All of Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

All of Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Adele, Whitney Houston and Nicki Minaj also see surges

Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” takes her where “The One That Got Away” could not: to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Not only does “Part of Me” hit No. 1, the song debuts in the top spot, making it the 20th song in the 53-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to start its chart life at the top. The last song to do so was Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”  almost exactly a year ago. Both songs received their coming out at the Grammy Awards.

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<p>The Beatles</p>

The Beatles

Got To Get The Beatles into your phone? Now you can

Ringtones from the Fab Four arrive today

Want “All You Need Is Love” as your ringtone when your sweetie calls? What about “Help” when your in-laws call or, of course, the very appropriate “Hello, Goodbye” for all calls?

As of today, you can. After holding out on iTunes for  seven years before finally going digital with most of their albums in late 2010, the Fab Four has now added ringtones to the mix.

The band’s 27 No. 1 hits in the U.S. and U.K. are now available as ringtones for your phone exclusively on iTunes.

Here are your choices.

The Beatles #1 ringtones

 "Love Me Do"
 "Yellow Submarine"
"From Me To You"
 "Eleanor Rigby"
 "She Loves You"
. "Penny Lane"
"I Want To Hold Your Hand"
 "All You Need Is Love"
 "Can't Buy Me Love"
"A Hard Day's Night"
 "Lady Madonna"
 "I Feel Fine"
. "Hey Jude"
"Eight Days a Week"
 "Get Back"
 "Ticket to Ride"
 "The Ballad of John and Yoko"
"Help!"
"Something"
 "Yesterday"
 "Come Together"
 "Day Tripper"
 "Let It Be"
 "We Can Work It Out"
 ""The Long and Winding Road"
 "Paperback Writer"
"Hello Goodbye"
 
 

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Watch: Taylor Swift and Zac Efron bust the cuteness meter on 'Ellen'
Credit: Warner Bros. Television

Watch: Taylor Swift and Zac Efron bust the cuteness meter on 'Ellen'

The pair revamp Foster The People's 'Pumped Up Kicks'

Are Taylor Swift and Zac Efron the new She & Him?  Check out this adorable clip of the two on “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” as they play their own version of Foster The People’s  “Pumped Up Kicks.”

Efron and Swift both voiced characters in the animated feature, “The Lorax," so they’re out and about making the promotional rounds. They have a comfortable ease around each other and their voices sound really good together. The guitar lesson part is adorable.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Sergio Mendes</p>

Sergio Mendes

Interview: Sergio Mendes on his Oscar nomination for 'Rio'

How does he feel about not getting to perform on the Feb. 26 Academy Awards?

What do you give a man who’s celebrating his 50th anniversary of making music this year? How about an Oscar?

That would suit Sergio Mendes just fine.  The legendary Brazilian composer/performer is nominated for his first Oscar with “Real in Rio,” from the animated feature “Rio.” Mendes co-wrote the music with Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett (best known for co-writing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”) wrote the lyrics.

“Real in Rio” is up against “Man Or Muppet” from “The Muppets”  for original song. The two were the only tunes that passed the rigorous scrutiny of  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’s music branch.

Read Gregory Ellwood's interview with Flight of The Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, who wrote “Man Or Muppet,” here.

Read Kris Tapley's prediction on who will take home the Oscar here.

Mendes was “immediately fascinated” by the story of the two macaws (voiced by Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg) who go through quite the adventure after being captured by bird smugglers.  Mendes wanted the song, which appears in the beginning and the end of the movie, to make people think about “Rio waking up in the morning. It’s a melody that starts very simply. You think about Rio, the greenery, the oceans, the mountains,” he says. “I wanted it to go through the movie and in the end of the movie, that music should really explode.”

The lilting rhythms and beats are a bright as the dancing birds themselves. Recorded in Los Angeles, the song features 20 drummers, who were recorded live in a drum circle.

Unbelievably, “Real in Rio” is the first tune Mendes has ever written for a film and he loved the collaborative effort. “Writing for a movie is such team work,” the 71-year old says. He credits John Powell, who scored the movie, as the “glue that held everything together.”

Mendes, who lives in Los Angeles, found out about his nomination from the movie’s director, Carlos Saldanha, who also directed the three “Ice Age” films). Saldanha called him at 6 a.m. “He said to me, ‘Get your tux ready because you’re nominated’,” Mendes recalls. “This is the biggest honor one can have.” 

While there are plenty of people excised about only two songs receiving nominations for original song, Mendes says he wasn’t aware of the stringent new criteria put in place a few years ago until after he got nominated.

And even though his temperament seems as easy going as his music, he will allow that “it would have been nice” to play the song on the Feb. 26 telecast.  Neither of the two nominated tunes will be performed. “Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen,” he says. “It would have been a great opportunity. It’s a song we’ve been performing in our shows. We get a tremendous reaction.” 

But even the exclusion can’t get him flustered. “Who am I to judge? Everyone has their own priority. I’m sure the people on the television part have their own concerns. Why make a big thing out of it? Let’s enjoy our lives.”

It’s a big month for Mendes: on Feb. 10, he performed “The Fool On The Hill” in front of the song’s co-author, Paul McCartney, at The Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares dinner. Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 took the song to No. 6 on the Billboard pop charts in 1968.

“I’d never played in front of him before,” Mendes says. “It was wonderful, a magical evening...I recorded that song in 1968 and we’re in 2012 and I’ve played that song everywhere in the world. It’s one song that I never took out of the repertoire.” That and, of course, Mendes’ signature song “Mas  Que Nada” (written by Jorge Ben), which also appears in “Rio” in a new version.

For Mendes, introducing the music of his native Brazil to people around the world, whether it’s in film or in concert, never gets old...even after 50 years. This year, he’ll play in Asia and Europe, as well as in Brazil.  “That’s where I was born, those are my roots. It’s something that I love,” he says. “It’s wonderful to hear people in different countries singing your songs.

Check out "Real In Rio" here.

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

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<p>B.o.B.</p>

B.o.B.

Listen: B.o.B.'s new track, 'So Good' featuring... no one

Atlanta rapper eschews the big names for his next single

B.o.B. has the cure for the winter doldrums with his new single “So Good.” On the mid-tempo swayer, he and his lady are getting away from it all.

Unlike some the rappers’ other singles, like “Airplanes” featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams or “Magic” featuring Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, there’s no high-profile guest featured on the Ryan Tedder-produced track (although the OneRepublic frontman may have taken no credit and could be part of the backing vocals). Instead, there’s a background chorus, whose “La-la-las” give the song and even breezier appeal.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>LMFAO</p>

LMFAO

Watch: LMFAO's 'Sorry For Party Rocking' video with a special guest

Zebras and cops are all down with Sky Blu and Redfoo

You know what? I don’t think LMFAO is remotely apologetic for party rocking. At least not by the likes of the new video for “Sorry For Party Rocking.”  I also am not so sure how much the Redfoo and Sky Blu’s electro-pop anthems lend themselves to complicated linear plot lines, so the duo wisely keeps the hijinks light.

The clip opens with an fake old couple reminiscent of The Ropers from “Three’s Company” or Al and Peg Bundy from “Married With Children,” in that the wife wants some action, but the husband is not in the mood.  He goes over to the party house to get them to turn the noise down, but, of course, no one, even the cops, are about to stop the music.

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: Rihanna and Chris Brown on not one, but two, remixes
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Listen: Rihanna and Chris Brown on not one, but two, remixes

The duo pairs up for 'Birthday Cake' and 'Turn Up The Music'

So what’s worse than Chris Brown and Rihanna reuniting for one remix? How about the fact that they reunited for two remixes.  Just in case we didn’t get the hint that she had forgiven him for bashing her about three years ago, Rihanna not only had Brown appear on the remix of “Birthday Cake,” from her album “Talk That Talk,” but she showed up on a remix of his song “Turn Up The Music” on Monday.

And wait, it gets even better! Monday was Rihanna's birthday!

On the salacious “Birthday Cake” Remix, which has been stretched by nearly two minutes from the short version that appears on the album,  Brown comes in around 1:15 with the phase “Girl I want to fuck you right now/I’ve been missing your body.” 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Madonna</p>
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Madonna

Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP

Music Power Rankings: Whitney Houston, Adele and Madonna

Plus, the Grammy Awards rule

1) Whitney Houston. Listen to this and try not to cry over what we’ve lost.

2) Adele:
Really? You have to ask? We have six, shiny gold reasons.

3) Madonna:
Madge lands her 38th  Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, widening her margin over the Beatles by four. Any other week that would definitely get her the top spot.

4) Grammy Awards: The Feb. 12 ceremony drew more than 41 million viewers, making it the second-most watched Grammy ceremony, ever only behind the 1984 show.

5) Dave Grohl: This rock and roll true believer gets to the heart of the matter with the Foo Fighters’ Grammy acceptance speech: “Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do” We're embroidering it on a pillow.

6) Nicki Minaj
Almost a week after her Grammy performance, I have only one question: What was that?

7) Chris Brown: Love him, hate him, we’re all talking about him this week, aren’t we?

8) Columbia Records: The label is rolling in the dough, as Adele continues her winning ways: Next week “21”  will surpass 7 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling album in nearly seven years (since Carrie Underwood’s “Some Hearts”). 

9) Skrillex:
He's gone from who? to Mr. Three-time Grammy winner  in a beat--or two. 

10) Katy Perry:
Her new single “Part of Me,” which she debuted on the Grammy Awards, will sell more than 400,000 in its first week of digital release, making it  her biggest download week  yet. But you know what really makes her a winner? She had pledged her portion of the proceeds to MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charity that aids musicians in need. Baby, she's a firework.


 

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<p>Young fans pay their respects.</p>

Young fans pay their respects.

Credit: AP Photo

Thoughts on Whitney Houston's funeral and music's sacred, healing powers

Reflections on a service filled with memories and, most of all, song

In the end, it was the bodyguard who said what we all needed to hear—no, not her “Bodyguard” co-star Kevin Costner—but her real-life bodyguard of 11 years, Ray Watson.

As I watched Whitney Houston’s nearly four-hour funeral beamed from Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, and listened to moving speech after moving speech — all of them heartfelt in their own ways, some more poignant than others—it was Watson’s words that resonated the most.

Unlike some of the speakers, Watson had been with Houston virtually every day for 11 years until she died on Feb. 11 and he saw a side of her that none of the others saw on a consistent basis. As she wrapped her last movie, “Sparkle,” this summer, she declared that she and Watson would drive back to New Jersey rather than fly (and since she didn’t drive, that meant the driving chores fell all to Watson...and, furthermore, despite his speaking tenderly, it was clear that her decision was not up for discussion).

As Watson commented on carrying his “precious cargo” back home, he perhaps, unwittingly, revealed how sheltered and isolated she had become—so much so that he worried about stopping during the trip and leaving her alone in the car when he paid for gas. “I told her, ‘Don’t get out of the car’,” he said.

He also spoke lovingly of her Bible, her constant companion, which he, unbeknownst to her, nicknamed Raggedy because it was so dog-eared and underlined. She took it everywhere. That one story did more than any other to humanize her and it felt authentic and true that despite his grief, he felt  that with her death Houston’s spirit came to him to tell him that he was “free.”  In that moment, I felt his sorrow and relief and, moreover, thought that Houston herself was finally free: unshackled of the demons—whether they be drugs or  the paparazzi — that had kept her in chains for too much of her life.

The other “Bodyguard,” Costner, knew he had to find a way to quickly explain his presence at the service and he did so with grace, acknowledging that first appearances would seem to show he and Houston had nothing in common, but they did:  They both grew up in the Baptist church. After he bridged that gap, he told how he stuck up for Houston and made sure she was cast in their 1992 blockbuster, despite others’ misgivings about showing an on-screen interracial romance. It’s a testament to his charm and obvious affection for Houston, that his long speech, which served him as much as Houston,  was one of the most moving...and was one of the few to hint that Houston’s “stumbles” should provide a cautionary tale to young women to “guard their body.”

The service, filled with moving performances by the Winans family, Alicia Keys, Donnie McClurkin, Stevie Wonder, Kim Burrell, R. Kelly and many others,  felt authentic and filled with love for Houston from many people who knew her in varying degrees, professionally and personally.  But most of all, it was Houston’s abiding, deep faith that stuck with me and that dominated the service-- in almost every word that was spoken and every song sung. Filmmaker Tyler Perry, who had known Houston only for four years, spoke eloquently and movingly of the two “constants” he knew about Houston: her grace and “her love of God.”

As Marvin Winans stressed in his eulogy, there is no shame in declaring one’s faith proudly and loudly. Other than in R&B, gospel, country and contemporary Christian music, musicians often hide their faith for fear of being seen as uncool and unhip. A number of acts, including some huge artists who have transitioned from Christian music to mainstream rock, are told to turn down the preaching or risk turning off fans.  Houston’s funeral and Winans’ words showed how wrong that kind of thinking is.

As the service reinforced over and over again, for Houston, there was no separation between music and her faith. The two were intertwined: her talent was a gift from God and how she shared it with millions was her way of honoring Him for bestowing it upon her.  Music provided salvation, healing, and redemption for Houston, as it does for anyone. Furthermore, as singer after singer  praised God in song, especially the choir member who sang The 23rd Psalm, it felt exultant, as if Houston’s spirit was being returned on the music’s glorious wings back up to God.

And that is why it is called a homegoing. RIP, Whitney.

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<p>Adele</p>
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Adele

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Billboard 200 chart preview: Adele's '21' surpasses 7 million

Who else gets a Grammy bump? Whitney Houston's death spurs sales

 Like a tropical storm, Hurricane Adele just keeps getting stronger and stronger. Following her Grammy sweep on Feb. 12, her sophomore album “21,” will set all kinds of milestones next week. First it will celebrate its full year on the chart and it will do so at No. 1. In a nice twist, “21” will laud its 21st week at No. 1, which will give the title the most weeks at No. 1 (surpassing “The Bodyguard” soundtrack) of any album in the 20-year Nielsen SoundScan era.

And for the real news, “21,” after already selling 6.8 million copies in the U.S. is on track to sell up to 680,000 copies, making it the biggest week ever for the album. It’s never going to stop, is it? Not that we want it to. She will surpass the 7 million mark, making the album the biggest seller in the U.S. since Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts," released in 2005.

A fourth and final single from “21,” is coming: the stomping, rhythmic “Rumor Has It.” Its almost certain success will keep bringing new Adele fans to the table.  Her success also brings her first album, “19,” back into the top 10, as that 3-year old album will likely sell up to 90,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

On a sadder note, following her death on Feb. 11, Whitney Houston’s greatest hits soared back into the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 this week on sales of more than 60,000. That number climbs even higher next week, as “Greatest Hits” will rise to No 4 and move up to 90,000. (It’s a toss up between Houston’s “Greatest Hits” and “19,” as to which will end up at No. 4 and which will be No. 5).

Compilations also dominate the top 5. “Now That’s What I Call Music” and the “2012 Grammy Nominees” collection are in a dead heat for the No. 2 spot, with each slated to sell between 90,000-100,000. That’s a nice bounce for the Grammy set, which sold 55,000 this week.

Van Halen’s “A Different Kind Of Truth,” which bowed at No. 2 this week, will likely fall to No. 6. Both “Truth” and Paul McCartney’s “Kisses On The Bottom,” which came in at No.5 are too close to call for the spot, as both will sell between 60,000-65,000.

Rounding out the Top 10 are three Grammy winners and/or performers: Lady Antebellum’s “Own The Night,” the Grammy winner for best country album, will likely be No. 8, while performer Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” will capture No. 9 and Jason Aldean, despite his microphone malfunction while singing with Kelly Clarkson, will see his “My Kinda Party” rebound back into the Top 10, most likely at the bottom spot.

 

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