<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Music Power Rankings: Lady Gaga delivers 'Born This Way' after longest gestation period ever

Scotty, Beyonce and LMFAO also make the list

C’mon. Did anyone really think that the Rapture was going to happen before Lady Gaga put out “Born This Way?” Trust me, if Momma Monster had any inkling that the Rapture might be real, she would have popped that puppy two weeks ago.


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<p>Scotty McCreery</p>
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Scotty McCreery

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery soars to the top of iTunes

How does Lauren Alaina fare?

Scotty McCreery is a winner in more ways than one. Wednesday night’s “American Idol” champ’s first single, “I Love You This Big” soared to No. 1 on iTunes.

Runner-Up Lauren Alaina is second to McCreery on iTunes’ chart as well, as her tune “Like My Mother Does” stands at No. 2.

Both singles were released by Mercury Records, a Nashville country imprint under the Universal Music Group label. Season 10 marked a switch of labels for the “American Idol” franchise from Sony Music to UMG. Though nothing has been announced, depending upon how the singles perform, this could be an indicator of which label will release their post-”Idol” albums.

Speaking of, both artists already have full albums available on iTunes of their “American Idol” performances (credited only to 19 Recordings, which is the imprint for all "Idol" sets).  On iTunes album chart, McCreery has to give way to Lady Gaga; his compilation is No. 2, while Alaina’s stands at No. 5.

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<p>Jason Derulo</p>

Jason Derulo

Watch: Jason Derulo keeps the party going in 'Don't Wanna Go Home'

First single from 'Future History' should be summer smash

Jason Derulo doesn’t want to go home and who could blame him? In the video for “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” he’s surrounded by scantily-clad, long-legged beauties and it’s clear that even though they party has already started, it has a long way to go.

The track, the first from Derulo’s upcoming album, “Future History,” bowed on the Hot 100 this week and seems like a natural to become a summer smash. Interestingly,  he sings Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O (Banana Boat Song),” making it the second time in recent months the Calypso classic has been used as the basis for a pop hit.  Lil Wayne’s “Six Foot Seven Foot” featuring Corey Gunz.

Derulo seems eager to become the new Chris Brown as he shows off some crazy mad dancing skills in the clip. He and his lovelies continue their party in a warehouse that has a full bar, but, oddly, must have no roof since everyone gets showered on mid-song. As far as plot, there is none, other than making us jealous that our invite got lost in the mail.
 

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Does Adele make it three in a row on the Billboard Hot 100?

LMFAO laughs its way to No. 9. What's going on with Gaga?

Adele continues her reign atop both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 singles as “Rolling in the Deep” stays at No. 1 for the third week. Amazingly, the song is still gaining steam at radio.

It’s also a great week for LMFAO, whose “Party Rock Anthem,” one of the contenders for song of the summer, soars 20-9. The Los Angeles duo’s tune, featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock,” already spent four weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.  Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” also ascends into the Top 10, rising 12-9. The move has been slow, but steady: the 21 weeks “Show” has needed to reach the top 10 is the longest climb since Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” in August 2009, according to Billboard.

Surveying the rest of the Hot 100, Katy Perry’s “E.T.”  continues its residence at No. 3, “Give Me Everything,” the first single from Pitbull’s upcoming album moves 4-3, while The Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Give Enough” also ups a notch. Similarly, Jennifer Lopez’s  “On the Floor” featuring Pitbull (who’s having a good week), Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” and Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends” all up one slot to No. 5, 6,and 7 respectively.

Rounding out the top 10, “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes drops 9-10.

Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” drops 3-19 in its second week on the chart, meaning her singles are just not catching on at radio. “Hair,” another tune from “Born This Way”  debuts at No. 12 this week, but that is almost totally based on digital sales as Interscope is not going for radio on the tune.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Watch: Taylor Swift hits the books in 'The Story of Us' video

How's she look in her school girl uniform?

Taylor Swift takes us to school in her new clip for “The Story of Us,” which premiered on MTV. Why not CMT, you might ask?  In part, because she’s completely crossed over from country artist to pop star and, furthermore, the song, from "Speak Now,"  is about as country as the Empire State Building.

In the clip, which recalls Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels,” takes place in a school library (because, as Swift sings to her ex, she doesn’t even know “what page you’re on.”). Swift is decked out in a cute, prep-school uniform, not of the ravish-me-daddy Britney sort, but an appropriate, not gross version.

As she recounts the story of her relationship, which is supposedly about John Mayer,  we see it lived out through various chapters: from the meet cute to the betrayal to the post-break-up, awkward run in.  Though you couldn’t tell it from her acting in “Valentine’s Day,” Swift is a natural on camera and she seems to grow only more at ease.

Swift told MTV’s Sway that watching the video was tough. “The first thing you think of is the moment that inspired the song, which is that excruciating, awful moment when you run into an ex for the first time.”

What do you think of Swift’s “Story?”

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<p>Lady Gaga at a fan signing of her new CD&nbsp;&quot;Born this Way&quot; earlier this week in New York City.</p>

Lady Gaga at a fan signing of her new CD "Born this Way" earlier this week in New York City.

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

What tracks from Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' are early fan favorites?

Are they picking the next single and it is a country tune?

Lady Gaga’s endless promotional tour rolls on: she’s on the cover of “Rolling Stone,” she’s on “American Idol” tonight and her MTV documentary airs soon. After that, she’ll start going house to house to make sure we’ve all bought our copy of “Born This Way.”

But what is actually selling? The album is No. 1 on iTunes and is poised to sell between 850,000 and 900,000 in its first week. This includes the somewhat suspect deal (others would just call it good marketing) with Amazon, which sold the entire album for 99 cents on Monday, as well as Best Buy’s decision to give away the album to everyone who buys a Smart Phone.

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<p>Adele has had a fantastic run, but Lady Gaga is about to capture her crown.</p>

Adele has had a fantastic run, but Lady Gaga is about to capture her crown.

Credit: Columbia Records

Adele's '21' makes its last stand atop the Billboard 200 before Lady Gaga arrives

Seether slithers to No. 2; while Justin Bieber and Jason Aldean surge

Adele makes it nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week as “21” prepares to makes way for Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” However, even if this is “21’” final frame at the top, the album is just the fourth album to log that many weeks at the summit since 2000. However, "21" has ceded the top spot and bounced back up before.

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Why 'AI's' Scotty and Lauren may be dead in the water at country radio

Why 'AI's' Scotty and Lauren may be dead in the water at country radio

No matter who wins, they can expect a tough reception at radio

Regardless of whether Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery wins “American Idol” on tonight, it looks like these two crazy, country-loving teens are going to have a tough row to hoe at country radio.  Some radio programmers have resolutely declared themselves neither Team Lauren nor Team Scotty before they’ve heard the first note of any post-”Idol” project. We call that crazy talk.

My former Billboard colleague Phyllis Stark surveyed radio programmers recently for radio tip sheet Radio-Info to take their temperature on the two contestants. While 17-year old McCreery has been stone-cold country from day one, 16-year old Alaina has proven more versatile, but seems headed to Nashville as well given that most of her vocal selections have come straight off the Billboard country charts.

One would think that the younger audience that acts such as Taylor Swift have brought to the country format or the success that past “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood has experienced would make the appeal of McCreery or Alaina a slam dunk: Youth + a built-in fan base of millions= instant country radio play. That, however, would  be wrong. The general consensus from programmers interviewed by Stark was that McCreery was a Josh Turner wanna-be, who, quite frankly, creeped them out. McCreery loves him some Garth Brooks, he even sang Brooks’ “The River” for the week that the contestants got to perform a song by their personal idol, but his deep voice understandably brings comparisons to Turner and Randy Travis.

A number of programmers told Stark that they already had a Josh Turner and that they aren’t looking for another.  Some programmers were downright rude. “I wish people would quit comparing this kid to Josh Turner,” said Toni-Marie, music director for KUZZ Bakersfield, Calif. “He attempts to sound like him, but the only thing he is successful at is looking like the kid on MAD magazines“ Hey now, Toni-Marie, McCreery is only 17. Lighten up a little!

Buzz Jackson,  program director at KIIM in Tucson, Ariz., was even harsher, commenting on McCreery’s often weird mannerisms. “Scotty hasn’t demonstrated that he can be anything but creepy.” Others even joked (we think) that they would make sure to be gone the days Scotty made a promotional visit.

Alaina seems to have a better shot at country radio, although she could use a little seasoning. “Lauren is a doll and very talented, [but] needs some more experience,” Tony Randall, half of the syndicated morning show Tony & Kris told Stark.

One of the few voices of reason came from Gregg Swedberg, program director for KEEY, Minneapolis, who likes both Alaina and McCreery. Plus, as he points out, we have no idea how either singer will sound like away from “Idol’s” formula. “I just think it’s silly to unconditionally reject [Scotty],” Swedberg says. “It’s all about the songs. If they get him the songs, if he can do a good job choosing them, if he learns to write them himself, if he gets the music, he’ll make it...let’s see what the kid can do.”  Exactly. They should have to prove themselves like any new artist, but don't start them at so far down, they're in a hole they can never crawl out of no matter how good they are.

Stark’s initial article raised such a ruckus that she smartly followed up with responses from programmers who felt their colleagues had been unnecessarily harsh. Among them, of course, were the programmers at WQDR Raleigh, McCreery’s hometown station. “He’s an incredibly talented young man who sings God’s glory and looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand,” said WQDR’s music director Billy Dukes.  Wow. I’m from the same hometown as McCreery and I’m so glad I didn’t drink the Kool-aid that Dukes obviously did.

But we loved how, like Swedberg, Nate Deaton, general manager of KRTY in San Jose, Calif. interjected a teeny bit of common sense into the proceedings. “Let me get this straight,” he told Stark. “[Alaina and McCreery] are still in the competition because they get over 25 million votes each week and we are going to say, ‘Sorry, we are not interested.’ Are you crazy? We will welcome Scott and Lauren with open arms.”

Here’s the thing, however, if too many programmers are heading for the hills before giving either kid a chance,  then the Universal Music Group Nashville-based imprint that signs them (UMG has the right of first refusal to finalists) may have such an uphill battle that it simply puts together an album quickly, releases it with little fanfare and cuts its losses.

What about Carrie Underwood, you say. Underwood is now the most successful “Idol” alum of all genres. However, for every Underwood, there has been a legion of poor country performers from “Idol.” Some, such as Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler or Bucky Covington, have had varying degrees of success, but others have flamed out quickly, such as Danny Gokey.  (Let's also note that, for the most part,  "AI" acts have not had a great batting average at pop or R&B either, with such notable exceptions as Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, David Cook, and, briefly, Clay Aiken and Jordin Sparks).

Quite frankly those odds-- one out of five-- are higher than the usual batting average for introducing new artists in any format (although country tends not to throw quite as many acts up against a wall to see what sticks as some other formats).

Plus, given that programmers constantly beat the drum about how new artists are the lifeblood of the format,  aren’t many of them being a little hasty to disregard a new talent with huge name recognition? We're calling it as all bluster. If either McCreery or Alaina shows up with a song that's a hit, these programmers will have blessedly short-term memories and be forced to eat their words. I say the kids are alright.

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Adele: Too 'frightened' to play festivals

Find out what else the British singer won't ever do

Hitfix217;s excellent summer festival rundown by Katie Hasty shows fans where to find their favorites like Eminem, Kanye West and Coldplay will be playing this summer. Notice one name that’s noticeably absent from the festival circuit? That would be Adele.

That’s because the singer, whose album “21”will spend its 9th week atop the Billboard 200 this week, is too afraid to play for such a huge audience. “I will not do festivals,” she tells Britain’s Q Magazine (via The Independent). “The thought of an audience that big frightens the life out of me. I don’t think the music would work either. It’s all too slow.” Adele, who is on a sold-out theater tour in the U.S.  has made no secret of her stage fright.

She also blasts artists who allow their music to be used for commercials. “I think it’s shameful when you sell out,” she tells Q. “I don’t want my name anywhere near another brand. I don’t want to be tainted or haunted.”  While this is definitely a difference between allowing your music to be licensed for usage in a movie or TV show and letting it be used to sell a product, we aren’t really sure that most people can tell the difference when someone’s music is blaring from a commercial promoting a television show, as Adele’s has been for a number of ABC series.

In a strong response in the Village Voice today, new music editor Maura Johnston says that if Adele wants to present herself as “some sort of anti-selling out princess,” it is a “snowjob.” To be sure, the singer has hardly become a recluse when it comes to giving interviews or promoting her own projects.

Adele also says she was “furious” when her record label re-released “19” with extra tracks. She says, “I said ‘No,’ and they did it anyway.” She may have enough clout to keep that from happening with “21,” but we doubt it.

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<p>Paramore's Hayley Williams</p>

Paramore's Hayley Williams

Credit: AP Photo

Paramore writes new track for 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'

Soundtrack also includes Linkin Park, MCR and Mastadon

Following Linkin Park’s lead, Paramore will contribute music to the forthcoming” Transformers: Dark of the Moon” soundtrack. But unlike Linkin Park’s “Iridescent,” Paramore’s song will be new. Other acts on the soundtrack include Mastadon, who cover ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid,” Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance.

The Hayley Williams-fronted band, who will headline a number of Vans Warped Tour dates, took to its website to announce the new tune, “Monster.”  A rep for the band also told MTV News that the group will shoot a video for the song in June in Los Angeles.

Of course, Paramore is no stranger to soundtracks, having appeared on the “Twilight” sets. The “Dark Side of The Moon” soundtrack comes out June 7 on Warner Bros., according to Amazon. Here’s the track listing, courtesy of Indie Wire.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” soundtrack

1. Linkin Park - Iridescent
2. Paramore - Monster
3. My Chemical Romance - The Only Hope For Me Is You
4. Taking Back Sunday - Faith
5. Staind - The Bottom
6. Art Of Dying - Get Thru This
7. Goo Goo Dolls - All That You Are
8. Theory Of A Deadman - Head Above Water
9. Black Veil Brides - Set The World On Fire
10. Skillet - Alive & Awake (Remix)
11. Mastodon - Just Got Paid (ZZ Top cover)

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