<p>Drake</p>

Drake

Will Drake top Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne's opening weeks on the Billboard 200?

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas as holiday title dominate

Drake may have his own issues with fame as chronicled on “Take Care,” but his fans are showing their full support as the Canadian rapper’s sophomore effort is set to sell more than 700,000 copies.

That impressive start will give Drake one of the highest opening-week tallies this year, behind Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne, on next week’s Billboard 200. Plus, in an era when even the biggest names see opening weeks for their new albums pale in comparison to albums past, Drake makes a substantial leap over the 447,000 first-week sales of last year’s  “Thank Me Later.”

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<p>Rihanna's &quot;Talk That Talk&quot; </p>

Rihanna's "Talk That Talk"

Credit: Def Jam

Album Review: Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk'

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Will her sixth set be her first No. 1?

Will Rihanna finally land her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200? In contrast to her 11 trips to the Billboard Hot 100 summit, the Barbadian singer has never reached the album chart’s peak.

If it’s a question of worthiness (which we know it’s not), then “Talk That Talk,” out Monday, should definitely claim the pole position (because, God knows, Rihanna frequently reminds us throughout the album how much she enjoys grabbing the “pole.” )

“Talk That Talk” is Rihanna’s sixth album in as many years. She’s evolved from a sweet, playful teenager on her debut “Music of the Sun” to a troubled young women, raunchily exploring the darkest corners of her sexuality on “Rated R,”  and swung back to somewhere in the middle on last year’s “Loud” and now on “Talk That Talk.” 

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Listen: Rihanna' streams 'Talk That Talk' on her Facebook page
Credit: Def Jam Records

Listen: Rihanna' streams 'Talk That Talk' on her Facebook page

What do you think of her new album?

You can’t buy it until Monday, but you can stream Rihanna’s new album, “Talk That Talk” via her Facebook page now. All you have to do is “like” her.

It’s the latest move in a marketing campaign that has engaged fans throughout the promotional process by having them “unlock” certain steps to reveal songs, the album cover, and other elements of the project.

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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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