Rihanna opened her “Loud” tour June 4 at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena to rave reviews. The local paper, The Baltimore Sun, went so far as to call it “one of the best pop concerts so far this year” and many reviewers praised the high-energy, hit-laden show.
Ri-Ri also threw in a few well-placed covers, including Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” She might as well take it since he doesn’t perform it any more due to religious reasons. We embedded it down below for your pleasure. Plus, she gave a lap dance to a female fan.
Here’s what some outlets said about the show, which features Cee-Lo as the opener.
Bark + Bite: Rihanna has grown immensely as a performer. No, she's not a dancer like Beyonce or a crazy pianist like Lady Gaga, but Rihanna is a certified entertainer. She played and interacted with the crowd and most importantly, she sang live and she sang live well.
Rolling Stone: Beyond just the volume of the show -- which was considerable -- the [“Loud”] theme prevailed through the set, built around a giant speaker cabinet; the costumes (mostly neon and shiny); and the entire production itself: a gloriously over-the-top spectacle perfectly befitting the singer, who seems to produce chart-toppers by the dozen.
“American Idol” runner up Lauren Alaina will begin recording her debut album this week in Nashville for Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope.
Though we have no further info, we can confirm that winner Scotty McCreery’s first post-”Idol” album will also be on Mercury Nashville.
Both singers released their coronation singles via Mercury Nashville, but the label hadn’t confirmed that it would release their full albums.
Alaina’s single, “Like My Mother Does,” debuted at No. 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, which is the highest debut for a second place finalist in six years. It debuted at No. 49 on the Hot Country Songs chart and jumps to No. 43 this week. The compilation of her songs performed on "AI" bowed on the Country Albums chart at No. 9
It’s a big week for Alaina in that she also makes her debut at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday in Nashville.
Given that McCreery is also signed to Mercury Nashville and we’re getting pumped on Alaina, we would surmise that her album may come out first. No word on when that release will be.
The release slate remains a little light in the wake of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” although there are some tasty rock treats coming June 7 from Arctic Monkeys, Dawes and Sondre Lerche.
Adelitas Way, “Home School Valedictorian” (Virgin): Las Vegas rock band is firing on all cylinders with Top 10 first single “Sick” and a summer tour with Seether.
All Time Low, “Dirty Work” (Interscope): Punk popsters release their first album for Interscope after a few sets on Hopeless Records. Produced by John Fields, Matt Squire and Mike Green, the set takes its title from the band’s past, according to lead singer Alexander Gaskarth.
Arctic Monkeys, “Suck It and See” (Domino): The hype on this British band has eased a little since their 2006 debut was the fastest selling album in British music history but there’s still enough excitement for the Alex Turner-led rock band to headline Lollapalooza in August. They recorded their fourth studio album in Los Angeles, which may account for the material’s largely sunny material. Benny Benassi, “Electroman” (Ultra): Grammy-winning Italian DJ swings for the fences with latest dance set featuring T-Pain, Chris Brown, Kelis and Black Eyed Peas’ apl.de.ap.
Dawes, “Nothing Is Wrong” (ATO): If they’re good enough to back up Robbie Robertson, you better believe they’re good enough for you on this, the L.A.-based Americana rock band’s second full-length set.
Ronnie Dunn, “Ronnie Dunn” (Arista Nashville): The lead singing half of Brooks & Dunn releases his first solo album following the pair’s split last year. No offense to Kix Brooks, but you might not notice much of a difference...
Sondre Lerche, “Sondre Lerche” (Mona): Norwegian singer/songwriter sets up shop with his own label for his seventh album. He described the album’s growth from his previous efforts to Hitfix’s Katie Hasty as "going from being somebody's son to becoming your own man." Randy Travis, “Anniversary Celebration” (Warner): What good is celebrating 25 years of making music if you don’t have friends like Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Don Henley, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw and George Jones to drop by. Luckily, Travis does.
Lady Gaga gets another week at No. 1 with "Born This Way" on the Billboard 200 and then we'll see if Adele's "21" can bob back up to the top spot one more time.
After selling close to 1.1 million copies this past week with a little help from deep discounting via Amazon, "Born This Way" drops to around 195,000, according to Hits Daily Double. That's enough to stay in the top spot, as Adele's "21" should handily come in at No. 2 with 130,000 copies.
Following those two ladies, four acts will likely debut in the Top 10: Death Cab for Cutie's "Codes and Keys" looks good for a No. 3 slot with a 30,000 sales lead on Eddie Vedder's "Ukulele Songs," which is poised to come in at No. 3 with sales of around 60,000. Brad Paisley's "This is Country Music" will drop from 2-5, and then another debut, My Morning Jacket's "Circuital" lands at No. 6.
"Now 38" is No. 7, Jason Aldean's ‘My Kinda Party" hangs at No. 8, while Flogging Molly's "Speed of Darkness" bows at No. 9. Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More" keeps hanging in there within the Top 10.
All of her efforts paid off. Lady Gagaâ€™s â€œBorn This Wayâ€ ended up selling around 1.1 million in its opening frame, making it the best first week tally since 50 Centâ€™s 2005 set â€œThe Massacre,â€ sold 1.14 million in its first week.Â Only 17 albums have accomplished the feat in the 20 years that Nielsen SoundScan has been keeping countâ€”the last to do so was Taylor Swiftâ€™s â€œSpeak Now,â€ which squeaked by last fall with 1,006,000 copies.
1) Lady Gaga (Last Week: No. 1): If she was â€œBorn This Way,â€ why did she still have to work so hard to sell 1.1 million albums?
2) Apple (not ranked): The new iCloud is here, the new iCloud is here!
3) Coachella Coachella (not ranked): No, youâ€™re not seeing double. The Indio, Calif. rock festival will become a twin as it announces that next year it will hold two identical festivals, featuring the exact same acts both weekends. Letâ€™s hope they clean the port-a-potties on the off days.
4) Sony (not ranked): So they give up their â€œAmerican Idolâ€ rights (and just in the nick of time, it would seem) but pick up â€œGlee.â€ Now, theyâ€™ve smartly hedged their bets and gone ahead and inked a deal to replace music from â€œSmash,â€ NBCâ€™s mid-season replacement about the making of Broadway musical. Itâ€™s executive produced by Steven Spielberg and stars Katherine McPhee. Look, all roads do lead back to â€œAI.â€
5) Scotty McCreery (No. 2): Speaking of â€œAI,â€ the new winnerâ€™s first single, â€œI Love You This Big,â€ enters Billboardâ€™s Hot Country Songs chart at no. 32, the highest ever for a new artist on the chart in at least 21 years since BDS has kept track. Take that, doubting country music programmers.
6) Alex Da Kid (not ranked): Grammy-winner producer best known for his work with Eminem gets his own Interscope label, KIDinaKORNER. That will be the absolute last time we indulge him by writing it that way. First signing is singer/songwriter Skylar Grey, with whom he and Em co-wrote â€œLove the Way You Lie.â€
7) Bjork (not ranked): She takes The Gorillazâ€™ â€œThe Fall,â€ which was created primarily on an iPad, several steps further with Blophilla. It will be made on an iPod and then releasedÂ via as iPad apps.
8) Vevo (not ranked): After rival YouTubeÂ live streamed the Coachella festival, Vevo gets into the game withÂ exclusive rights to stream next weekendâ€™s Bonnaroo, snagging it away from YouTube who streamed it last year. Viva la Vevo.
9) Adele (not ranked): Even while sheâ€™s sick and has to cancel the remainder of her U.S. tour, sheâ€™s still setting records. She becomes the first woman to have a song, â€œRolling in the Deep,â€ topÂ the Mainstream Top 40, Triple A and Hot 100 Airplay charts. Just start clearing the shelf for all the Grammys now.
10) Foo Fighters (not ranked): They didnâ€™t do anything that spectacular this week except for put out another amazing video, this time for "Walk."Â Anyone who references â€œFalling Downâ€ is thumbs up with us.
We already know that Paramore and “Twilight” go together. Now we’ll see how well the Hayley Williams’-fronted band goes with “Transformers.”
The Nashville rock group released “Monster” today to the interwebs, after announcing its inclusion in the movie last week. It appears in the new movie, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” the third in the “Transformers” franchise. The song is the first from the band since the departure of Josh and Zac Farro in a very public, ugly departure last winter.
“Monster” is a tortured, mid-tempo burner, the likes of which Paramore, stripped down to a trio, can pretty much do in its sleep now, so the song breaks no knew ground. Lyrically, there’s lots of water analogies about sinking and drowning, wrapped around promises of “stopping the whole world from turning into a monster, eating us alive.” The second verse hints at major conflict and being a traitor. It is tailor-made for a video featuring Shia Labouef running away from the Big Bads with new playmate Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
The single is on sale June 7. The soundtrack comes out June 14 and the movie opens June 29.
What do you think? Do you like it better than Linkin Park's song, "Iridescent," for "Transformers 3?"
Adele has cancelled the nine remaining dates on her sold-out North American tour due to vocal issues.
The British singer, whose current album, “21,” spent nine weeks atop the Billboard 200 this year, had already postponed five shows last week due to laryngitis and was slated to resume with the June 4 show at San Francisco's Warfield Theater. Today came word that the rest of the tour would be scotched after a voice doctor recommended total vocal rest for the next few weeks. The theater outing started May 12, but Adele was only able to complete eight of the 22 planned shows. Among the cancellations are two Los Angeles show for next week, including a sold-out Greek Theater gig.
“I’m really frustrated. I was hoping with a week’s rest I’d be better to sing again straight away,” said Adele in a statement. “However there is absolutely nothing I can do but take the doctor’s advice and rest some more. I'm so sorry. See you soon.”
Though Columbia Records says plans to reschedule cancelled dates “are being investigated,” there is no word on when they might take place.
Adele’s single, “Rolling In the Deep” is No. 1 for the fourth week on the Billboard Hot 100.
For more information on the cancelled dates go to www.adele.tv.
Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” gets another week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week, but no one is as excited as DJ Khaled as “I’m on One” featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne storms 78-10.
Artists are mainly shifting seats within the rest of the Top 10. Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack and Nayer moves 3-2, swaps places with Katy Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West. Pitbull has two tunes in the Top 5 as Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” featuring the Latin rapper moves 5-4, switching spots with the Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” holds its ground at No. 6, as does Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” at No. 7.
Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” rebounds nicely on the back of the album release of “Born This Way,” as it moves 19-8. LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock slips 8-9.
“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery just misses landing in the Top 10 as “I Love You This Big” at No. 11, while runner-up Lauren Alaina bows at No. 20 with “Like My Mother Does.” That means both of their post-”Idol” debuts best last season winner Lee DeWyze’s single, “Beautiful Day,” which started at No. 24.
All Dave Grohl needs is to trade in his guitar case for a brief case and his hippie hair for a crew cut and his transformation would be complete in the video for the Foo Fighters' “Walk," which is a dead-on homage to the 1993 Michael Douglas movie “Falling Down.”
In fact, the opening is an almost shot-for-shot recreation of the opening of the Joel Schumacher-directed film. We wouldn’t even call it a spoof of the movie, although the video definitely adds some humor such as using Slim Jims and other food stuffs as opposed to a bat to attack the convenience store clerk and a hilarious “Fries With That” hat at the fast food store. Plus, there’s the added delight of his band mates playing the main aggrevators as Grohl’s character’s spirals out of control.
Of course, rock and roll is all the salvation Grohl needs. He joins his bandmates in the secret Foo Fighters warehouse and everything gets better, for a teeny bit, until the coppers show up. The final scene is vintage Foos.
While we’re at it, the Foos have consistently come up with some of the most entertaining and inventive videos throughout their 15-year career, whether it's the clip for "Learning To Fly," "Long Road To Ruin" or "White Limo." Grohl is always game. This is one more to add to their great videos reel.
While we’re at it, we’d like to put in a plug for “Falling Down.” Some critics love it, some hate it (I loved it every time I've watching it, which is a lot), but it is Douglas at his absolute best as a man who goes over the edge as issues, big and small, mount. It’s a brilliant character study and a commentary on how close we all are, no matter how "normal" we may seem, to “falling down” into an abyss at any moment.
Is Lady Gaga her own worst enemy at pop radio? As the numbers show, her endless promotional tour and deep price discounts at Amazon resulted in more than 1 million copies of “Born This Way” being sold in its opening frame. So far so good.
But the weak link is radio. The star, whom BMI named songwriter of the year two weeks ago for having the most played songs at radio in 2010, is having a bit of a hiccup there.
While the title track to “Born This Way” reached No. 1, second single “Judas” never got any traction at radio and sank like a stone. Third single, “The Edge of Glory,” dropped from 3-12 on the Hot 100 in its second week (expect it to rise later this week due to digital sales).
“It comes down to one basic flaw: [the new songs] just aren’t as catchy as her previous hits,” says a Top 40 DJ from the Midwest, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The highest praise ‘Judas’ seemed to get was ‘Meh, it’s alright.’ ‘The Edge of Glory’ seems to have its fans, but I’m not sure about its long-term viability as a radio single. We dropped ‘Judas,’ but we’re still playing ‘The Edge of Glory.”
“The songs aren’t nearly as catchy,” agrees Cash, a DJ at Pulse 102, a rhythmic-leaning Top 40 station in Raleigh, N.C. “The first time I heard ‘Poker Face,’ it blew me away. ‘Just Dance’ was another ‘one listen’ song.”
Like our midwest DJ, Cash his high hopes for “Edge of Glory,” which, despite dropping on the chart last week is still reacting well in call-out research at the station, unlike “Judas,” which got “lots of negatives on the request line.” (To be fair, Cash says “Born This Way” got negative responses too).
As our album review stated, Lady Gaga seemingly (and fearlessly) disregarded current pop radio trends when it came to making “Born This Way” and made an album that didn’t pander to radio in any way. That’s fine, that’s what a real artist does, but it can have consequences. Plus, she promoted the album primarily via television, appearing on everything from “The View” to “The Tonight Show” and back again for months. The campaign also relied highly on tweets and her website. There was no semblance of any kind of regular radio promotional tour, although we’re the first to say the lack or airplay didn’t seem to hurt album sales.
Plus, radio is still feasting on tracks from “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster.” In fact the Midwest DJ said the only past hit not in rotation is “Alejandro.” On Pulse 102, “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance” both still garner a lot of spins, while “Paparazzi” gets trotted out from time to time.
Is there hope? Absolutely and it’s too soon to ring any true alarm .There’s still some life in “Edge of Glory”— how much remains to be seen. And our Midwest DJ has high hopes for piano ballad “U and I,” which was produced by Mutt Lange, best known for his work with Def Leppard and Shania Twain. “I think [it] will be a big hit in the Midwest, as it’s Gaga doing Nickelback,” he says. We’re not so sure what LG would think of that comparison.
Mr. Midwest also suggests one sure-fire way that we’ll know if Interscope, is starting to get a little twitchy about a lack of radio play: “Right now, the spectacle is keeping her above the fray, but if her next single suddenly has a featured artist added, you’ll know her label is starting to get uneasy.” Maybe they should put Nicki Minaj on speed dial.