Brown whispering as a waterfall of synths tumbles over his croon “let’s get naked,” and then oh-so-romantically sing about “grinding inside and out of you/so c’mon baby girl, let’s just take our clothes off” and later “you start screaming when I go downtown.”  Subtlety has never been his strong suit, has it?

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Megan Hilty</p>

Megan Hilty

Credit: NBC

'Smash's' Megan Hilty signs with Sony's Masterworks

Broadway star currently working on demos

We don’t know yet if Megan Hilty’s “Smash” alter ego Ivy Lynn will get to play Marilyn Monroe on the show, but the real-life Broadway star has won a recording contract.

Hilty, who has starred on Broadway in such shows as “Wicked” and “9 to 5,” has signed with Sony’s Masterworks label through Columbia Records, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As with “Glee,” Columbia has a deal to release any songs from “Smash,” as well as first rights to the various singers on the show.  Her co-star, “American Idol” album Katherine McPhee, signed with Masterworks last June. The label is also home to Kristen Chenoweth.

No word on when her Masterworks debut will appear, but she is already working on demos.


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'We Are Young' continues its good time at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Fueled By Ramen

'We Are Young' continues its good time at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Who else makes strides in this week's Top 10?

“We Are Young” from fun. featuring Janelle Monae  is aging gracefully at it spends its fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Much of its strength comes from its digital performance. The song has sold 2.39 million copies in 2012, the year’s biggest seller.  It also continues to gain airplay.

The crossover tune also remains solid at Alternative radio: it is No. 2 on Billboard’s Alternative airplay chart.

Just as “Young” holds at No. 1, the songs at No. 2, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and No. 3, “The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” remain in the same spot.

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”  featuring Kimbra and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” each slide up one to No. 4 and 5, respectively.

Their upward mobility push Adele’s “Set Fire To the Rain” down 4-6, while Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones”  featuring Sia moves up two spots to No. 7, following its spectacular debut last week at No. 9. Katy Perry’s former No. 1 “Part Of Me” rebounds 10-8, Drake’s “Take Care” featuring Rihanna drops 8-9 and David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” featuring Minaj falls 7-10.

There are no new entries in the top 10, however that will change next week when Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” likely charges into the Top 5.

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<p>L-R:&nbsp;Steven Tyler,&nbsp;Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith pose for photos at today's press conference announcing their 2012 Global Warming Tour.</p>

L-R: Steven Tyler, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith pose for photos at today's press conference announcing their 2012 Global Warming Tour.

Credit: AP Photo/Katy Winn

Interview: Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton talks new tour, album and 'savoring'

'We're always on the verge of breaking up, you know'

Aerosmith will get back in the saddle again this summer with a new tour and the band’s first new studio album since 2004’s “Honkin’ on Bobo.”  At a press conference held Wednesday at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton (Brad Whitford is on tour with Experience Hendrix) revealed the new album will come out in a few months. The still-untitled project is co-produced by Jack Douglas, who produced such legendary albums as 1975’s “Toys in the Attic,”  and 1976’s “Rocks; Tyler, and Marti Frederiksen. If Douglas is responsible for the band’s earliest success, Frederiksen has been a major part of the band’s mid-‘90s resurgence.

After the press conference, I sat down with bassist Hamilton for an exclusive one-on-one to talk about the fractious band’s past and the current state of their union,  how he feels on stage, and what he really thought about the “60 Minutes” profile that ran a few weeks ago.

The Global Warming tour, which starts June 16,  only covers 18 markets so far. Will there be a second leg?

 We get out there when we can. Obviously, we have restrictions time-wise with Steven and we’re still working out how we’re going to do what we do in the time that we have.

So you don’t know if there will be a second leg?

I’m sure, in the fall, there most likely will be. I just don’t like to jinx it by saying, “Yes there will.” It’s extremely likely there will be another leg. That’s the plan.

Because we know nothing ever goes wrong in the Aerosmith camp

God, I tell you, every show... we were just in South America and Japan. Every show was like adding a pearl on a string. You savor it and you gotta love it because we don’t have all the time in the world. We’ll see what happens.

Has playing live become more precious to you as you 
get older?

Yes, very much. Especially when it comes to touring outside of the country. Going places that we’ve either only been to a couple of times or never been to, or even going to Japan where we’ve been going for years, decades.  You just want to savor every bit of it, really, because you see the looks on the faces of those people in the crowd and you think about the effort that it takes to go to a show. It’s expensive. A lot of the girls want to go and buy something special to wear. You have to park. You have to figure out how you’re going to do it and still get to work or school the next morning.  You realize that — what people are doing to be able to come see you.

To this day, you still do meet and greets with fans before the show. Why?

It’s like a little shot of the pure essence of it because people are so nervous and they’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen in that meet and greet for a long time and what they’re going to say and you really get a feeling and a reminder of what it feels like to put your headphones on and get between your speakers and hear your favorite songs. So doing that before a show gives you a shot of that, that pure thing of why are we here.

My old boss used to say that the band was locked in a dance it couldn’t get out of... you love each other and hate each other and go on nonetheless.

We’re always on the verge of breaking up, you know. There’s always something to worry about all the time, you know, but we keep coming back. And a big part of why we keep coming back is because the phone is ringing and it’s our manager calling and saying, “Hey, your fans really want you to play. Do you want to go on tour?”  “Yes.” So we go out there.

And there’s some chemistry, that happens when you’re together. Once you walk on stage does all the bad stuff float away?

It’s really amazing. Like a lot of the shows we did in South America were places  we’ve never played before and there were definitely glances going around saying, “Wow, here was are. We’re playing Paraguay. Can you believe it?”  A year ago, October, this past October, we were as close to breaking up as we’ve been in a long time, but we had  four big shows that we had to do or we would have gotten our ass chewed off. We went out and did them and sure enough,  we were not on speaking terms with Steven for a lot of things around that period, but when we got on stage, it was there. And it was a relief too.

What is the state of the union now?

Really good. We’re making plans and looking forward to the future. We’ve got this tour, we’re going to get this album out sometime between now and September.

After Aerosmith’s profile on “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago, you tweeted that you were still recovering from that. Any regrets that the band has been so public about your squabbles. Do you feel it detracts from the music?

I don’t think it detracts from the music, but when I saw that show, I went and immediately texted Steven and said “Good job,” and he texted back, ‘At what?” and I said, “60 Minutes.” You might not expect that we’d go back and forth. They wanted to get something a little bit deeper. It was kind of the same subject matter that we’ve talked about over and over, but a bit deeper. I think it was pretty painful the way they just kept nailing him. They kept setting him up and hitting him with these out-of-context remarks, you know, and it put him in a corner. I thought he behaved well in a corner, he defended himself. He said, “yeah, I’m that good.” And I’m like, thinking, “Yeah, you are. You are really good. Maybe not as good as you think you are, but you are really pretty good’” (laughs).

In the press conference you were talking about the new album, and reuniting with Jack Douglas. He did “Honkin.’....

But there was only one original on that album.  We’re back to that process of pre-production, which Jack has always been a big part of. We learned how to make records with him and learned what we like in terms of how to arrange a song and all that stuff...It’s a beautiful thing because [Jack’s] into the weird and he will support the unusual. He will make sure everybody gets a chance to say what they want to say musically on an album.

So he’s a referee, as any producer is.

Yeah, but a lot of producers, they just want to get the thing that’s going to get on the radio and get it done. Keep the record company happy and get on to their next project. You don’t get that with Jack. He’s not sitting around making a phone call every time there’s a break about what his next project is going to be. He’s completely emotionally and mentally dedicated to what you’re doing.

Where are you in the recording process? Steven said you’ve been working on it for four months.

We’ve been working on it for much longer than four months. I think what Steven was talking about is the phase of being out in L.A. and the phase that results in the vocals getting done. We worked all last summer and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been working on this record every day for years. Agonizing... We’ve got probably three-quarters or maybe even slightly more of the vocals [done].

Steven mentioned a song called “Legendary Child.” What’s that one sound like?

It’s a medium-tempo rocker. It’s a classic Aerosmith song. It rocks, but it has a very strong melodic content and a lot of spaces in there for Joe and Brad and everybody to lay down some riff that they want everybody to hear.  It’s a song that wasn’t written yesterday. It’s been around for awhile, but never really recorded and we’ve never done the full-on pre-production and production of the song until now.

You referenced 1975 in the press conference, which, of course, was the year “Toys in the Attic” was released. Is that a good reference point for  what you want to sound like on this album?

Yeah, without really saying that, you know. That’s sort of pathetic to say, “Let’s make an imitation of ‘Rocks’.”  Those records were an accurate representation of our tastes back then in combination with Jack. I want to be fair: there’s a couple of songs produced by Marti Frederiksen, who’s an amazing songwriter and producer. But I mention Jack because he’s sort of the overlord of this whole thing. Yes, we longed for that process that’s based on our relationship with him.

What do you do when an Aerosmith song comes on the radio?

First thing I do is turn it up and I’m checking it out to see how it sounds compared to the song that was on before it and the one that’s on after it.

Even if it’s a classic song like “Walk This Way?”

You’re still thinking, “Wow, shit, I wish we would have done this, you know, or that part should have been twice as long.” That still happens.


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Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Credit: FOX

Listen: Jennifer Lopez new single with Pitbull, 'Dance Again'

'American Idol' to premiere the video next week

Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull have certainly proven to be a winning combination before with “On the Floor,”  and now the two have reunited for “Dance Again,” J Lo’s new single that will be out either March 30, if you believe Lopez, or April 2, if you believe her label chief L.A. Reid.  (Do you think they disagreed this way before one was on “American Idol” and the other was on “X Factor?”)

Either way, everyone seems to agree that the video will premiere on “American Idol” on April 5.

[More after the jump...]

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Will 'Boyfriend' make Justin Bieber a radio star?
Credit: Island

Will 'Boyfriend' make Justin Bieber a radio star?

Could he have his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100?

Despite Justin Bieber’s phenomenal success, he has not been a Top 40 radio star. However all that could change with “Boyfriend.”

His sultry new single, which has been No. 1 on iTunes since its release at midnight March 26, is also earning rave reviews at radio. A Top 40 program director we talked to last week was positively buzzing about the song, noting it was Bieber’s strongest single yet.

If you look at Bieber’s Billboard Hot 100 stats, he’s only reached the Top 10 with two of the 21 songs he’s charted on the Hot 100 over the last three years. His peak came two years ago when “Baby” reached No. 5. His only other Top 10 tune is “Never Say Never,”  which reached No. 8.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>DJ Khaled</p>

DJ Khaled


Listen: DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne 'Take It To The Head'

Khaled has friends in high places on salute to getting messed up

It takes a village of rappers to convey the message “Now we’re gonna get f***ed up/no excuses/no apologies” on “Take It To The Head,” the thumping first single from DJ Khaled’s forthcoming album, “Kiss the Ring.”

Khaled is joined by Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne on the Runners’-produced, mid-tempo track. Brown does the melodic heavy lifting here, while the others mainly chime in with raps that are NSFW listening. Warning: lots of uses of the N word here. Lil Wayne appeared on DJ Khaled’s 2011 hit “I’m On One,” which also featured Drake.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Coldplay rocks Lollapalooza '11</p>

Coldplay rocks Lollapalooza '11

Credit: AP Photo

Lollapalooza tickets go on sale; line up announcement coming

When will we know who's playing the Aug. 3-5 fest?

Did you get your tickets yet? Lollapalooza three-day passes went on sale today for the Aug. 3-5 festival in Chicago's Grant Park.

A limited number of Early Bird passes priced at $200 have already sold out.  Once that unspecified number was gone, the price bumped up to $230. No single-day passes are available yet.  Prices include service fees.
As usual, the tickets went on sale with no word on who is playing the festival. The line-up won’t be released until April 11.

The rumor mill is running rampant about who is playing, of course. In February, a Tweeter going by @lollaleaks tweeted that the headliners would include Metallica, Beyonce and Sonic Youth-- each of which could pretty much be shot down, which is exactly what Lollapalooza organizer Perry Farrell did. Then @Lollaleaks announced the whole thing was a hoax. Forbes ran an interesting piece on @Lollaleaks a few days ago and how his little joke escalated that's worth a look.

Last year’s headliners were Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse and My Morning Jacket


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<p>Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?</p>

Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?

Credit: Interscope

15 fun things we learned about Madonna from her Twitter: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and 'Kill Bill 3'

Will she keep tweeting? Are she and Deadmau5 friends again?

Madonna, whose new album, "MDNA," came out today, took to Twitter to chat directly with her fans. The hour-long Q&A  revealed some interesting minutiae about Madge and she used it to put to rest her burgeoning fight with Deadmau5.

Read our album review here

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