<p>Taio Cruz</p>

Taio Cruz

Watch: Taio Cruz drops it like it's hot in 'Dynamite' video

And he's invited his 100 hottest female friends to join in

In this tough economy, it’s really important for a woman to have marketable skills. That’s why we felt such sisterly pride in our fellow females as we watched the video for Taio Cruz’s summer anthem “Dynamite,” his follow up to the No. 1 smash, "Break Your Heart."

Dressed in cut-offs and low-cut shirts and in unitards, they are working in a garage, clearly earning an honest day’s pay, before Cruz rides in and rescues them from such drudgery. You can tell they’re professionals because they remember to wear hard hats.

Soon enough, they’re throwing their hands up in the air getting ready to light up a club like it’s dynamite. However, we’re not sure that Cruz knows these ladies are packing and are taking his suggestion about explosives quite literally.

But party they do—if by pouting and posing—you mean partying. Maybe they look like such sourpusses at times because there a seemingly endless number of ladies, but Cruz is the only dude in sight. Hey, it’s his party, his rules.

Therefore  the girls frolic in a bubble bath and drink champagne, and get all nice and clean before the dynamite detonates in a very controlled fireball that only adds excitement to the party. As darkness falls and a sea of girls gyrate to “Dynamite,” a hailstorm of fireworks goes off. Cruz is so cool,  he never even removes his shades. It’s good to be king.

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<p>Chris Daughtry</p>

Chris Daughtry

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Daughtry emotes wistfullly in video for 'September'

Third single from 'Leave This Town' looks back at a time gone by

It’s only July, but Daughtry already has fall on the brain. The video for “September,” the band’s current single, is primarily a performance clip, but it also takes a bittersweet look back.

As the band, looking appropriately wistful,  plays in a seemingly empty theater, pictures and home movies of them as kids and young adults pop up on a screen behind them. We see lead singer Chris Daughtry and former "American Idol" contestant with hair!

The mid-tempo ballad, co-written by Chris Daughtry and bandmate Josh Steely, is about chasing those glorious summer days, but knowing that to really pursue your dreams, you have to leave the small town that give birth to those ideas. The group’s 2009 album, “Leave This Town” takes its name from this song, the collection's third single.


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<p>Jonas Brothers</p>

Jonas Brothers

Credit: AP Photo

Sheryl Crow, Jonas Bros. and R.E.M. lead a slow July 20 release slate

Tokio Hotel also checks in with a live set

It looks a little like the mid-90s on this week’s release slate with new albums from ‘90s mainstays Marc Cohn and Sheryl Crow. The Jonas Bros. also chime in with a new project, a soundtrack  to their Disney Channel series, “Jonas L.A.,” as does another set of brothers, twins Tom and Bill Kaulitz of Tokio Hotel, with “Humanoid Live.”

Marc Cohn, “Listening Booth: 1970” (Saguaro Road): Singer/songwriter best known for “Walking in Memphis” turns back time to 40 years ago with a collection of songs from 1970, including “Wild World” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Guests include India.Arie and Aimee Mann.

Sheryl Crow, “100 Miles From Memphis” (A&M/Interscope):  She’s relocated to Nashville and now she continues her pay homage to all things Tennessee with this soulful salute to the Memphis sound she grew up listening to as a kid in Kennett, Mo.  Nestled among the originals are covers of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,”  and Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name,” featuring Memphis native Justin Timberlake.

Ry Cuming, “Ry Cuming” (Bellasonic/Jive): Australian surfer turned singer paired with producer John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band) for his major label debut. The singer/songwriter pairs with Sara Bareilles on “Always Remember.”

Jonas Bros., “Jonas L.A.” (Walt Disney): The soundtrack to JoBros’ Disney Channel series, now based in Los Angeles, attempts to showcase a more grown-up trio. Kevin, after all, is a married man.

R.E.M., "Fables of the Reconstruction" (EMI). The 25th anniversary reissue of  the Athens, Ga.-band's third studio album for I.R.S. includes such classics as "Driver 8" and "Can't Get There From Here." It's not as jangly as some other R.E.M. albums, but it has aged beautifully. The 2-disc set includes newly digitally remastered versions of the original, as well as the demos and three previously unreleased tracks.

Tokio Hotel, “Humanoid City Live” (Cherrytree/Interscope): The German rock band, led by the androgynous Bill Kaulitz, has lost a little steam in the U.S., but they’ll try to regain it with this CD/DVD combo taken from the behind its third studio album,  “Humanoid.”

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American rock band Disturbed


Listen: Disturbed enters the 'Asylum' with new single

David Draiman isn't happy and he wants you to know it

It’s nice to know in this unpredictable world, we can still count on Disturbed to be, well, disturbed.

The title track to the metal group’s Aug. 31 album, “Asylum,” is a heavy, mid-tempo crunch fest about, among other things, love. “Don’t you know I’m in love you?,” lead singer David Draiman growls at one point. Amid a wash of drums and tight guitar riffs, he wails, “How can I feel this empty/this loneliness is killing me.” We’re not sure if the titular “Asylum” is a physical prison or one of his own making.

The music is pretty boiler plate classic metal.What makes “Asylum” stand out is Draiman’s compelling vocals that shift tone and nuance throughout the song.

“Asylum” follows up 2008’s “Indestructible,” which was the band’s third consecutive album to top the Billboard 200.

Look for Disturbed to tour later this summer on the Rockstar Uproar outing, alongside such acts as Avenged Sevenfold.

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Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow is going for that Nashville sound.

Credit: Sheryl Crow

Review: Is Sheryl Crow's '100 Miles From Memphis' worth the trip?

Singer pays homage to the sound that influenced her on set of originals and covers

No record collection is complete without a copy of “Dusty in Memphis,” British singer Dusty Springfield’s singer’s 1969 classic that included “Son of a Preacher Man,” and showed that soul has no geographic boundaries.

Sheryl Crow grew up a lot closer to Memphis than Springfield as we learn from “100 Miles From Memphis,” the title of her new album which references the distance from that soul capital and her hometown of Kennet, Mo.  The songs here, most of them originals, are patterned after the lush, layered soul music she grew up on. This is Al Green’s Memphis, not Elvis’s.

Opener, the peppy “Our Love is Fading,” utilizes one of the great songwriting tricks: downer lyrics set to deceptively up-tempo melodies. In this case, there are even horns and sassy backing girl-group vocals. We’re guessing the refrain of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” is a very deliberate Supremes homage.

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Credit: AP

Meet the new chart, same as the old chart if you're Eminem

'Recovery' beats Korn's 'Remember Who You Are' by a wide margin

It’s looking like déjà vu all over again on next week’s Billboard 200. Even though there are a few more shopping days until the chart closes, Eminem’s “Recovery” has a commanding enough lead that the title is sure to claim its fourth week at No. 1 with sales of around 190,000. That figure will take “Recovery” over the 1.5 million mark since its June 21 release.

Coming in a very distant second, with projected sales of around 65,000, will be Korn’s “Remember Who You Are.” It will be one of five debuts in the Top 10, according to Hits Daily Double. Sting’s ”Symphonicities,” which features orchestral arrangements of his hits, will land at No. 4, below Drake’s “Thank Me Later,” while The Maine makes an impressive start at No. 6 with “Black & White,” the rock group’s major label debut.

Despite all the hype and perhaps because of pretty tepid reviews, M.I.A.’s “Maya” will have to settle for No. 8, as it looks to move 30,000 copies. Bolstered by his hit “Lover, Lover,” country singer Jerrod Neimann will likely come in at No. 9 with “Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury,” although he may eclipse M.I.A.

Hell Yeah, a new group composed of members of Pantera and Mudvayne, sees its debut, “Stampede,” bow around No. 14.


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Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse says a new album is coming, her former producer doesn't think so.

Credit: AP Photo

Amy Winehouse says a new album is coming, her producer says 'no, no, no'

Who's right in the he said, she said?

We’ll believe it when we hear it, but Amy Winehouse says she will have new music out by January. We don’t think she mentioned a year, however.

Seriously, she told British website metro, who spotted her at a movie premiere on July 15, that “the album will be six months at the most.” Stylistically, it will be like her Grammy-Award winning “Back to Black.”  “It’s going to be very much the same as my second album, where there’s a lot of jukebox stuff and the songs that are…just jukebox, really.”

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<p>Zac Brown</p>

Zac Brown

Credit: AP Photo

Zac Brown Band sets release date for 'You Get What You Give'

Follow up to double-platinum 'The Foundation' isn't chicken fried

Zac Brown Band will release the follow up to the Grammy-winning band’s breakthrough album “The Foundation” on Sept. 21.

“You Get What You Give” builds on “The Foundation’s” blend of country, rock and reggae.  Tracks include the piano-based “Colder Weather”  and the jammy “Who Knows.”

The new set is “representative of where we are right now. It combines elements of our southern rock and country roots, but also stays true to our jam-band style musicianship from the live show,” Brown says on the band’s website. 

The group is narrowing down material from more than 50 songs.

Coming up immediately for the band is opening for Dave Matthews Band on July 16-17 in New York and July 23 in Washington, D.C.

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<p>Justin Bieber and Ludacris in &quot;Baby&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber and Ludacris in "Baby"

Justin Bieber tops Lady GaGa: Just call him ‘Baby’

Plus, M.I.A. and Shaq declare their love

It’s official. Justin Bieber’s frothy sweet “Baby” surpassed Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” on YouTube today as the most watched video in the history of YouTube.

The clip, featuring Ludacris, has been watched a staggering 245,074,968 times, YouTube announced via Twitter on Thursday.

It’s been a good week for the Bieb: M.I.A. declared her love for the moppet to MTV, or at  we think she did. The jury's still out on the sincerity there. Plus, Entertainment Weekly reports that  he’s also slated to appear in a dance off with Shaquille O’Neal during the second season of Shaq’s ABC series, “Shaq vs…” We’re scared Shaq may accidentally squash him.

Want to do your part? We’ve made it easy for you by embedding the video below.

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Live Nation: Concert ticket sales down 12% compared to last year

Live Nation: Concert ticket sales down 12% compared to last year

It's going to get worse before it gets better

Ticket sales for the top 100 acts are down 12 percent for the first six months of 2010, according to Live Nation Entertainment.

The world’s largest concert promoter announced the news on Thursday causing shares of the Los Angeles-based company to plummet. The company further stated things are likely to get much worse before they get better, noting that sales could drop another 15% during the last half of 2010.

Live Nation took its case directly to Wall Street analysts, but midway through the meeting, its shares plummeted more than 16 percent, wiping out some $322 million in market value, according to the AP. The stock recovered somewhat to end the day with an 11 percent decline, down $1.24 at $10.19.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino blamed the weak economy. The company’s executive chairman Irving Azoff blamed the shareholders for selling off during a video conference call, remarking that he hoped their dumping stock “isn’t indicative of the fact that we have a group of investors that are so shortsighted” according to Associated Press.

Billboard reported that Azoff also told investors, “If you believe there is going to be a music business…there is no other play than this company.”

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged earlier this year. Thursday’s 16% stock plunge was the lowest for the company since it announced  the Department of Justice had approved the merger.

Live Nation also revealed that U2’s tour postponement of its summer U.S. leg due to Bono’s back injury alone cost the company $6 million.  The dates have been rescheduled for next summer.

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