<p>Lady Gaga in the video for &quot;Born This Way.&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga in the video for "Born This Way."

Credit: Interscope

Lady Gaga makes it 3 weeks in a row atop the Billboard Hot 100, but J-Lo's gaining

'American Idol' judge scores best opening frame of her career

Lady Gaga may be spending her third week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Born This Way,” but she better move over for a returning diva: Jennifer Lopez is proving to be the true “American Idol” as “On the Floor,” featuring Pitbull debuts at No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week. It’s not only the highest bow of the week, it’s the highest starting point for any song in Lopez’s chart life.

“On the Floor,” whose video premiered on Thursday night’s “American Idol,” is Lopez’s 10th top 10, and her first return to the Top 10 since 2006, when she was featured on LL Cool J’s “Control Myself.” Last week, Lopez's label, Island Def Jam, didn't have a release date for her new album, "Love?," but Billboard now reports it will be April 19.

Like “Born This Way,”  Cee Lo Green’s “F**k You,” and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” hold their spots, No 2 and No. 3 respectively, from last week.  Pink’s “F**kin’ Perfect” climbs 4-6 in what has to be the first time two songs with the F-word in the title have simultaneously been in the top 5.  Then toss in Rihanna’s “S&M,” which rises 7-5 and you have probably the least family friendly Top 5 ever.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>James Franco isn't taking a break after hosting the Oscars.</p>

James Franco isn't taking a break after hosting the Oscars.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

R.E.M. picks James Franco and Albert Maysles to direct clips from 'Collapse Into Now'

Each song will have a short film as part of Michael Stipe-curated project

Hot off his Oscar-hosting stint, James Franco has been tapped to direct videos for “That Someone Like You” and “”Blue” from R.E.M.’s new album, “Collapse Into Now,” out March 8.

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<p>Lady Gaga in her new music video for &quot;Born This Way.&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga in her new music video for "Born This Way."

Is Lady Gaga stealing Britney Spears' thunder?

Hear 'Criminal,' the latest 'Femme Fatale' snippet that just dropped

In an excellent post on Feb. 28, Pop Dust’s Maura Johnston asks if the nearly daily leaks of song snippets from Britney Spears’ March 29 album, “Femme Fatale”  are a good thing. And she poses the bigger question: are they standing in for Spears herself, who has so far been largely M.I.A. from television or radio in promoting the forthcoming set. (A little note: while we were writing this, Spears tweeted yet another snippet; this one for “Criminal.” We embedded it below.)

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP

Six lessons to learn from Adele's smashing first-week sales for '21'

Plus, check out Mike Posner's cover of 'Rolling In The Deep'

Adele’s sophomore set, “21,” bowed on the Billboard 200 today with sales of 352,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s the highest opening week tally in 2011. It also marks the biggest debut for a new album since Kanye West started with 496,000 with “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” the week ending Nov. 28. That same week, Nicki Minaj launched “Pink Friday” with sales of 375,000. As well as she's doing here, she's blowing up even bigger in her native U.K.: She is the first artist since the Beatles to have entries in both the top 5 of the album and singles charts. Here’s how she did it and what other artists can learn.

1) Set up, set up, set up.
Columbia, Adele’s U.S. label, began greasing the wheels in September by discreetly playing one or two tracks for people to start to get a whisper campaign going. Then in October, a full four months before the release date, Adele played small showcases in New York and Los Angeles for tastemakers to continue to build the buzz. Here’s our report from her Los Angeles show. There has been a slow, but steady simmering on the project ever since then that came to a boil as the release date approached.

2)  The focus has been squarely on the music. While paparazzi have hassled Adele in her native London, here she’s simply not the stuff of tabloid fodder. Maybe it’s because she’s not posing in next to nothing or falling drunk out of a bar or dating a semi-celeb, but when we talk about Adele, we talk about the music...and her talent. And isn’t that a nice change of pace? What a concept.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Britney Spears </p>

Britney Spears

Listen: Sneak peek at Britney Spears' 'Seal It With A Kiss'

Another track from 'Femme Fatale' surfaces

Another day, another snippet from a new Britney Spears song. Late last night, Spears’ producer Dr. Luke released a snippet of “Seal It With a Kiss,” from her forthcoming album, “Femme Fatale,” out March 29.

The 25-second snippet is, like everything else we’ve heard so far from “Fatale,” is heavily dance oriented, although “Seal It With A Kiss” had more pop elements than some of the other leaks, such as the short portion of “The Big Fat Bass” that will.i.am sneak peeked on dipdive.com on Monday. Of course, how much can we really tell from these teeny bits.

Snippets of several of the songs are leaking almost daily, as we've reported here, including 

"I Wanna Go," "Inside Out," We also got the hi-tech video for "Hold It Against Me."



 

 

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<p>Dave Stewart</p>

Dave Stewart

Interview: Dave Stewart talks Stevie Nicks' new album 'In Your Dreams'

Learn about her obsession with poets

Stevie Nicks will release, “In Your Dreams,”  her first solo album in 10 years on May 3. Nicks recorded “In Your Dreams” in her Los Angeles home with co-producers Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

Stewart, best known as half of Eurythmics, says recording with Nicks was an absolute joy. “We co-wrote right or nine songs together,” he tells Hitfix, seven of which ultimately ended up on the album. “After the second or third song, she said I’ve never sat together and written with someone in my life. It’s an amazing album.”

Nicks, who inspired a generation of singers, is the last artist who will be chasing trends, Stewart says. “It’s not like trying to answer or compete with any pop market.”

Stewart says he learned much about Nicks and her craft.  “I learned how incredibly focused she is and how unbelievably committed she is to her art form and includes the words, research, her obsession with poets like Edgar Allan Poe and all the details.”

Nicks is prepping for a North American tour with co-headliner Rod Stewart. The Heart & Soul Tour kicks off March 20 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

 

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<p>Britney has something she wants to tell you...</p>

Britney has something she wants to tell you...

Credit: Jive Records

Britney Spears releases track listing for 'Femme Fatale'

See what's on the entire16-track deluxe edition

It’s March 1, which means we’re officially into the month that Britney Spears‘ “Femme Fatale” drops on March 29. Today, courtesy of Idolator, we get the track listing for not only regular edition, but the 16-track deluxe edition.

Snippets of several of the songs are leaking almost daily, as we've reported here, including 

"I Wanna Go," "Inside Out," We also got the hi-tech video for "Hold It Against Me." 

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<p>Zac Brown Band</p>

Zac Brown Band

Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP

Hitfix Interview: Zac Brown Band talks new Patagonia Music Collective also featuring Pearl Jam, Maroon5 and more

Buy exclusive tracks and help the environment

Today (March 1), Patagonia, the environmentally-friendly, outdoor clothing company, launches  the Patagonia Music Collective, a new online music store with exclusive tracks from such artists as Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Maroon 5, Bonnie Raittand Jon Cleary, Drive By Truckers, Brandi Carlile, Ben Sollee, The Bad Plus and Zac Brown Band. The tracks sell for 99 cents, with the net proceeds going to a non-profit environmental group of the acts choosing.

We talked to Zac Brown Band about their choice to get involved in the project and their chosen organization, Urban Farming, The group donated a live version of their song, “Cold Hearted,” the studio version of which is on its current album, “You Get What You Give.”  Many acts traveled the same path, offering live or acoustic versions of already available songs, while others selected previously unreleased tunes.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Staind</p>

Staind

Sick Puppies, Staind's Aaron Lewis and Beady Eye lead March 1 releases

Lykke Li and Lucinda Williams also deliver new goods

Following the excitement surround the arrival of the Adele album last week, things slow down slightly this week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of March 1 delights to savor, including the solo debut from Floetry’s Marsha Ambrosius; Beady Eye, fronted by Oasis’s Liam Gallagher, and veteran singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams.

Marsha Ambrosius, “Late Nights & Early Mornings” (J): One-half of neo-soul duo Floetry releases her first solo album, but she doesn’t got it totally alone: collaborators include Alicia Keys and Just Blaze. Admit it, you want to hear “Hope She Cheats on You (With A Basketball Player”).

Beady Eye, “Different Gear, Still Speeding” (Dangerbird):
Think Oasis without Noel Gallagher and produced by Steve Lillywhite.

Dropkick Murphys, “Going Out in Style” (Born & Bred Records): Just in time for St. Patty’s Day, the Dropkick Murphy’s drop their  seventh album, full of their usual blend of spunky, Irish-flavored rock and roll. Plus, they welcome a very special guest: Bruce Springsteen on a remake of the classic “Peg O’ My Heart.” Apparently, all you have to do is ask.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Willow Smith</p>

Willow Smith

Listen: Willow Smith's new single, '21st Century Girl'

Does she sound more like Rihanna or Ke$ha?

Willow Smith wants us to know that she’s  “on a mission with no restrictions.”  At 10 years old, she’s already on her second single, following “Whip My Hair.”

The good news is as repetitive and mindless as “21st Century Girl” may be, it is light years ahead of “Whip My Hair.”

When she’s not imitating Rihanna, she’s channeling Ke$ha with the quick refrain about “rocking the beat.”  Smith’s no Jackie Evancho, but she seems to be able to stay on key. I’m tired of beating my drum about letting a kid be a kid because I don’t have a vote on what goes on in the Will Smith/Jada Pinkett household and it’s clear the fame train has already left the station on both Willow and her older bro, Jaden. Let’s just hope some of the royalties are going into a fund for future therapy sessions, if needed.

[More after the jump...]

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