Eminem has reasserted his dominance in the music world in 2010.

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Eminem's 'Recovery' continues at a rapid pace

Find out why Em beats Ladies GaGa and Antbellum for the top spot

No one can touch Eminem right now. More than a decade into his career, he’s having a hell of a second act. “Recovery” remains on top of the Billboard 200 for the second week with its two-week tally adding up to more than a cool million copies sold.

Additionally, both “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” are in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, marking the first time in his career that Marshall Mathers has registered two songs in the Top 10 at once. Plus, the stadium dates he and Jay-Z are playing in Detroit and New York are selling out left and right. If he’s ever felt compelled to run for office, and we seriously doubt he has, now would be the time.

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<p>Sheryl Crow</p>

Sheryl Crow

Watch: Sheryl Crow's new video for 'Summer Day'

Feel the cool breeze blowing off your computer

Cute kids eating ice cream? Check.  Cute couple in canoe? Check? Swings? Check. Picnic? Check.

Sheryl Crow has all her summer clichés in place for her video for “Summer Day,” which premieres today on VH1 and CMT. Shot in Nashville, the clip combines a groovy performance with all the things that make a summer day so great.

The song is a slow-grooving, sultry, horn-laden salute to summer and love, which are often entwined.  It’s the first single from “100 Miles from Memphis,” out July 20. It doesn’t sound 100 miles from Memphis to us; it sounds like it is right in the heart of the music loving town with its sweet, ‘60s vibe and slow and easy feel.

She’s channeling Dusty Springfield, whose  1969 “Dusty in Memphis” album is a classic. By premiering the tune on VH1 and its sister station CMT simultaneously 

Awww Alert:  When Crow sings “you came into my life and you gave me hope and love” and is cuddling a little boy, whom we assume is her oldest son, Wyatt. Adorable.




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<p>Lady Gaga's &quot;The Remix&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga's "The Remix"

Will Lady Gaga's 'The Remix' album sate fans' seemingly unquenchable thirst?

Their Ladyship to appear on 'Today' Friday morning

Hey Little Monsters: Lady Gaga has something else for you to feast on while you wait for her new album in early 2011.

On Aug. 3, Interscope will release “The Remix” in the U.S. The set, which has already been out in the rest of the world, featured remixes of 10 songs from “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster,” including “Just Dance,” Poker Face,” “LoveGame,” “Bad Romance” and “Telephone.”

It’s a smart move by the label and a good way to capitalize on the excitement created while she tours North America this summer. She wraps  a 3-night stand at Madison Square Garden in New York tomorrow night, but first, she’ll appear on NBC’s “Today Show” Friday morning.

Of course, if you’re enough of a Gaga fan to like being called “monster,” you’ve probably already worn out your imported copy of “The Remix.”

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry tops the Billboard Hot 100, but see why Eminem rules

Who's having a bad week at radio?

It’s a great week for both Katy Perry and Eminen, who both set career highlights on the Billboard Hot 100.

Perry’s “California Gurls” logs its fifth week at No. 1  on the chart, although Usher’s “OMG” beats it in total listener impressions. (The Hot 100 combines airplay and single sales).

It must be very gratifying for Eminem to see reach new milestones. Not only has “Recovery” surpassed 1 million albums sold in two weeks, “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna stays at No. 2 on the Hot 100, while “Not Afraid” moves back into the Top 10, making it the first time in his career that Em has had two tunes in the top 10 at the same time, according to Billboard.  On iTunes, “Love the Way You Lie” is No. 1 above “California Gurls.”

Most of us still couldn’t pick Taio Cruz out of a line-up, but his songs are resonating with fans. Current single “Dynamite” moves to No. 7 this week, making it his second consecutive Top 10, following chart topper “Break Your Heart.” Billboard points out that he is the fifth new male artist to register a pair of hits in the Top 10 over the past 12 months. The others:  Drake, Jay Sean, Jason DeRulo and B.o.B. It will be interesting to see which of the artists are able to build careers and who are just flavors of the month.

It looks like Kanye West’s redemption seems to be complete. Following a successful performance at the BET Awards last week, his new song “Power,”  lands Hot Shot Debut honors on the chart with sales of more than 80,000 copies.

It’s not all good news. Miley Cyrus’s “Can’t Be Tamed” album started off slowly and it looks like the single of the same name is officially dead: It falls to No. 31 this week on the Hot 100. It never took hold at radio, climbing only to No. 52 on Hot 100 Airplay, which is the worst showing of any of her five songs to make that chart.


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<p>Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze of "American Idol"

'American Idol' eliminates seven tour dates and reshuffles others

Horrible summer tour season claims another victim

 “American Idol” has chopped seven dates off its summer tour and moved around shows in several cities to accommodate the changes.

In a summer full of cancellations of dates (Lilith Fair, Jonas Bros., Country Throwdown) and tours (Christina Aguilera, Limp Bizkit), “AI” is the latest casualty.

Now off the slate are stops in Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Mo.; Toronto, Buffalo, N.Y.; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Cleveland.  Shows in many other cities were shifted and the outing will now close Sept. 14 in Pittsburgh, instead of Sept. 16 in Portland, Maine.

Tour promoter Live Nation gave no reason for the cancellations, although poor ticket sales are a good guess: Season nine was widely considered the worst season in terms of break out stars and excitement .

Additionally, viewership dropped for the show, although 24.2 million viewers watched the finale that pitted frontrunner Crystal Bowersox against winner Lee DeWyze.


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<p>Chester Bennington of Linkin Park</p>

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park

Credit: AP Photo

Linkin Park returns with 'A Thousand Suns,' produced by Rick Rubin

Band moves back into the light following 2007's 'Midnights to Midnight'

Linkin Park will release its latest album, “A Thousand Suns,” on Sept. 14. Produced by Rick Rubin and Linkin Park singer Mike Shinoda, it is the band’s first release since 2007’s “Minutes to Midnight.”

First single, “The Catalyst,” debuts Aug. 2, but in the meantime, fans can produce their own song based on some tracks from the forthcoming album via the band’s myspace page. The band will also offer live shows and exclusive content on myspace.

The band will embark on a tour supporting  “A Thousand Suns” starting Oct. 9.


9-Oct    Maquinaria Festival    Santiago, Chile
11-Oct    SWY Music & Arts Festival    Sao Paulo, Brazil
20-Oct    O2 Arena    Berlin, Germany
22-Oct    Schleyerhalle    Stuttgart, Germany
23-Oct    Tips Arena    Linz, Austria
25-Oct    Bercy    Paris, France
27-Oct    Lanxess Arena    Koln, Germany
29-Oct    O2 Arena    Hamburg, Germany
30-Oct    MCH Arena    Herning, Denmark
1-Nov    Hallenstadion    Zurich, Switzerland
2-Nov    Festhalle    Frankfurt, Germany
4-Nov    MEN Arena    Manchester, UK
9-Nov    LG Arena    Birmingham, UK
10-Nov    O2 Arena    London, UK
11-Nov    O2 Arena    London, UK

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Marina and the Diamonds

Marina of, um, Marina and the Diamonds

Review: Marina and the Diamonds sparkle in L.A. debut

Watch video for 'I am Not a Robot' and see for yourself

You may not have heard of Marina & the Diamonds, but you will.  There’s been a buzz growing about the Welsh act that has only gotten louder following gigs at SXSW. After her sold-out show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles last night, it’s easy to see why.

Marina is Marina Diamondis. The Diamonds refers not her backing band, but to her fans (Hey, if Lady GaGa can have her monsters, Marina can have her diamonds).

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Lady Antebellum

Who has ruled the charts for the first six months of 2010?  Country superstars Lady Antebellum.

Who's the top seller of 2010 so far? Hint: It's not Eminem

How much worse are sales from the first six months of 2009?

 It’s looking like a royally good year for Lady Antebellum. At the half-way mark, the country act’s second album “Need You Now” is the top seller of 2010 so far, registering sales of more than 2, 355,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album remains a strong seller and stands at No. 10 this week on the Billboard 200 23 weeks after its release.

The leading digital track is the all-star charity sing-along “Hope for Haiti,” according to Billboard, although it did not supply sales figures.

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<p>Lady Gaga with Grammys</p>

Lady Gaga with Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Commentary: Grammy's new artist rule changes and why they didn't go far enough

It's too late for Lady GaGa, but who will the new rules help?

Call it the Lady GaGa rule. The Grammys have changed the eligibility requirements for best new artist, but we don’t think the decision went far enough.

First, some background and then our reasoning. After Lady GaGa, who was the clear front runner, was declared ineligible because “Just Dance” had been nominated for best dance track a year before, Grammy governing body, NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) went back to the drawing board to reevaluate the rules. (Ultimately, Zac Brown Band took home the best new artist trophy this year.)

Now, future Lady GaGas will have no such issues. Effective immediately, any artist who has been nominated for a Grammy, but has not won, and who fits the remaining criteria will be eligible.
Here are amended rules for qualification for Best New Artist with the change in italics:

The current eligibility requirements state that the artist must have released, as a featured performing artist, at least one album but not more than three; and the artist must not have been entered for Best New Artist more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group. Any previous GRAMMY nomination for the artist as performer precludes eligibility in the Best New Artist category (including a nomination as an established performing member of a nominated group.)  If an artist/group is nominated (but does not win) for the release of a single or as a featured artist or collaborator on a compilation or other artist's album before the artist/group has released an entire album (and becomes eligible in this category for the first time), the artist/group may enter this category in the eligibility year during which his/her/their first album is released.

A little background here:  Even if it’s often been behind the curve, NARAS has done a fair job of amending the rules to adjust to changes in the music industry without kowtowing to every passing fad.  For example, after Whitney Houston was deemed ineligible for best new artist eons ago because she sang back up on Luther Vandross’s records, the eligibility requirement was amended to allow artists who had sung backing vocals, but were not the featured performer, to be eligible for best new artist when their debut release came out.

The three-album rule came about several years ago when Shelby Lynne, who had released something like eight albums but had flown largely under the mainstream radar, won best new artist. For those of us who had been following the supremely talented Lynne for years, it was a mockery of what the category stood for. How could an act who had been releasing albums for something like 10 years suddenly be crowned best new artist? Like every rule, this one cuts both ways: for example, Phoenix, which finally broke through last year with “Lisztomania,” was not eligible for best new artist because it was the group’s fourth album.

Here’s where NARAS had the chance to be with the times—not even ahead of the curve—and failed.  When changing the rules this year, NARAS should have amended “album” to track.  As album sales continue to decline (both as a physical and as a digital commodity), NARAS has to find some way to acknowledge new artists who are breaking through, who might not have had an album drop yet, but have had significant impact through singles. For example, should Kid Cudi have been eligible for best new artist this go-round even though his album did not come out during the eligibility period based on his success? Will Drake be eligible for best new artist next year despite the fact that he’s released several mix tapes? Do they count toward his three albums?  Or should he have been eligible for best new artist already, but wasn’t because he didn’t release an “official” album until this year? 

The Grammys, which hold themselves up to be the gold standard for artistic music awards, needs to figure out how to move into the digital age. To be sure, it is making some strides, in terms of allowing digital only tracks to be eligible in many categories. We understand the desire that there be criteria that must be met to maintain the integrity of the awards, but continued freshening is vital. The Grammys already get knocked around—often unfairly—for seeming  behind the times even though they’ve never pretended to be the faux-hip  MTV Awards  and have made strong efforts to bring younger voters into the fold—but it’s not enough.  Maybe next year.


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Are the Beatles next? Apple Records enters the digital age with James Taylor, Badfinger

Are the Beatles next? Apple Records enters the digital age with James Taylor, Badfinger

Remastered sets, including Billy Preston and Mary Hopkin, come out Oct. 26

You still can’t get the Beatles catalog on iTunes, but maybe this is a step in the right direction. Apple Records, rights holder of all things Beatles, is remastering and reissuing 15 albums non-Fab Four albums released on the label. Additionally, for the first time, the albums will be available digitally, marking the first Apple releases to be offered via download.

Among the titles, all out Oct. 26, are classic albums from James Taylor, Badfinger, Mary Hopkin and Billy Preston, some of which record collectors have been paying as much as $75 for recently.

The Beatles began signing artists to the label in 1968 as Apple’s way to reward them for their success. Often the Beatles participated on the albums: for example, Paul McCartney and George Harrison perform on Taylor’s breakthrough hit “Carolina in my Mind.” McCartney produced Hopkin’s monster hit, ‘Those Were the Days,” and wrote and produced Badfinger’s “Come and Get It.” Harrison produced Preston’s label debut, ‘That’s The Way God Planned It.” John Lennon brought in The Modern Jazz Quartet, while Ringo Starr (Happy birthday, Ringo!! Btw) recruited modern classical composer John Tavener.


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