<p>Michael Jackson</p>

Michael Jackson

Jackson family plans Michael Jackson tribute in Wales, Oct. 8

Will it meet a similar fate as the 2009 proposed tribute in Vienna?

Are they trying this again? Members of the Jackson family (as in Michael Jackson) held a press conference Monday in Beverly Hills to announce a tribute concert for their fallen brother and son.

The event, dubbed “Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert,” will take place Oct 8 at the 75,000-seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. An organization called Global Live Events will produce the event, according to Billboard.

No artists have been announced but tickets go on sale on Aug. 4. Jackson’s siblings, Marlon, Jackie, Tito and LaToya, as well as his mother, Katherine, made the announcement.

Is any of this ringing a bell? In 2009, shortly after Jackson’s June 25 death, a group called World Media Awards announced that a giant tribute to Jackson would be held in Vienna. It then got switched to London and then it was cancelled for good after acts like Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown distanced themselves from the end. We don’t need a crystal ball to suggest this event may suffer a similar fate.

UPDATE: Following yesterday's press conference, Jackson's brothers Jermaine and Randy released statements saying they did not support the event because it occurs while Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, will be on trial. Additionally, the executors of Jackson's estate (which is not his family) said they have not authorized the use of The King of Pop's name for the tribute show. 

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<p>Amy Winehouse</p>
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Amy Winehouse

Credit: Steffen Schmidt/AP

Amy Winehouse's album sales soar following her July 23 death

Adele, M.I.A. and Russell Brand post loving tributes

It’s a crass, but true, axiom: death is a good career move.

“Back To Black,” Amy Winehouse’s Grammy-winning, second-album, will likely return to the Billboard 200 top 20 this week, based on sales following her July 23 death.

Her sophomore set moved up to 25,000 copies, largely between her death and the close of this week’s chart at midnight Sunday, according to Billboard.  Last week, the album sold slightly more than 1,000 copies. Sales of the album similarly spiked in the U.K., with the album reentering the chart at No. 59. The British chart closed at midnight on Saturday.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Haley Reinhart</p>

Haley Reinhart

Credit: AP Photo

'American Idol' Haley Reinhart signs to Interscope

Season 10 third place finisher follows Pia Toscano to label

Haley Reinhart has signed with Interscope.

The 20-year old belter is the fourth “American Idol” contestant from Season 10 to ink a label deal, according to various reports. Her season mate, Pia Toscano, is also on Interscope and released her first single, “This Time,” earlier this month.

As “AI” watchers know, “American Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine, who joined the show this year, is chairman of Interscope/Geffen/A&M.

For those keeping count, winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina both signed with Mercury Nashville. McCreery’s first single, “I Love You This Big,” peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Alaina’s first single, “Like My Mother Does,” maxed out at No. 43 on the same chart.

Mercury Nashville and Interscope are divisions of Universal Music Group. Starting with this season, UMG took over from Sony Music as “American Idol’s” label partner. UMG has first right of refusal on the finalists.


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<p>Kanye West and Jay-Z</p>

Kanye West and Jay-Z

Kayne West, Jay-Z officially form The Throne; announce tour, tracklist

Listen to new track 'Otis' from 'Watch the Throne'

Two weeks before their joint album, “Watch The Throne,” comes out, hip-hop titans Kanye West and Jay-Z make their collaboration official: the two have formed a new group called The Throne.

The two will also tour together behind the project, starting in Sept. 22 in Detroit for a 24-date outing. Below are the tour dates and the album's track listing.

There’s a tremendous amount of hype in the press release but the album is called a “once-in-a-lifetime” collaboration, so we’re taking that to mean that The Throne will not necessarily be an ongoing recording entity—unless, of course, the album sells millions — given that both West and Jay-Z are plenty busy outside of this venture.

Starting today, fans can pre-order the album online via iTunes. It will drop digitally on Aug. 8, but won’t be available at physical retail until Aug. 12. Consumers who pre-order the deluxe version of the album today through iTunes, will instantly get the current track, “Otis.”

Hear “Otis” here.

Tickets for the tour will go on sale on Aug. 8, and fans who purchase their tickets online through TicketMaster and LiveNation.com will receive a digital copy of the album. The tour will feature The Throne, as well as each artist performing his classic hits.

Bits and pieces of “Watch the Throne” have leaked out, including an early track, “H.A.M.,” which is on the deluxe version of the album. The pair only recorded together in person, leading to recording sessions in London, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Paris and New York. Outside producers include The RZA, the Neptunes and Mike Dean.



9/22/11            Detroit, MI                  Palace of Auburn Hills

9/24/11            Toronto, ON                           Air Canada Centre

9/25/11            Montreal, QC              Bell Centre

9/27/11            East Rutherford, NJ    Izod Center

9/28/11            East Rutherford, NJ    Izod Center

9/29/11            Washington DC          Verizon Center

10/4/11             Philadelphia, PA        Wells Fargo Center

10/6/11            Chicago, IL                 United Center

10/7/11            Chicago, IL                 United Center

10/8/11            Minneapolis, MN        Target Center

10/10/11          Denver, CO                 Pepsi Center

10/13/11          Tacoma, WA               Tacoma Dome

10/14/11          Vancouver, BC           Rogers Arena

10/16/11          San Jose, CA               HP Pavilion

10/17/11          Sacramento, CA          Power Balance Pavilion

10/19/11          Los Angeles, CA        Staples Center

10/20/11           Los Angeles, CA       Staples Center

10/21/11          Las Vegas, NV           MGM Grand Garden Arena

10/25/11          Dallas, TX                   American Airlines Center

10/26/11          Houston, TX                           Toyota Center

10/29/11          Atlanta, GA                            Philips Arena

10/30/11          Greensboro, NC          Greensboro Coliseum

11/1/11            Baltimore, MD             1st Mariner Arena

11/3/11            Boston, MA                            TD Garden  


1. No Church In the Wild (feat. Frank Ocean)

2. Lift Off  (feat. Beyoncé)

3. N---as In Paris     

4. Otis (feat. Otis Redding)

5. Gotta Have it

6. New Day

7. That’s My Bitch

8. Welcome to the Jungle

9. Who’s Gon Stop Me

10. Murder to Excellence

11. Made In America (feat. Frank Ocean) 

12. Why I Love You (feat. Mr. Hudson)


13. Illest M----------r Alive ****

14. H.A.M ****

15. Primetime ****

16. The Joy (feat. Curtis Mayfield) ****


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Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP

Does Adele's '21' pop back up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week?

Who ranks higher? 3 Doors Down or 311?

The unsinkable Adele floats back to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart next week as "21"  is poised to pop back to No. 1.

The title is No. 3 this week. It has not slipped out of the top 5 since its February release and is this year's top seller at well over 2 million units in the U.S. It will sell around 75,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double. http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/rumormill.cgi?10

The Top 10 will likely see four debuts: the latest edition of "Kidz Bop Kids" should handily snare second place with sales of up to 65,000, while 3 Doors Down's  "Time of My Life"  is in a tight race with Beyonce's "4" for the No. 3 spot.  Similarly, new sets from 311 ("Universal Pulse") and DJ Khaled  ("We The Best Forever" ) are in a dead heat for fifth place.

Otherwise, this week's No. 1, Blake Shelton's "Red River Blue" will likely drop to No. 7, Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" is No. 8, Selena Gomez & The Scene's "When The Sun Goes Down" is at No. 9 and Bad Meets Evil's "Hell: The Sequel" is at No. 10.




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<p>Amy Winehouse</p>

Amy Winehouse

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and more react to Amy Winehouse's death

Celebrities from all walks of life respond to her passing

Celebrities and musicians of all genres took to their Twitter accounts in droves to tweet about Amy Winehouse’s death.  Here’s a quick round-up of what is out there...in their own words (and grammar).

Katy Perry: RIP Amy Winehouse. May she finally find peace.

Rihanna: I am genuinely heartbroken about this #DearAmy (Rihanna later tweeted a photo of herself at a Winehouse show)

Kelly Clarkson: What a waste of a gifted person. What a shame she saw no hope and continued living her life in that manor  (sic). I have been that low emotionally and mentally and that is overwhelming.

Usher: I’m so sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. I’m so happy I knew you Amy... Rest Well. Gone Too Soon... we’ll miss you!!

Janelle Monae: heart is heavy. My heart goes out 2 Amy Winehouse's family, loved ones. Praying for their strength during this time.

Billy Corgan: Sad to hear about Amy Winehouse. I mourn any time one of our own passes on. A tragedy...no doubt. Truly sad.

Kelly Osbourne:
“I can’t even breath right now im crying so hard i just lost i of my best friends. i love your forever Amy & will never forget the real you.

Lea Michele: Devastated to hear about Amy Winehouse...she was truly one of a kind.

Josh Groban: Drugs took her gift, her soul, her light, long before they took her life. RIP Amy.

Demi Lovato
: Amy Winehouse...So sad. Unfortunately, the world lost an incredibly talented woman to such a powerful disease...addiction. # RIP

Nicki Minaj: Please tell me Amy Winehouse didn’t die. Is this some sick joke?

Lance Bass: Another talent dies at 27-RIP-Amy Winehouse.

LeToya Luckett: So sad 2 hear the news about Amy Winehouse. I was sooo in love with her voice. R.I.P.

Missy Elliott: My condolences go out to Amy Winehouse family and My Prayers to those Families who lost loved ones in Norway...

Sandra Bernhard: Some people can’t handle it and it’s terribly sad. another great talent gone gone gone. amy Winehouse.

Amanda Bynes:
I am so saddened by the news about Amy Winehouse. What a gifted musician. My prayers go out to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

Boy George: I cannot contain my sadness and my anger about Amy Winehouse. Rest in peace child, it is a deeply sad day for many reasons.

Booty Collins: National Breaking News. Amy Winehouse found dead in her London home...Funkateers, we lost another.

Martina McBride: So sad to hear about Amy Winehouse. Such an incredible talent. Prayers fo out to her family and fans.

Sharon Jones:
May you Rest In Peace Amy Winehouse...The Dap-Kings and Me will miss you most...Love you always! (Ed.’s note: Winehouse recorded with the Dap-Kings).

Jordin Sparks: Amy Winehouse : (

Rob Thomas: R.I.P. AMY WINEHOUSE. wow. just wow

Pete Wentz: super sad to hear about the news. RIP. never take life for granted.

Leann Rimes:
RIP Amy Winehouse. So sad to see such a talent gone and her life end in tragedy. This makes me terribly sad.

Reba McEntire:
Amy Winehouse found dead. So sad. Prayers go out for her family.

Latoya Jackson: I know the pain her family is experiencing I feel their pain. i've lived their pain. i'm sooo terribly sorry. Once again R prayers R with you.

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<p>Amy Winehouse</p>

Amy Winehouse

Credit: AP Photo

Commentary: Amy Winehouse's immense talent and spiraling-down life

Her addictions crushed her ability to create

“Addicts die.” I remember a friend of mine, a recovering heroin addict, saying those harsh, cold words to me a few years ago, as I was driving over to comfort another friend of mine whose brother had just been found dead of an accidental drug overdose. I, who have minimal experience with drugs, felt like that was an unnecessarily cruel slap in the face given the proximity to time of death, but it is true.

His words were the first that popped into my head when I heard the reports of Amy Winehouse’s passing today at 27 (My colleague, Katie Hasty, will address the odd coincidence of her dying at age 27, as did Jimi Hendrix, Janis Jopin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, in a separate post). Her story, at the rate it was going, had only one real way to end and the conclusion wasn’t surprising or unexpected in any way—though that does not make it any less sad. The public — and press — had a countdown clock on her life from the moment it became clear what a hot, bee-hived mess she was. Remember the summer when she’d trot out of her apartment in just her bra for cigs?  Plus, as her disease crushed her ability to create, we all fed on those grist-filled scraps since she was no long providing us with anything else to feast on.

But I want to focus on her talent, which was immense. When Universal Music Group started to introduce the British singer her in the U.S.,  very few of us had heard her first album, “Frank.” However, “Back To  Black” had already blown up in the U.K.  and the earworm that is  “Rehab,” had embedded itself with its girl-girl chorus of “no, no, nos.”

Winehouse came to play the Roxy, the legendary club on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles just as “Back To Black” was coming out in the U.S in March 2007. The stories about her substance-fueled inabilities to hold it together while performing were already rising. As she took the stage in an ill-fitting, sleeveless dress, what I remember, standing probably 20 feet from her, were all her tattoos, including at least one of a pin-up girl—there may have been a hula skirt involved— on her arm that I found fascinating; it was like she had a secret past as a sailor.

Then she started to sing and on this night, she was on, if slightly jittery and nervous. Whether her handlers had made it clear she had to keep it together in front of all the press in Los Angeles or she had the presence of mind to do it herself, there was nothing to distract from her voice. It wasn’t a perfect show, but there were flashes of brilliance and heartache. Whatever demons drove her to her addictions were the same ones that propelled her to slice open a vein when she sang, such as on the glorious Motown homage, “Tears Dry On Their Own,” the torchy, resigned "Love is A Losing Game," or the confessional shrug of “You Know I’m No Good.”  She was a soul singer, jazz diva, and rock star all in one was how a friend of mine described her, and all three were on display that night.

It wasn’t a long show, but it served its purpose. It took the heat off the tawdry tales of her off-stage life and put it squarely back on her formidable talent. She was a mix of so many others before her —including Dusty Springfield, Ronnie Spector and Billie Holiday — but she combined those influences, with the great help of producer Mark Ronson, into something unique. Plus, her songwriting reflected her troubled personality in an honest yet never overly melodramatic way. She was authentic and raw in a world of contrived artifice.

Even though her request for a visa to attend the 2008 Grammys was denied, Winehouse went on to win five Grammys that night, the most by a British artist in a single night, including best new artist, song and record of the year.

Winehouse was part of a whole new wave of British female singers that crashed up on American shores--- seemingly a new one every week --and her popularity helped shine the light on them. Artists like Duffy, Corrine Bailey Rae, Kate Nash, Amy McDonald arrived within the same few years. And then, of course, Adele arrived a few years later.

I never saw her perform again, but frequently covered the canceled tours and the sporadic performances that showcased her spiraling- down life, including the last one in Serbia only a few weeks ago. The performance, which a local paper described as “the worst in the history of Belgrade,” led her to cancel the rest of her 12-date European tour. 

Over the last few years, there would be inklings of new music, but she never seemed to get her life together enough to make a sustained run in the studio.  She did record a song, "Body and Soul," with Tony Bennett for “Duets 2,” which will come out this fall to  commemorate the legend’s 85th birthday.

As we wrote in our piece in February, Bennett’s manager/son Danny told Hitfix  that Winehouse asked Bennett for advice. He simply told  her to take care of herself. Sadly, she was unable to listen.


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Watch: Bush plays 'The Sound of Winter,' first new single in 10 years on 'the Jimmy Kimmel Show'

Watch: Bush plays 'The Sound of Winter,' first new single in 10 years on 'the Jimmy Kimmel Show'

What do you think of the Gavin Rossdale-led band's return?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Staind, and Blink-182 all returned to Billboard’s alternative rock chart this week after varying degrees of absence. Can Bush be far behind?

The Gavin Rossdale-led band first single, “The Sound Of Winter,” debuted yesterday on Los Angeles’ KROQ and the band followed by playing it on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” last night.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Katy Perry&nbsp;</p>
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Katy Perry 

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, RHCP, Justin Bieber and more

Are TicketMaster and Live Nation really putting Fans First with new coalition?

1) Katy Perry (not ranked last week): Adele and Lady Gaga tend to steal her thunder, but Katy Perry just keeps raking them in: she leads the MTV Video Music Award nominations with nine nods.

2) Your dad’s modern rock (not ranked): Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182 and Staind all return to Billboard’s alternative rock chart chart this week with first singles from new projects after years away.

3) Take That (not ranked): And just like that the reformed British Boy band shattered Bruce Springsteen’s previous record for highest grossest concert stand. Who’s the boss now?

4) Blake Shelton (not ranked): “The Voice” mentor scores his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  If we were him, we’d get in our “Voice” mentor chair and spin around and around to celebrate.

5) Fans First Coalition (not ranked): Those excellent paragons of consumer rights TicketMaster and Live Nation link with a number of artists and promoters and form a coalition to fight secondary ticketing site StubHub, which they believe is gouging the public. Because TicketMaster fees are so not doing that....

6) Justin Bieber (not ranked): It takes the rest of us a lifetime, but apparently the Bieb needs only a month to “kind of grow up.” he tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s taking 30 days off to hang with friends, “think, pray and just kind of grow up.”

7) Pitchfork Music Festival (not ranked):
Despite sunstroke-inducing heat, all the little hipsters gathered together in Chicago last weekend to sneer and make fun of their friends’ favorite bands during the three-day sold-out fest.

8) Sylvia Rhone (not ranked):
The Doug Morris protege has worked for him at Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and. now, it looks like she may follow him to Sony Music to reinvigorate the Portrait imprint. It’s really good to have friends in high places.

9) Apple (not ranked):
Bloomberg reports that Apple could buy Hulu in a move that would shake Netflix to its core and increase Apple’s world domination.

10) Spotify (No. 10): The new (to the U.S.) streaming service signs up around 70,000 paid subscribers in its first week, according to Billboard. How many more are using the ad-supported version? Either way, it’s a strong start. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/spotify-u-s-70-000-reasons-to-believe-the-1005289682.story

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<p>Little Dragon</p>

Little Dragon

Watch: Little Dragon's trippy, surreal video for 'When I Go Out'

Get your weekend off to a great start

Want your mind to explode? Check out the video for “When I Go Out” from Sweden’s Little Dragon.  Someone has a computer with lots of toys and they aren’t afraid to use it.

The trippy video, which meshes perfectly with the hypnotic synth track, drum loops and frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s heavily-processed vocals,  is a kaleidoscope of images colliding into one another with the only constant being an African mask. Surreal image follows surreal image as screens split, colors flow and it rains and rains. It is as fascinating as it is indecipherable.

[More after the jump...]

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