Some thoughts on Billboard's album and singles chart changes post-Lady Gaga

Some thoughts on Billboard's album and singles chart changes post-Lady Gaga

What will the pricing threshold mean for you?

Call it the Lady Gaga rule. Billboard has set a pricing threshold for albums and singles to come on the Billboard 200 album and the Hot 100 singles charts.

Effective with the charts dated Dec. 10  for the tracking week that starts Nov. 21), any album selling for less than $3.49 for its first four weeks will not be eligible for the chart. After that, discount away. For the singles chart, any track selling for less than .39 cents during its first three months will not be allowed on the chart.

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<p>Miranda Lambert poses backstage at the 2011 CMAs after winning the Female Vocalist of the Year award.</p>

Miranda Lambert poses backstage at the 2011 CMAs after winning the Female Vocalist of the Year award.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Miranda Lambert, Chad Kroeger, Gavin DeGraw tapped to salute CMT artists of the year

Also, check out which country artists are headed to the White House

Miranda Lambert,  Matthew McConaughey, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, and Ellen DeGeneres are among the artists who will honor the 2011 CMT Artists of the Year in a special that will air Dec. 13 on CMT.com. Rob Lowe will host the 90-minute program, taped at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

The artists of the year—Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift—were chosen based on sales, airplay, concert grosses and internet activity.

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<p>Scott Weiland in &quot;Winter Wonderland&quot;</p>

Scott Weiland in "Winter Wonderland"

Watch: Scott Weiland takes us to a 'Winter Wonderland'

Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver singer gets his croon on

Scott Weiland is getting his Bing Crosby croon on in this nostalgic video for “Winter Wonderland” from the Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver front man’s totally non-ironic take on one of the most popular holiday standards.

The tune is from Weiland’s “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” out now, which features Weiland warbling through a number of Christmas classics surrounded by lush orchestrations and a big band.

[More after the jump...]

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Can Rihanna make it three weeks in a row atop the Billboard Hot 100?
Credit: Def Jam Records

Can Rihanna make it three weeks in a row atop the Billboard Hot 100?

Why is Taylor Swift happy this week?

Rihanna’s enduring relationship with the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 continues as “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris logs its third week at the summit.

The single, the first track from Rihanna’s new album, “Talk That Talk,” out Nov. 21, gets some company as the next single from the set, “You Da One” debuts at No. 73.

Rihanna isn’t the only one with good news: Taylor Swift has three songs debut within the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100: “If This Was a Movie” starts at No. 10, while “Ours,” which she performed on the CMA Awards, arrives at  No. 13 (Tay-Tay’s favorite number) and “Superman” flies in at No. 26.  Why the activity?  In addition to the CMAs, last week marked the songs’ digital availability after being only physically available on the special edition “Speak Now” CD offered exclusively at Target, according to Billboard.

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<p>Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson &quot;Immortal&quot;</p>
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Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson "Immortal"


Listen: Michael Jackson mash-up of 'Dancing Machine/Blame It On the Boogie"

Music from Cirque du Soleil's 'Immortal' show comes out Nov. 21

Michael Jackson’s “The Immortal World Tour” opened Oct. 2 in Montreal. The show, produced in collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and Jackson’s estate, features ambitious reinventions of some of the King of Pop’s biggest hits, performed by a live band as Cirque’s acrobats do seemingly impossible feats. The band, led by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, plays to the late singer’s vocals.

Similarly to Cirque du Soleil’s tremendsously popular “Love,” which is built around the Beatles' hits,  “Immortal” takes Jackson’s music (solo and with the Jackson 5) and creates mash-ups and new arrangements. However, in the case of “Love,” the musical designers were George Martin, who, of course, produced all the Beatles hits originally, and his talented son Giles.  Music designer Kevin Antunes handles the duties for Cirque. He is best known for his work with The New Kids on the Block, Marky Mark, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync.

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<p>Ingrid Michaelson</p>

Ingrid Michaelson

Credit: Shervin Lainez

Listen: Ingrid Michaelson's wrenching new single, 'Ghost'

When does her new album hit the streets?

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Ingrid Michaelson, but she’s back to haunt us with the dramatic “Ghost.”  She’s “broken down the middle of my heart, heart....” from love’s disastrous results.  She’s left to roam the halls with the pieces of her that haven’t already died from her lover’s negligence.

The string-laden, wrenching track, which premiered on EW.com today, is a stunning return from the New York singer-songwriter and the opening salvo from her David Kahne-produced fourth album, “Human Again,” out Jan. 24. Hear it here.   If you're having a tough time with your own relationship and need to have a good cry, you'll be sobbing by the time you reach the bridge.

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Watch: 'American Idols' Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams duet on 'Cold Outside'
Credit: AP Photo

Watch: 'American Idols' Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams duet on 'Cold Outside'

Watch them warm up on their jazzy take on the wintry classic

Former “American Idols” Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams are in a frisky, holiday mood as thy duet on the wintertime classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”  It’s a sweet, jazzy video that we think the Gap should immediately appropriate for its Christmas campaign.

The video comes a day after fellow season 10 finalist Paul McDonald released his duet with his wife, “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed on a sweet, country-flavored tune called “Now That I Found You.”

[More after the jump...]

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Download for free: The Fray's new video for 'Heartbeat'

Download for free: The Fray's new video for 'Heartbeat'

Who brought the marshmallows for the s'mores?

The Fray’s Isaac Slade may want to “kiss your scars tonight” as he sings in the group’s new single, “Heartbeat,” but he also wants you to download the video for free.

The video for the track, which is soaring up Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart and this week is sandwiched between, oddly enough, Nickelback and LMFAO, premiered today on iTunes.

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Foo Fighters and Joan Jett to recreate blazing 'Bad Reputation' tonight on 'Letterman'
Credit: AP Photo

Foo Fighters and Joan Jett to recreate blazing 'Bad Reputation' tonight on 'Letterman'

Watch the video from their MSG performance last week

They are very few people on this planet cooler than Dave Grohl, but one who definitely fits the bill is Joan Jett, whose coolness is off the meter.

As fans of both acts know, Jett joined the Foo Fighters a few days ago at New York's Madison Square Garden for a blazing version of Jett’s punk classic, “Bad Reputation.” It’s fun to watch Pat Smear and Grohl bouncing around, obviously having the time of their lives, as Jett tears the roof off MSG.  Grohl, who notes it's the first time they've performed together, appropriately introduces her as “the baddest motherfucker I know”  and calls it the "greatest fucking night of the tour." I'm convinced that if you look up "true believer" in the rock and roll dictionary, there would be a picture of Jett, who wrote this song with her longtime manager Kenny Laguna, Ritchie Cordell and Marty Joe Kupersmith more than (gasp) 30 years ago.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jonsi</p>

Jonsi

Listen: Sigur Rós's Jónsi and Cameron Crowe's 'Gathering Stories' from 'Zoo'

Sparkling magical tune is one of two the Icelandic artist wrote for the Oscar contender

Though Jónsi's music, both as part of Sigur Rós and on his beautiful solo album,"Go,"  have luscious cinematic elements, his work on Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought A Zoo” marks the first time the Icelandic artist has composed music specifically for a theatrical release.

In addition to scoring the film, Jónsi also wrote two new songs for the movie, including “Gathering Stories,” which he co-wrote with Crowe. While “Zoo” is the first collaboration between the two, Crowe licensed three Sigur Rós tunes for 2001‘s “Vanilla Sky.” “Gathering Stories” premiered on NPR today. Hear it here.

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