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Credit: Dan Steinberg/AP

Listen: Ke$ha takes on Bob Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright'

It's for a good cause, but does that make it OK?

Ke$ha raised eyebrows when it was revealed her cover of Bob Dylan’s classic “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” would be included on the massive 76-song compilation, “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan,”  coming out Jan. 24.

She is joined by such artists as Adele, My Morning Jacket, and Miley Cyrus on the set, which benefits Amnesty International.

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Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP

Adele talks next album, Amy Winehouse and being on the 'Z-List'

What makes the he top-selling artist of the year miserable?

Don’t hold out for “23” from Adele.  Billboard’s 2011 artist of the year is not only recovering from throat surgery, the musician, whose first two albums were called “19” and “21,” says she has not even started writing for her third album.

The 23-year-old tells Billboard that, furthermore, she has no idea when she’ll start. “I'm really looking forward to some time to do nothing,” Adele says, in the email-conducted interview. “I imagine I'll be 25 or 26 by the time my next record comes out, as I haven't even thought about my third record yet. I'm just gonna lay some concrete, set up home and just ‘be’ for a bit. I'll disappear and come back with a record when it's good enough. There will be no new music until it's good enough and until I'm ready."

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Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

Music Power Rankings: Adele and Michael Buble top Madonna and Jay-Z

The Black Keys make the list for the first time

1) Adele: Billboard names her its 2011 artist of the year. With the widespread success she’s had, we wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up on the cover of “Guns & Ammo.”

2) Black Keys: As the duo continues to build, look for “El Camino” to debut at No. 2 on next week’s Billboard 200 with sales of close 200,000. That’s up from 73,000 for the opening frame for 2010’s “Brothers.” Withholding music from Spotify is the new black.

3) Michael Buble
: The Canadian crooner is the holiday season’s It Boy, as his “Christmas” collection looks to be this year’s preferred stocking stuffer.

4) Madonna: Her rumored Super Bowl half-time appearance gets confirmed. Time for us all to get into the groove.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Michael Buble's Christmas album again</p>
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Michael Buble's Christmas album again

It's snowing Michael Buble's 'Christmas' on the Billboard 200 next week

How does Amy Winehouse's posthumous set sell?

Think Michael Buble had a good week this week when “Christmas” moved 292,000 units to outsell Adele’s “21” by a two-to-one margin and retain his No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200? Then just wait until next week when “Christmas” possibly surpasses the 500,000 mark.

Every now and then a Christmas title takes over the charts and dominates through the holidays (even if it doesn’t camp out at No. 1): it’s happened with Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” Josh Groban’s “Noel” and now it’s Buble’s moment. This week’s new release from the Black Keys was the only possible challenger at the top and the album didn’t come close (more about that later). We predict that “Christmas” is a lock to stay at No. 1 until 2012.  So why does it surge to such high numbers next week? The increase is, in large part, due to his primetime special on Dec. 6 on NBC.

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<p>Frontman Eddie Vedder performs with Pearl Jam in Sao Paulo, Brazil last month.</p>

Frontman Eddie Vedder performs with Pearl Jam in Sao Paulo, Brazil last month.

Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner

Pearl Jam sets European tour dates, including Isle of Wight Festival

Is a U.S. tour next?

Pearl Jam will kick off a series of European headlining gigs  on June 20 and include a show at the Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K. on June 23.

The headliners for Isle of Wight this year are the top of vintage American rock acts with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers playing June 22 and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing June 24.

Pearl Jam, who celebrated their 20th anniversary all year long this year, including with the fine documentary “Pearl Jam 20,” will spend three weeks touring Europe. No word on a new U.S. tour yet.

Los Angeles punk band X, who has toured with the band before, will serve as the opener. For a fun interview with X’s Exene Cervenka about touring with Eddie Vedder and the boys, as well as some other illuminated comments, go here

Pearl Jam's European tour dates:

June 20: Manchester, U.K. (MEN Arena) ?
June 23: Isle of Wright, U.K. (Isle of Wight Festival) ?
June 26: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Ziggo Dome) ?
June 29: Werchter, Belgium (Rockwerchter Festival)
July 4: Berlin, Germany (O2 Arena)
July 7: Stockholm, Sweden (Ericsson Globe Arena) ?
July 9: Oslo, Norway (Spektrum) ?
July 10: Copenhagen, Denmark (Forum)


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Download Tim McGraw's jangly 'Christmas All Over the World' for free
Credit: StyleSonic Records

Download Tim McGraw's jangly 'Christmas All Over the World' for free

Plus, new holiday treats from Lyle Lovett

Tim McGraw got his Christmas present early when a judge decided that he could, indeed, get released from his record contract from Curb Records, with whom he has been feuding for years now.

So now, he’s spreading his joy with his fans via this free download of “Christmas All Over the World,” a rocking, twangy little tune written by Daniel Tashian and Troy Verges. The Beatlesque backing vocals and Glen Campbell-style guitar playing are a nice touch. And McGraw sounds great. It is available for free via AOL on Dec. 8 and then, starting Dec. 9, through timmcgraw.com. Hear it here.

McGraw, who embarks on a stadium tour with buddy Kenny Chesney next summer, released the song on his StyleSonic Records. He’ll have a new album out next year-- although it’s unclear if it will come out via StyleSonic or if he’s looking for another major label deal. 

Fellow soon-to-be-ex-Curb artist Lyle Lovett also just released a Christmas EP, “Songs for the Season.” Produced by Lovett and Nathaniel Kunkel, the online release features the Vince Guaraldi/ “Peanuts” classic “Christmastime is Here,” as well as “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet with Kat Edmonson,” and a few other treats.  On other Lovett news, the four-time Grammy winner will release his last set for Curb on Feb. 28. Appropriately enough, the album is titled "Release Me," 

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<p>Jay Z</p>
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Jay Z

Credit: Charlies Sykes/AP

Jay-Z set to headline Carnegie Hall's first hip-hop series

The two shows will benefit education in New York

Jay Z will be headline two shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Feb. 6-7.  The two concerts are benefits for the United Way and Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation (Carter is Jay Z’s real name).

“It’s every artists dream to play a venue as legendary as Carnegie Hall,” said Jay Z in a statement. “The fact that I can use the arts and my talent to benefit the education of the next generation of artist, entrepreneurs and great thinkers makes for a legendary night. I’m proud to be a part of the continuing work of United Way of New York City and expanding the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.”

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Watch: Willow Smith and Nicki Minaj ignite on 'Fireball'
Credit: Live Nation

Watch: Willow Smith and Nicki Minaj ignite on 'Fireball'

The pair take to the streets in Hype Williams-directed clip

It’s safe to say that lack of confidence will not ever be an issue with little Willow Smith, the spawn of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.  Really, what other 11-year old has the cojones to start her video in the same style as the legendary opening credits from “Star Wars?”

The Hype Williams-directed “Fireball” featuring, of course, Nicki Minaj, debuted on B.E.T.’s “”106th and Park” on Wednesday.  Smith continues on in her Rihanna mini-me mode in her spoken/sung delivery, although this song, to keep it in “Star Wars” parlance, is from a galaxy far far away from “Whip My Hair” and a far better one at that. (Musically, however, the song features the same military beat as "Run The World (Girls)" from Beyonce).

[More after the jump...]

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Rihanna makes it 6 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, LMFAO isn't laughing

Kayne West and Jay-Z score their first top 10 from 'Watch the Throne'

It’s a very familiar picture by now. For the sixth week in a row, Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris tops the Billboard Hot 100 and leaves LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” in the runner-up slot for the fifth week.

That means “Sexy” has been a bridesmaid for the longest time frame since Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” got stuck at No. 2 for seven weeks in 2009-2010, according to Billboard.

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<p>Afghan Whigs</p>

Afghan Whigs

Afghan Whigs reform for ATP's 'I'll Be Your Mirror,' Guided By Voices out

Band will headline London and Asbury Park events

The Afghan Whigs will play their first show in 13 years when the Greg Dulli-led band reunites for All Tomorrow’s Parties “I’ll Be Your Mirror” festival  at London’s Alexandra Palace  on May 27.

The revered Cincinnati band  are taking the slot that had been held by Guided By Voices, who cancelled because they broke up and have cancelled all 2012 (and we presume beyond that) bookings.

Other performers during the May 25-27 festival, curated by Mogwai and ATP, include Slayer, Sleep, Mudhoney, Yuck, the Melvins, and a reunited Codeine.  Newly added are The Archers of Loaf and Chavez, who reformed last year.

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