<p>Michael Buble's Christmas album. Again.</p>
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Michael Buble's Christmas album. Again.

Will Michael Buble's 'Christmas' continue its Billboard 200 reign next week?

Who else surges as holidays sales kick into high gear?

Michael Buble must have been very nice this year as Santa continues filling his stocking with presents. Next week, it may be with as many as 460,000 of them. That’s the number of copies of Buble’s holiday album, “Christmas,” he is expected to sell. That number could propel the title over the 2 million mark in two months.

As Christmas approaches, superstar titles surge and move back up the chart: there are no debuts in the Top 10: it looks like Anthony Hamilton’s superb “Back To Love” will be the highest new entry at No. 14, according to Hits Daily Double.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry's march to No. 1 continues with B.o.B. remix of 'The One That Got Away'

Will it be enough to land her the record-setting sixth No. 1 from 'Teenage Dream?'

Discount single at iTunes? Check. Come up with a new remix? Check. Show up on well-timed, year-end television shows? Check.

Looks like Katy Perry, who hosted “Saturday Night Live” last week and was one of  Barbara Walters’  Most Fascinating People, is on track to make “The One That Got Away” her sixth No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 from “Teenage Dream,” which, as we all know by now, would make her the only artist in pop history to ever do so.

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<p>Paul McCartney</p>

Paul McCartney

Credit: AP Photo

Paul McCartney wants to be your sweetheart on Feb. 7's 'My Valentine'

Romantic set focuses on tunes from the '20s and '40s

Newlywed Paul McCartney has got that lovin’ feeling. On Feb. 7, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Sir Paul will release “My Valentine” on Concord/Hear Music.

The Tommy LiPuma-produced set will contain new McCartney-penned odes, because you never can really have enough silly love songs, as well as songs from the 1920s-1940s that his father loved and a young McCartney heard growing up. “My family, my uncles, everybody sang,” he told a French radio station (via Direct Contact). “And there will be pieces I wrote, but in this style...I worked with Diana Krall, and great jazz musicians like John Clayton. This is an album very tender, very intimate. This is an album you listen to at home after work, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea.”

It will be a big week for McCartney, who will be honored Feb. 10 in Los Angeles as MusiCares Person of the Year, the annual fundraiser produced by The Recording Academy two nights before the Grammys.


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<p>The Chieftans</p>

The Chieftans

Credit: Thechieftans.com

Bon Iver, Decemberists, Civil Wars join the Chieftains for 'Voice of Ages'

Venerated Irish band pairs with indie, Americana and folk artists for new set

The DecemberistsBon Iver, The  Civil Wars, The Low Anthem, Pistol Annies and Carolina Chocolate Drops all join The Chieftains on the legendary Irish outfit’s “Voice of Ages,” out  Feb. 21.

Co-produced by T Bone Burnett, the set also features Punch Brothers, Imelda May, Lisa Hannigan and Paolo Nutini mixing it up on a collection, as well as writing some of the material: The Civil Wars write a song specifically for the project.

The Chieftains will kick off a tour in conjunction with the release on Feb. 17  in Santa Barbara, which will culminate in their annual St. Patrick’s Day show in New York. This year’s St. Paddy’s show will also serve as a 50th anniversary celebration.

The band has a long history of collaborating with musicians from all different genres, and has recorded in the past with Mark Knopfler, Tom Jones, Ziggy Marley, Jackson Browne, Madonna, Sting, Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger and dozens more.


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<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert sets date for second post-'AI' album, 'Trespassing'

Listen to the new single, 'Better Than I Know Myself'

It looks like Adam Lambert held out on all his Glamberts! On Wednesday, he tweeted the album cover for new single, “Better Than I Know Myself” and a 30-second snippet of the song, but left out the big news: the release date for his second, post-”American Idol” album, “Trespassing.”

The set will come out March 20 on 19 Entertainment/RCA.  Fans who pre-order the album on Dec. 20, will get an instant, free download of “Better Than I Know Myself,” which goes on sales next Tuesday.  (Even though we're still in 2011, March 20 is starting to look like a major release date: both The Shins and Madonna announce this week that they will also release albums in "late March").

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: Adam Lambert's new single 'Better Than I Know Myself'
Credit: RCA

Listen: Adam Lambert's new single 'Better Than I Know Myself'

When is the full song coming?

So it's only a snippet but long-suffering Adam Lambert fans finally got a tease of what's coming next from their favorite "American Idol" contestant.

There have been a lot of fits and starts to get us to this point, many of which have been chronicled by Lambert for his little Glamberts in exhaustive detail via Twitter.

But today, we got a 30-second (okay, 27-second) tidbit of "Better Than I Know Myself," the first single from Lambert's second album. The full single will be available on Dec. 20-- Happy Holidays From Adam-- and the full album, "Trespassing," is expected in 2012.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Rihanna performs at a concert in Budapest, Hungary earlier this month.</p>

Rihanna performs at a concert in Budapest, Hungary earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai

Does Rihanna hold off a surging Katy Perry on this week's Billboard Hot 100?

Who does she beat if she can stay at No. 1 one more week?

Rihanna's "We Found Love" finds its way to a seventh week atop Billboard's Hot 100, but can the singer fend off a surge by Katy Perry

Perry's "The One That Got Away" soars 9-4 on this week's chart, in part due to a 69-cent sale price on the single, as well as a small gain in radio play.

But back to Rihanna. If "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris can last at least one more week at No. 1, it will hold the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in 2011, besting Adele's "Rolling In the Deep," with which it is currently tied. Additionally, should "We Found Love" make it another week at the top, it will become Rihanna's longest chart-topping single: Both "Umbrella" and Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," which featured Rihanna were also No. 1 for seven weeks.

As we chart watchers know by now, "We Found Love's" hold on No. 1 means that LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" stays locked out of the top spot once again and spends its sixth week at No. 2, according to Billboard.  Similarly, Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" hangs out at No. 3 for another week, while Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" stays at No. 5.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Ni**as In Paris" skips two places to No. 6, Adele's "Someone Like You" falls one spot to No. 6, Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" featuring Christina Aguilera drops the farthest in the Top 10, sliding from No. 4-8, while David Guetta's "Without You" featuring Usher moves No. 7-9.

Closing out the Top 10 is T-Pain's "5 O'Clock" featuring Wiz Khalifa and Lily Alen, which inches up one spot. That's good enough to give Allen her first TOp 10 hit, Khalifa his fourth and T-Pain his 15th as both a lead and featured artist.

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<p>Madonna arrives at a special screening of her film &quot;W.E.&quot;&nbsp;in New York City earlier this month.</p>

Madonna arrives at a special screening of her film "W.E." in New York City earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

UPDATED: The Top 5 Interscope artists Madonna should duet with

New album out in March, single in late January

Are Madonna and her new label home Interscope a good fit?  Can she and Lady Gaga exist on the same roster?  As rumored for several weeks, the Material Girl  has signed with  Jimmy Iovine’s label followed the end of her 25-year career on Warner Bros. (first through Seymour Stein’s Sire Records).

Today, both the New York Post and Billboard  report confirmation of the deal from unnamed sources. The Post says it is a 3-album deal, the first of which will be her 2012 album. Additionally, Madonna has her already existing multi-facted pact with Live Nation that includes touring and merchandise. The deal with Interscope will be a licensing deal through her Live Nation pact.

We'll get to the five duet partners in a second, but first our thoughts on the deal.

So does this make sense? Yes and no.  Madonna is so iconic, in some ways we’re surprised that she felt the need to sign another major label deal. Surely, she could self release her albums.

[More after the jump...]

Of course she could, but if you look at the legions of artists, veteran and still blooming, who release their own albums, most of them are not relying on radio play. As legendary as Ms. Ciccone is, to really sell albums (and downloads) and, most importantly, to prove her relevancy as a contemporary artist, she has to have her new songs on radio. That’s why we’re seeing her record with the likes of Nicki Minaj. And to achieve major success on pop radio, you still need to be on a major label.

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Album Review: Anthony Hamilton's ' So In Love' captivates
Credit: RCA

Album Review: Anthony Hamilton's ' So In Love' captivates

Keri Hilson and Babyface drop by on neo-soul singer's latest

As we head into the holiday season, some new albums inevitably get lost among the mistletoe and tinsel. That’s why we wanted to call attention to a little gem: Anthony Hamilton’s “Back To Love.”

The R&B singer’s latest studio album came out yesterday (Dec. 13), but we just got around to listening to it today and it is a smooth, sexy blast of fresh air. The former D’Angelo back-up singer, has been one of the finest purveyors of the neo-soul sound over the course of his last several albums, but on “Back To Love,” he stretches his wings to successfully blend a more contemporary feel to the material without ever sacrificing the emotion.

[More after the jump...]

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The Shins set release date for 'Port of Morrow,' sort of

The Shins set release date for 'Port of Morrow,' sort of

When can you expect their Columbia debut?

The Shins’ fourth album, “Port of Morrow,” will come out in March via head Shin James Mercer’s  Aural Apothecary label and Columbia. A specific date will be announced shortly.

Recording in Los Angeles and Portland, the Greg Kurstin-produced album is the first with the relatively new Shins line-up of bassist Yuuki Matthews, guitarist Jessica Dobson, keyboardist Richard Swift and drummer Joe Plummer. Mercer parted ways with founding members keyboardist Marty Crandall and drummer Jesse Sandoval in 2009. 

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