<p>&nbsp;Justin Bieber</p>
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 Justin Bieber

Credit: Marco Ugarte/AP

Music Power Rankings: Adele tops Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey

Plus, we say goodbye to a Monkee on a steed

1) Adele: She celebrates week No. 22 at the top of the Billboard 200. She’s got one more week in her for sure, before Springsteen comes in with the Wrecking Ball.

2) Whitney Houston: She becomes the first woman to ever land three albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 simultaneously, but achieves the feat by paying the ultimate price.

3) Justin Bieber: The Bieb turns 18!  “I’m in the middle without any plans/I’m a Boy and I’m a Man/I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want...”

4) Kid Cudi:
Universal Republic’s decision to only ship 55,000 copies of his duo's self-titled project, “WZRD,” leaves him  PSSD.

5) Mariah Carey:
Mimi returns to the stage for the first time since popping out Moroccan and Monroe in a 40-minute free concert for fans. She’s just another working mom.

6) Bret McKenzie: This Conchord takes flight over the birds in “Rio” as “Man or Muppet” snags the shiny naked gold man at the Academy Awards for best original song.

7) Don Henley: His reps sound off about Frank Ocean lifting “Hotel California” for “American Wedding.” Doesn’t Ocean realize that he can check out, but he can never leave? 

8) Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose:  Khalifa does what Kanye did not: He puts a ring on it.

9) Mike Dungan:
One of Nashville’s most loved and respected execs switches from Capitol to Universal, although when the EMI merger goes through he’ll be reunited with Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and all his friends. Score one for the good guys.

10) Davy Jones: I’ll always be a Daydream Believer and you’ll always be my white knight on a steed. 7A.

 

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<p>Adele</p>
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Adele

Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

Adele on track for 23rd week atop the Billboard 200 with '21'

Whitney Houston could have four albums in the Top 10

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Adele’s “21” is a lock to stay at No. 1 for another week on the Billboard 200.

For those keeping count, that means the Grammy-winning title will ratchet up 23 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. With an estimated tally of 225,000 copies, it will also approach a total sales figure of 8 million copies. But “21” isn’t alone, “19,” Adele’s first album, remains in the Top 10 at No. 7, according to Hits Daily Double.

Mourners continue to express their grief by buying Whitney Houston. She has an astounding four titles in the next week’s Top 10: Her “Greatest Hits” is No. 2 with 115,000 copies, while “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, which features a number of tunes from Houston is No. 4 at 55,000 copies. Her self titled set is poised to land at No. 8 and “I Look To You” at No. 9.

That leaves four spots for other acts and room for only one debut: WZRD’s self-titled set at No. 3. WZRD is the duo composed of Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius. Cudi made headlines this week after he tweeted his extreme dismay that Universal Republic was shipping only 55,000 copies to retail. Given that the title is projected to sell up to 80,000, clearly a fair amount sold via digital retailer.5-problems-with-his-rant

Tyga’s “Careless World: Rise of the Last King”  likely drops only one spot to No. 5; “Now That’s What I Call Music” is slated to also fall one space to No. 6 and Drake’s “Take Care” rises 13-10.

So who looks to spoil Adele’s party? Bruce Springsteen, that’s who. The Boss’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball,” comes out March 6 and could bump label mate Adele out of the top spot.


 

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<p>Mariah Carey at her Las Vegas show on March 1</p>

Mariah Carey at her Las Vegas show on March 1

Watch: Mariah Carey 'Shake It Off' in first post-baby concert

Mimi is in fine form in free New York performance

Mariah Carey performed an intimate show for her lambs last night at New York’s Gotham Hall.

As is clear from this clip of “Shake It Off,” Mimi is in fine form, 10 months after having babies Moroccan and Monroe. The tune, from 2005’s “Emancipation of MiMi” is barely a song at all, but it’s nice to see her back on stage regardless.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Nick Lowe gets help from Wilco, Tim Heidecker and Marc Maron in new video

Watch: Nick Lowe gets help from Wilco, Tim Heidecker and Marc Maron in new video

Singer Robyn Hitchcock also drops by 'Sensitive Man'

I’ll get around to writing about Nick Lowe’s new video, “Sensitive Man” as soon as I finish my practicing my Smile Pile and my Rollover Whispers.

Lowe hasn’t made a video for years, but he’s brought the funny with this one. Though he simply plays the song up against a pale green background, his performance is interspersed with a session of sensitivity training for a group of men all of whom are either trying to get in touch with their softer side or have been sent there by women and agreed to it in hopes of ever getting laid again.

[More after the jump...]

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James Mercer of The Shins
James Mercer of The Shins

Watch: The Shins release new videos for 'Bait and Switch' and Funny Or Die

Which do you prefer? The serious clip or 'Clapping Buter'?

The Shins’ video for “Bait And Switch” opens as if it’s going to be a take-off on “Twilight,” full of tall, green trees and a chyron that puts the setting squarely in the Pacific Northwest-- in Portland,  Ore., specifically.

Instead of werewolves and vamps, we get James Mercer and the rest of his Shins crew in a cabin that is amazingly well-appointed with guitars to die for.  The song, from March 20’s “Port Of Morrow” is about a “simple man” whose love tears everything apart.

[More after the jump...]

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Born to Rock: Bruce Springsteen's 7 best albums
Credit: AP Photo

Born to Rock: Bruce Springsteen's 7 best albums

On the eve of 'Wrecking Ball,' a look at the Boss's finest

Bruce Springsteen’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball,” comes out March 6 and The Beat Goes On is blatantly stealing a page from our colleague Kris Tapley’s “The Lists” concept. In anticipation of the new set, we’re ranking The Boss’s Top 7 albums. Take a look at our gallery and let the debate begin.

Springsteen’s canon of work dates back more nearly 40 years to 1973’s “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” While there was a major shift with his third album, 1975’s “Born To Run,” in terms of transforming from a proud Dylan wanna-be who crammed as many words as possible in to a song to someone who found his own identity and voice, what hasn’t changed has been his commitment to his craft and his live show.

At 62, Springsteen has become the chronicler of our times. Or as he says, it has always been his job to write about the distance between the American dream and American reality. Unlike many other artists whose songs aren’t rooted in any specific geography,  Springsteen’s narrative spans from sea-to-shining-sea. He is a product of New Jersey and the U.S.A. and the lyrical territory he roams in song seldom extends beyond our shores (despite the fact that he is now a bigger concert draw in Europe than he is here).

But to concentrate on Springsteen’s role as social commentator only shows one part of the story. Over the last several decades, Springsteen has delivered some of the goofiest, most joyous songs ever committed to record, whether it be the rollicking “Ramrod,” the double entendre-filled “Pink Cadillac,” the giddy “So Young And In Love” or the purely jubilant “Rosalita.”

It felt like a cheat to include live albums on here, so I didn’t. (I also chose not to include any bootlegs). However, any Springsteen fan’s collection is incomplete without two sets: “Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Hammersmith Odeon London 75” and “Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live 1975-1985.” The Hammersmith set, which wasn’t officially released until  2005, captures a moment in time: Springsteen's first U.K. show that has now become the stuff of legend. Springsteen was freaking out beforehand as Columbia’s hype machine was in full effect and he wanted the music to speak for itself. The loose-limbed, sped-up “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” is a frenetic frenzy, and the 13-minute “E Street Shuffle” feels like it traverses space and time. It’s nothing less than revelatory to hear a 25-year old Springsteen, still so early in his career, at such command of his stage craft. 

“Live 1975-1985,” if nothing else, shows the tremendous range of the E Street Band and serves as a de-facto greatest hits. It was also the first album to capture the wide-ranging magic of Springsteen's show including such chestnuts as his covers of “Raise Your Hand” and “War” and songs that lay flat on vinyl, like “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)” but came alive in concert.

There are high notes on every album released, even the ones I would rank toward the bottom of a list should I have included the full catalog, such as 2009's “Working On A Dream” (though I’m hard pressed to find anything good to say about “Queen of the Supermarket”). As with all such lists, this one is totally subjective. For example, though I find them among his most cinematic works, I find myself seldom returning to  largely acoustic, solo albums like “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and “Devils & Dust” 

Before you flip to the gallery, if you aren’t a Springsteen fanatic (yet), watch this video, and  see what joy he brings millions of us (plus, there are wonderful shots of dearly departed members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons):


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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Happy 18th Birthday Justin Bieber! He gives fans a present: a new single

How can you help make his birthday a record-setting one?

Baby, baby, baby: Justin Bieber turns 18 today and like any kid who comes of legal age, he’s celebrating by... appearing on “Ellen.” But it turns out pretty sweet: his manager Scooter Braun presents him with a Fisker Karmer, a sporty looking environmental friendly car.

Then Megan Mullally sings a special rendition of “Fever” for Bieber and rubs up against him in a way that was probably illegal in several states until today when he came of age. Again, just what every 18-year old wants: to be serenaded and pawed by a woman older than his mom...

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ne-Yo and J-Hud make quite the combination in the new video for 'Think Like A&nbsp;Man.'</p>

Ne-Yo and J-Hud make quite the combination in the new video for 'Think Like A Man.'

Watch: Jennifer Hudson has her pick of men in new video for 'Think Like A Man'

Who will vie for J-Hud's affections?

Jennifer Hudson may be thinking like a man in her new video, but she looks all woman in the sexy clip.

“Think Like A Man” is from the movie of the same name, which, incredibly as it sounds, is based on Steve Harvey’s self-help book, “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.”  Here, “lady” is switched to “woman” in the lyrics, but the idea is the same.

[More after the jump...]

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Kelly Clarkson performs at the 2012 Grammys.
Kelly Clarkson performs at the 2012 Grammys.
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' shows its strength on the Billboard Hot 100

Is it enough to catapult the tune back to No. 1?

Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” gains back its strength as the song vaults back up to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after slipping to No. 4.

But the real story on the chart this week is the success of British boy band The Wanted, who gain their first Top 10 hit as “Glad You Came” soars 23-5. The Wanted should be very glad that “Glee” covered the song last week, helping catapult it up the chart.

Between the former “American Idol” champ and the latest recipients of “Glee’s” largesse are Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain,” which stays at No. 2, fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae, which gains three spots to rise 6-4  and last week’s No. 1, Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” which falls to No. 4, according to Billboard.

The bottom half of the Top 10 is basically rearranging the players with no significant leaps:  Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris move 8-6, Flo Rida’s “Goo Feeling” moves 12-7,  David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” featuring Nicki Minaj fires back 11-8, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s “Young, Wild & Free” zips 14-9 and Minaj’s “Starships” slips one to No. 10

Why do so many tunes slide back up into the Top 10 after falling out? The Grammys. That’s why. Last week, a number of tracks saw huge digital gains following the Grammys so the chart went a little askew. Those tracks have now fallen out of the Top 10 and the previous hits have reoccupied this top 10 spots.

Also, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” which had climbed to No. 3 following her Feb. 11 death, dives to No. 30.

Three songs, at least of one of them destined for the Top 10, debut on the chart: B.o.B.’s “So Good” comes in at No. 11, Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” at No. 24 and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” at No. 39.
 

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<p>Mariah Carey </p>

Mariah Carey

Credit: AP Photo

Mariah Carey plans first post-babies concert for March 1

How can you get in on the action? Is new music coming?

Mariah Carey’s most devoted fans will get the chance to see her March 1 in her first post-baby concert.

Carey will entertain her little lambs in a private show at New York’s Gotham Hall. To attend, you must be a member of her Honey B. Fly fan club and be 21 or over (or accompanied by an adult).

Though the show is extremely limited, we’re hearing less than 100, it will be streamed online live. It is part of the Plot Your Escape concert series. Simultaneous concerts by Maroon 5 in Chicago, Cee Lo Green in Los Angeles and Mary J. Blige in New Orleans will also occur.  P. Diddy will appear with Carey.

No word on if she’ll debut new material, but there’s a chance. She tweeted earlier this week that she was recording vocals on a new song.

To watch the concerts, just click here at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST on March 1.

While a tour does not seem to be in the offering, Carey has also announced that she will perform a the Mawazine Festival in Morocco on May 26. That seems altogether fitting given that one of her twins is named Morocco.
 

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