<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.

<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.
 

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.
 

Justin Bieber

The one. The only. The Bieber.

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: 245 million reasons why Justin Bieber is on the list

Does he knock Eminem out of the top spot?

The summer doldrums are here as the music industry struggles to combat continued dropping CD sales and now cries itself to sleep over the worst summer concert season in more than a decade. There are so few bright spots right now, yet one beacon continues to let his light so shine. Yes, Eminem holds at No. 1 once again with no true challengers in site. The set up for “Recovery” was, in many ways, subtle and yet masterful and has completely reestablished his supremacy at radio, retail and, via four sold out stadium shows with Jay-Z, as a live act.

1) Eminem (No. 1 last week): He’s so happy with the way the public is snapping up his album, he’s changed the name of the duet with Rihanna to “Love the Way You Buy.”

2) The First Amendment (not ranked): A federal appeals court struck down rules imposed by the FCC governing decency that seemed unnecessarily strict and financially draconian after they were rigidly imposed following Janet Jackson’s 2004 nip slip. That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief by radio DJs around the country who no longer have to fear getting fired for letting the occasional expletive slip through.  Will FCC chairman Julius Genachowski appeal? Not likely.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Does Eminem knock Katy Perry out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100?

And why you should know about Mike Posner

Eminem is chasing Katy Perry. On the charts, at least. Perry’s “California Gurls” surfs to its sixth week atop The Billboard Hot 100 this week, but Em’s “Love the Way You Lie,” feat. Rihanna, is looking like it may knock “Gurls” off the pinnacle next week as it continues to gain airplay.

Also making moves on this week’s chart are Latin hotties Enrique Iglesias and Shakira. Iglesias scores his first Top10 hit in almost nine years with “I Like It” feat. Pitbull. The track jumps 18-8, according to Billboard. Iglesias got a little help from “The Jersey Shore” for his tune, while Shakira has the support of the world behind her as “Waka Waka” re-enters the top 40  following her performance of the song on ABC prior to June 11’s final match.

Billboard notes that this was an off week for singles, perhaps because of the July 4 holiday.  No song debuts higher than No. 92 on the Hot 100, making it the first time since March 2009 that such low feats were achieved.

Over at iTunes, “Love the Way You Lie” has already eclipsed  “Gurls.” It stands at No. 1, while Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” is No. 2 and “Gurls” is No. 3.

Keep an eye out for new artist Mike Posner, whose breakout single, “Cooler Than Me,” (No. 5 on iTunes) continues to create excitement about th artist. He’s already opened for Drake and is now on the Warped Tour. His debut album comes out Aug. 10.

the new Ace of Base

When did the two guys in Ace of Base become Sigfried and Roy? And are those their nieces?

Listen: Ace of Base is back with 'Mr. Replay'; Don't say we didn't warn you

They kept the same old synth beat and dumped the ladies

I really thought there was absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, in this world that could make me nostalgic for the original Ace of Base. I was wrong.

You remember them, right?  The co-ed Swedish synth act had their moment in the ‘90s with such hits as “All That She Wants” (which, it turns out, was a baby….), "The Sign," and “Don’t Turn Around.” The songs were fluffy, totally disposable and everywhere. Then they seemingly drove off in a Volvo back to the Ikea store that manufactured them and were never heard of again except for on oldies radio.

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Usher performing in China

Usher performing in China for the first time over the weekend.

Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Watch: Usher flexes his way through 'There Goes My Baby' video

Here come his pecs

We know it’s redundant to say in regards to Usher,  “This one is for the ladies,” since everything Mr. Steamy does is for the gals, but the video for “There Goes My Baby,” the fourth from “Raymond v. Raymond,” is basically a Harlequin Romance set to a sultry, slow groove of a song.

Usher sounds like Seal here, but he takes a page from D’Angelo and is shirtless for 75% of the video. You got a problem with that?  It would seem, unlike D’Angelo, that he’s wearing pants, but that’s not always so readily apparent so feel free to pretend he's not.

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<p>Lil Wayne</p>

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne sends another note from jail where life sounds, surprisingly, good

And, oh yeah, Go Lakers!

Lil Wayne has written us (and by “us,” I mean his fans), another missive from jail. It’s No. 4 if you’re counting.  It would appear that he’s settling into his routine fairly well, has a great attitude, and is getting to sleep later than any prisoner we’ve ever heard of. And his confidence is certainly in tact, although we appreciate the stab at humility that he feels it would be “unfair” to call his new lyrics “perfect.”

Below is the letter in its entirety, taken from his website.

Hello world… I’m good. Counting the days and still smiling. Most of those smiles come from hearing my kids’ voices over the phone. The others come from reading fan mail. Let me just say that I have the best fans in the world! The devotion, dedication, support, love, and most of all, prayers are simply the best. I never imagined that I could have such an impact on people’s lives. Because of this, I vow to be a bit more careful of what I say.

So I’ve been writing and let me be the first to tell you that the lyrics that I’m writing are… well there’s no word that I can think of that properly defines them. Amazing would be too typical and perfect would be unfair. I listen to the radio sometimes, emphasis on sometimes, and I hear the new music. I like some. I applaud my Young Money family for what they’re doing. As I’m not surprised. This is what we’re supposed to do. Congrats to Drake and Nicki for all their recent success. Those 2 are going to have me retiring early. I love my team. Much love to Tez and Mack. I know that people are inquisitive of what I do all day, so here goes. I wake up around 11AM. Have some coffee. Call my kids, and my wonderful mother. I then shower up. Read fan mail. Have lunch. Back on the phone. Read a book or write some thoughts down. Have dinner. Phone. Pushups. Then I listen to ESPN on the radio. Read the bible, then sleep. That’s my day.

I’ll end this letter, but never my love. I’m gone. Oh, and how ‘bout dem Lakers!?!

P.S. I thank my fans for appreciating me the way you do.
Tunechi.

<p>Miranda Lambert</p>

Miranda Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

Miranda Lambert picked to headline CMT on Tour

Eric Church and Josh Kelley join in on the fall outing

Miranda Lambert has been nabbed to headline the CMT on Tour outing this fall.  Past CMT tours have featured Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland and Keith Urban.

The tour, which starts Sept. 29, also features Eric Church and Josh Kelley.

The dates will be announced later. Below are the cities.

New York, NY
West Springfield, MA
Bangor, ME
Gilford, NH
Clemson, SC
Murray, KY
Altamont, IL
Durham, NC
Columbia, SC
Perry, GA
Tulsa, OK
Thackerville, OK
Kearney, NE
Columbia, MO
Charlottesville, VA
Huntington, WV
Bristol, TN
Nacogdoches, TX
College Station, TX
Beaumont, TX
Dekalb, IL
Independence, MO
Brookings, SD
Grand Forks, ND
Loveland, CO
 

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam

Credit: AP Photo

Pearl Jam says goodbye... for now

Band announces hiatus from stage in Portugal

Pearl Jam is going on hiatus… or at least we think they are. At the band’s July 10 appearance at the Optimus Alive  festival In Lisbon,  lead singer Eddie Vedder told the crowd—in Portuguese, no less,  they were witnesses the group’s last show “in a long time.”

“Thank you for coming to our last show,” Vedder said, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Not our last show ever, but our last in a long time.” He then told the audience, “Have fun tonight because we don’t know when else we will have fun.”

The band’s website offers no further illumination, other than no additional concerts are listed. Pearl Jam has been on tour in support of “Backspacer” for almost a year. The group has been a touring machine since its inception 20 years ago: it has played at least a handful of dates, if not a full outing, every year.

We know at least one PJ member won’t be taking a long break: drummer Matt Cameron will rejoin his former band Soundgarden when the re-formed group headlines Lollapalooza on Aug. 8 in Chicago. Although no further dates have been announced, rumors are rife that the band is expected to tour at some point this year.