<p>Hailee Steinfeld of &quot;True Grit.&quot;</p>

Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit."

Watch: Hailee Steinfeld keeps the 'star is born' story going with 'True Grit'

What game did she play on the set with Jeff Bridges?

Anna Paquin, Tatum O'Neal, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Abigail Breslin and…Hailee Steinfeld?   Just like those young ladies, the "True Grit" newcomer seems poised to land an Oscar nomination for one of her first major screen roles and it turns out she's more than deserving of such high praise.

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<p>Rascal Flatts</p>

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts plans Flatts Fest next summer

Multi-artist festival will take place in July

Add Rascal Flatts to the artists launching their own festivals. The popular country group will hold, wait for it, Flatts Fest next July.

The multi-artist festival will feature “some big names. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a big party,” RF’s Joe Don Rooney told CMT Radio.

Maybe one of those big names will be Justin Bieber. Rascal Flatts and the Bieb are recording a duet for Bieber’s next album.

Rooney goes on to say that “Country really hasn’t had like a Lollapalooza.”  Uh, what would he call Stagecoach, the multi-day, multi-artist festival that takes place in Indio, Calif. a few weeks after Coachella? They’re headlining the dang thing in 2011, for pete’s sake!  They also would not be the first country artists to hold their own festival (not that they're claiming to be). For years, Alabama hosted the wildly popular June Jam.

Anyway, hopefully their festival will go more like the sold-out Stagecoach and less like this past summer’s Country Throwdown tour, which, sadly, sank like a stone in several markets.

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Whose video was Vevo's most watched? Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga?

Bieber's next move is duets album

Beliebers rejoice: Justin Bieber scored three of the top 10 most watched videos on Vevo in 2010. That’s, like, one third of the chart, y’all! ( SCREAM!!!!)

Lady Gaga could only muster two of the top 10, but between the two of them, they accounted for 16 trillion views.

Here’s the Vevo Top 10:

1. “Baby,” Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris
2.“Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga
3. “Waka Waka,” Shakira featuring Freshlyground
4. “Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem featuring Rihanna
5. “One Time,” Justin Bieber
6. “Not Afraid,” Eminem
7. “Rude Boy,” Rihanna
8. “Never Say Never,” Justin Bieber
9. “Alejandro,” Lady Gaga
10. “OMG,” Usher featuring will.i.am

In other Bieber news, as we previous reported, he's recording a duet with Rascal Flatts for an upcoming duets album. EW reports that album will also feature Ne-Yo and Diddy.

 

 

vevo.com/VideoPlayer/Embedded?videoId=USUV71000127&playlist=false&autoplay=0&playerId=62FF0A5C-0D9E-4AC1-AF04-1D9E97EE3961&playerType=embedded&env=0">
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<p>Where did Eminem and Rihanna place on the top 10 singles of 2010 list?</p>

Where did Eminem and Rihanna place on the top 10 singles of 2010 list?

Music Top 10 of 2010: The Top 10 Singles

It was a great year for pop, but who came in at No. 1?

It was a great year for pop music. For years, Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart  was predominantly urban leaning. This year saw its share of great urban pop hits, but for the first time in a long time, there was more room for straight ahead pop, whether it was Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” or Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or hot newcomer Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.”

Pop radio broadened its borders to welcome country artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, while still finding ample room for mainstays like Usher and Eminem, who rebounded in a big way after a slight slip in 2009.

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<p>Paramore</p>

Paramore

Paramore loses two members as the Farro brothers depart

Nashville-base band forges ahead with 2011 South American tour plans

And then there were three. Two members of Paramore, brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro, have left the band.

In a letter posted on Paramore’s blog over the weekend, the remaining members — Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York — are scant on details, but  say the pair’s departure was no surprise. A couple of months ago, Josh and Zac let us know they would be leaving the band after our show in Orlando last Sunday. None of us were really shocked. For the last year, it hadn’t seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore.”

The post doesn’t address if the twosome will be replaced, but notes that things are moving full steam ahead for Paramore, incuding a tour in South America. http://www.paramore.net/blog/announcement/

Below is the announcement in full.

Over the past 6 years, our band has been through some of the most intense and incredible experiences of our lives. None of these things have been without trial. We've worked so hard to get to where we are and the fact that you are all still here with us says something about you that we will never be able to truly understand. You have stuck with us through thick and thin and we are so grateful. A couple of months ago, Josh and Zac let us know they would be leaving the band after our show in Orlando last Sunday. None of us were really shocked. For the last year it hasn't seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore. We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn't here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere. But we never for a second thought about leaving any of this behind. We really hope that you can be encouraged by the fact that the three of us who are still here are ready to take on another chapter of our journey together. You have always been what keeps us going so why would we stop now? We want to stick by you. Knowing that we have a unified passion and a clear vision makes us feel stronger than ever.
The "blog" that was posted regarding everything that is going on with our band was a fake. We aren't sure who did it or why... And we aren't sure how they timed it this way. This is the first time that we have spoken out about what's going on and we wouldn't have released an official statement that important through a personal blog. So, we're sorry for any confusion and just to remain clear, this is the first time we have spoken out about this.
We have some amazing things lined up for next year starting with our tour in South America. We are still coming to you and we are excited about who we are bringing with us! The tour is still on and we can't wait to see you all.
As we look back, and now as we look with excitement to the future, in all of this what truly matters are the good times. The pictures of us with our arms around each other, the long van rides, your faces while you sing along as we play. Thank you for getting us right here to this very moment. We look forward to our best times. And we hope you will go there with us.
Love,
Hayley, Jeremy & Taylor
Paramore

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<p>More Gaga is almost on its way.&nbsp; Are you excited?</p>

More Gaga is almost on its way.  Are you excited?

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga reveals new details about new album, 'Born This Way'

When will her little monsters get the new release?

Early 2011 means a new album from Lady Gaga and as its release looms closer, she’s letting more details slip out.

The release date for “Born This Way” still hasn’t been announced, but she told the BBC backstage at a London show that the album is "a marriage of electronic music with major, epic, dare I even say, metal or rock 'n' roll, pop, anthemic style melodies with really sledge-hammering dance beats." She appeared at London's O2 Arena Dec. 16-17.

Though she’s previewed album track, “You and I,” it’s unclear as to whether that will be the first single, which Lady Gaga says will come out in February, with the album to come shortly thereafter.

She revealed a few more details, adding that the album’s lyrics were inspired by her interactions and love for her fanatic followers. "It's really written by the fans, They really wrote it for me because every night they're funnelling so much into me,” she told the BBC’s Newsbeat. “So I wrote it for them. ‘Born This Way’ is all about my little monsters and me, mother monster.”

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<p>Keri Hilson performing at the &quot;VH1 Divas Salute the Troops&quot; concert earlier this month in San Diego.</p>

Keri Hilson performing at the "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" concert earlier this month in San Diego.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Jamie Foxx, Keyshia Cole and Keri Hilson lead last holiday album release slate

Duran Duran also weighs in with an internet-only set

With four shopping days left until Christmas, a few intrepid R&B acts and one veteran group are offering fans last-minute stocking stuffers on Dec. 21. Expect his holiday strategy to pay off for Jamie Foxx, who may see a high debut.

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<p>Taylor Swift, with bangs.</p>

Taylor Swift, with bangs.

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Is it another No. 1 for Michael Jackson on the Billboard 200 next week?

Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle race to the finish line as well

Who will get bragging rights to topping the last Billboard 200 album chart before Christmas? It’s going to come down to the wire between Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” and Susan Boyle’s “The Gift.” The two titles are in a dead heat for first place, with each poised to sell upwards of 250,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.

That means that the best Michael Jackson’s posthumous title, “Michael,” can eke out will be third place (and it may lose that to half-pint Jackie Evancho’s “O Holy Night.”  Both are projected to sell around 225,000, which is a far cry from the initial 400,000 copies originally expected a few weeks ago. However, so-so reviews and controversy over how the unfinished tracks were completed, plus a relatively blase reception at radio, have led to a less-than-desired opening frame.

Going into the weekend, R. Kelly’s smooth R&B opus, “Love Letter,”  and “Glee’s” Christmas album are also too close to tell which will grab the No. 5 slot and which will be No. 6. Regardless, it looks like “Glee” will have two albums in the Top 10 as “Vol. 4” hangs in around No. 8. Rounding out the top 10 will likely be Kid rock at No. 7, Justin Bieber at No. 9 and Nicki Minaj at No. 10.

Despite a wealth of TV appearances, including “Saturday Night Live,” it looks like  the best Diddy Dirty Money’s “Last Train to Paris” will achieve is a No. 16 start with sales of around 60,000-70,000. And in a further sign that "American Idol's" power continues to erode. it looks like Crystal Bowersox's "Farmer's Daughter" will come in even lower than that, selling somewhere in the 40,000 range.

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<p>Eminem</p>

Eminem

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Music Power Rankings: The 2010 year-end version

Who lands at the top spot? Eminem? Lady Gaga? Taylor Swift?

2010 was another tough year in the music industry: record sales continued to plummet--down another 13% from the previous year-- and ticket sales fell off a cliff, as the live concert industry had its worst year in decades. Even if it feels like we’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, there were a number of bright spots that reinforced that artistry is alive and well and that the audience for good music is still vibrant. As much as this year will be remembered for such disappointing returns (at least commercially) by the likes of Lilith Fair and Christina Aguilera, it will also be seen as a renaissance for pop music and a rapper named Marshall Mathers, but whom we all know as Eminem.


1) Eminem: Was there ever any doubt? “Recovery” was the top-selling album of the year, staging a strong comeback after the disappointing “Relapse.” Em also led all Grammy nominations with 10 and he and Jay-Z sold out four stadium dates. The only question is how is he going to top this in 2011?

2) Lady Gaga: Without a new album out, Lady Gaga was able to concentrate on building the perfect Little Monster empire by touching virtually every corner of the earth on tour. And develop her side career as a fashion-forward butcher and as a political voice campaigning for the repeal of DADT.  There may have been artists who have worked harder at connecting with their audience, but we don’t know who they are.

3) Pop Music: 2010 was one of the strongest years in pop in more than a decade. Much of it is gloriously disposable, but by its very job description, some pop is meant to be ephemeral and totally of the moment—like Katy Perry’s delicious “California Gurls.” Somewhere, a pop factory kept churning out new R&B/pop male creatures: Mike Posner, Drake, Bruno Mars, Jason DeRulo, Taio Cruz...the list goes on.

[More after the jump...]

4) Taylor Swift: Swift  convincingly rose to the challenge, shutting down any critics (this one included) who wondered if she could transition from the awkward school girl who wrote about being 15 and the band geek to a young woman. And she sold 1 million copies of “Speak Now”  in the first week telling us about it. Probably the only one who wishes she’d go back to high school is John Mayer.

5) Lady Antebellum: With less fanfare than Taylor Swift, this co-ed country trio very steadily and stealthily transitioned from newcomers to superstars in country with a healthy budding audience in pop as well. Rarely have artists avoided sophomore slump with such grace. We definitely need them now.

6) "Glee": Every week, “Glee” seeming sets a new record, whether it’s landing more records on Hot 100 than any other artist in history or propelling songs the cover back up the charts by the original artist. As powerful as “American Idol” was as a singles driver in its prime, it had nothing on “Glee,” which may be the most potent multimedia mix of television and internet we have yet to see.  And mind you, radio does not even enter into this equation.

7) Irving Azoff: As head of Live Nation Entertainment (which includes the world’s largest promoter and one of the biggest management companies), Azoff sets the agenda for much of the music industry and yet, he still finds time to Tweet, often to hilarious effect.

8) Justin Bieber: It’s too soon to tell if he’s just this year’s model when it comes to  teen idols or if he’ll have a career three years from now, but he’s setting himself up smartly to be one of the very few to be able to move into adulthood with a career. Plus, can more than 1 billion YouTube views really mean no one will care two years from now?

9) Kanye West: He stayed quiet for the first half of the year as he repented from Swift-gate, but then came on strong for the last half, pummeling us with free music and then wrapping up the year with one of the top albums of the year, the aptly-titled “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” He’ll never been as incredible as he is in his own mind, but at even half that, he is a flat-out genius. A crazy one, but a genius nonetheless.

10) Vevo: The online video channel is only a little more than a year old, but the Google/Universal Music Group/Sony venture has taken the online video world by storm, often surpassing Viacom (which owns MTV, CMT, VH1, etc) in monthly viewers. Plus, its picture quality is astonishing, just check out the most recent additions from Ray Lamontagne and Bruce Springsteen. It’s how to do music videos right on the internet.

Music Power Brokers appears every week on Hitfix. We're taking a two-week break for the holidays, but will be back Jan. 6. Happy Holidays!

 Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter at @MelindaNewman

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<p>Rascal Flatts</p>

Rascal Flatts

Credit: AP

Country stars sign on to appear in new HBO mini-series, 'To Appomattox'

Stars will also write music for the Civil War drama

We have to imagine they will all be on the Confederacy side, but a number of country artists have signed on to star and/or create music for HBO’s forthcoming Civil War mini-series, “To Appomattox.”

The series, about the final battle of the Civil War,  stars Michael C. Hall as General Ulysses S. Grant, William Petersen as General William Tecumseh Sherman, Paul Giamatti as James “Pete” Longstreet and Bill Paxton as Stonewall Jackson.

Among the country artists who will have roles are the members of Rascal Flatts, Dwight Yoakam, Kix Brooks (formerly of Brooks & Dunn), and Laura Bell Bundy, according to The Boot.  All will also contribute to the soundtrack. Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik will also provide a song for the series.

In a real southern twist, NASCAR has affiliated with the series, and, according to the show’s website, certain NASCAR drivers will sign on to play certain roles, including Carl Edwards, who will play General John B. Gordon. We're not making this last bit up.

And speaking of Rascal Flatts, the lads will sing with Justin Bieber on his forthcoming duets album on "That Should Be Me," from "My World 2.0" (now many times is the Biebster going to repurpose songs from this first two albums?)  Rascal Flatts lead singer told MSN's One Country he's a Bieber fan: “The kid is really talented,” LeVox says. “He plays five or six different instruments really well.”

 

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