Inside Music with Melinda Newman

What does Joan Jett think of Kristen Stewart's performance in 'The Runaways?'

Plus, Jett names names on bands that treated the Runaways badly

Joan Jett at the world premiere of 'Runaways' at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Joan Jett at the world premiere of "Runaways" at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Joan Jett has nothing but high praise for Kristen Stewart’s depiction of the rocker in “The Runaways.”

“[Kristen] makes me very proud, because she’s a very real person, she’s really authentic, she’s dedicated,” Jett told Hitfix during a roundtable for the movie at the Sundance Film Festival. “She took it really seriously. It wasn’t a gig for her: ‘I’m doing this movie, I‘ve got something else down the road.’ She cut off her hair. She immersed herself, not only in the music, but in the story.”

Jett went so far as to give Stewart a tape of Jett talking when she was 14 so Stewart could nail her mid-Atlantic accent. Ultimately, the two women, who are now fast friends, realized they had plenty of similarities. “Just in real life, we’re a lot alike,” Jett said. “If you were to see the two of us sitting around, just the way we move in space is pretty much a lot alike, we shake our legs, put our hands…it was very similar.”

Lady Antebellum looks to top next week's sales chart with more than 400,000

Michael Jackson soars back up the chart; Corrine Bailey Rae returns

<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum has been a somewhat poorly kept secret by the country community so far. But with “Need You Now,” the country co-ed trio is poised to burst wide open. Its second set, out Jan. 26, looks like it will top the 400,000 sales mark, making it a shoo-in to top the Billboard 200 next week.

Those strong sales will also make it the best debut by a January release in five years, according to Hits Daily Double, since The Game’s “The Documentary” bowed with close to 590,000. The title track from “Need You Now,” already spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard country singles chart, more than any other song in 2009. But now, the plan is to take the act to pop radio, following in Taylor Swift’s footsteps. In the meantime, Lady A’s 2008 self-titled debut continues to sell steadily and will likely return into the top 10 next week with sales of around 40,000 copies.

Current charttopper, “Hope for Haiti Now,” slips to No. 2, but has only a modest drop in sales from around 171,000 to roughing 150,000 copies. All proceeds go to relief efforts following January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Following the Jan. 26 DVD/Blu-Ray release of “This is It,” the film that follows Michael Jackson’s rehearsals prior to his death, the soundtrack companion soars back up the charts and will likely land at No. 3.

Three other debuts dot the top 10: Barry Manilow’s covers album of love songs and Corrine Bailey Rae’s “The Sea,” her first album since her husband’s accidental overdoes, are neck and neck to come in at No. 7 with around 50,000 copies sold. Rounding out the top 10 will be the latest from Irish female faves Celtic Woman.

Next week we’ll see the effects of the Grammy Awards, which usually reward the top performers with a sales bump.

The Bird and the Bee put Hall & Oates on their list

Co-ed duo records cover album saluting Philly duo

<p>Bird and the Bee</p>

Bird and the Bee

Credit: Autumn DeWilde

The bird and the bee, the duo comprised of Inara George and Grammy-nominated producer Greg Kurstin, will release “Guiltless Pleasures Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates” on March 23.

As you know, Hall & Oates are undergoing a bit of a resurgence, whether it’s being nominated for a Grammy for best pop vocal by a duo or group this year or having “Your Kiss is on My List” as the centerpiece musical number in “(500) Days of Summer” or the ongoing campaign to have the Philly soul pair inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

No firm plans on if there will be more in the series, according to a band rep. Like most things, it probably depends upon how well Vol. 1 sells.

1. Heard It On The Radio
2. I Can’t Go For That
3. Rich Girl
4. Sara Smile
5. Kiss On My List
6. Maneater
7. She’s Gone
8. Private Eyes
9. One on One

2010 Grammys: Beyonce, Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift vie for album of the year

Are the Black Eyed Peas and Dave Matthews Band possible spoilers?

Beyonce is battling for Album of the Year

Beyonce is battling Lady GaGa, Dave Matthews Band, Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift for Album of the Year.  Who will win?

Credit: AP Photo

With the Grammy Awards 48 hours away, we're down to our last prediction and it's a biggie. Today we look at the contenders for the award everyone wants to win: album of the year.

Album of the Year

“I Am…Sasha Fierce,” Beyonce
“The E.N.D.,” The Black Eyed Peas
“The Fame,” Lady GaGa
“Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King,” Dave Matthews Band
“Fearless, “Taylor Swift

There’s usually one album that is not like the others in this category and it’s usually the one that wins. Think last year’s “Raising Sand” from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, or further, such as Steely Dan’s “Two Against Nature” win in 2001 or “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in 2002 or “River: The Joni Letters” from Herbie Hancock in 2008. The slightly off-center selection this year is Dave Matthews Band’s “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.” For that reason, a number of pundits have picked it to win—certainly not because it signifies a high water mark for the band. This is a race between Beyonce, whose star continues to rise ever higher, and relative newcomers Gaga and Swift. Although we think Beyonce is the most deserving, Swift will get the Nashville vote and a fair amount of mainstream vote so we’re going with her.

The Grammy goes to: “Fearless,” Taylor Swift

Who do you think should win Best Album this year? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts below.

Below are our previous predictions

Best new artist
Record of the year
Song of the year
Best rock performance by duo or group
Best male pop vocal performance
Best female pop vocal performance
Best pop group performance
Best alternative album
Best rock song
Best pop vocal album

Watch: Mariah Carey debuts two new videos from forthcoming remix album

She croons with Ne-Yo and sasses it up with Nicky Minaj

Mariah Carey is back with two brand new videos.

Mariah Carey is back with two brand new videos.

Credit: AP Photo

 Six months following the release of Mariah Carey’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” Island Records will put out “Angels Advocate,” a remix album of tracks from “Memoirs.”

“Memoirs” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200, but quickly fell back down the Billboard 200. After 17 weeks on the chart, it has sold slightly more than 400,000, which would be a decent amount if your last name weren’t Carey.

So now, after the few singles released from “Memoirs” failed to set the radio world on fire, Island is coming back with two new singles from “Advocate”: a remix of “Angels Cry” featuring Ne-Yo is headed to Urban/AC, while a remix of “Up Out My Face” featuring Nicky Minaj goes to Urban and Rhythm. The videos for the two tracks were directed by Carey and her hubby, Nick Cannon and both premiered on Vevo today.

Watch “Up Out My Face” here or embedded below. It must be the lowest-budget video Carey has ever made and we don’t mean that as a bad thing. With it’s red and white color palette, it looks like a funTarget commercial. We will say that Carey looks adorable and hot in her nurse’s outfit.


“Angels Cry” featuring Ne-Yo is much more of the big budget production, but it’s still pretty low-key by Carey standards. Via a series of quick cuts, it ties in a story line (if watching Carey sing in the rain can be called a plot point) with Carey and Ne-Yo recording in the studio. Watch it here or embedded below.



To her credit (and we give all credit to Lee Daniels, who cast Carey in “Precious” as a decidedly non-glam social worker), Carey is wearing make-up but it more natural than we’ve ever seen her before and she still looks beautiful.

In the meantime, Carey continues her tour, which ends Feb. 27 at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas.

'Hope for Haiti Now' becomes first digital-only album to top Billboard 200

Susan Boyle sees 12% increase thanks to Oprah

<p>Justin Timberlake helps out at the Hope for Haiti telethon last week</p>

Justin Timberlake helps out at the Hope for Haiti telethon last week

Credit: AP Photo

“Hope for Haiti Now” becomes the first digital-only album in the 54-year history of the Billboard 200 to debut at No. 1.

The set, culled from the mega-million raising Jan. 22 telethon, boasts appearances by Madonna, Jay -Z, Rihanna, Beyonce, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and more.

The album sold 171,000 copies, according to Billboard. That was almost more 100,000 more than the No. 2 set, Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” which sees a 12% boost in sales following her appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Two other debuts land in the Top 10: Spoon’s “Transference” comes in at No. 4 (notching a new high for the band), while another compilation, “2010 Grammy Nominees,” comes in at No. 5.


Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Taylor Swift duke it out in our 2010 Grammy predictions for record of the year

Or will Kings of Leon or BEP take home the coveted statue?

<p>Beyonce and Lady GaGa</p>

Beyonce and Lady GaGa

The Grammys are coming on Sunday, complete with their 3D Michael Jackson tribute and fundraising segment for Haiti relief. And they’ll hand out some awards too. Today we look at one of the big four categories: record of the year.

Record of the year

“Halo,” Beyonce
“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas
“Use Somebody,” Kings of Leon
“Poker Face,” Lady GaGa
“You Belong with Me,” Taylor Swift

If the song of the year is for the tune alone in its most stripped down form, think of the record of the year as the award for the finished product after everyone else—the artist, producer, mixer, etc., had their way with the song. Therefore, this is more about how the record sounds than the actually notes on the sheet music. That’s one reason I argued under song of the year that “Halo” and “Single Ladies” should be flipped here as “Single Ladies” is the far more noteworthy production. “Use Somebody” is a strong song, as is “You Belong with Me.” Their productions are nice and suit the tunes, but don’t stand out as particularly innovative or noteworthy. Think about “Poker Face” and “I Gotta Feeling,” both are better records than songs (we’re not sure there’s really a song there in “I Gotta Feeling). They both possess unique sounds that make them instantly recognizable.

The Grammy goes to: “Poker Face,” Lady GaGa

Record of the year
Song of the year
Best rock performance by duo or group
Best male pop vocal performance
Best female pop vocal performance
Best pop group performance
Best alternative album
Best rock song
Best pop vocal album

Blige and Bocelli to perform at Grammys for Haiti relief

Download sales of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' will go to American Red Cross

<p>Mary J. Blige</p>

Mary J. Blige

Credit: AP Photo

Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli will perform “Bridge Over Trouble Water” during the 52nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 31, in a fundraising segment for Haiti relief.

Following the telecast, both the audio and video of the Simon & Garfunkel classic will be made available for download at with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross and earmarked for Haitian earthquake relief funds. While we can often be pretty cynical about these things, the thought of the powerful Mary J. Blige singing “Bridge” is enough to give us chills, so we think this will be the performance of the night.

Plus, unlike the Michael Jackson tribute, you won’t need dorky 3D glasses to enjoy it.

LeAnn Rimes debuts confessional new music at Sundance Film Festival

Grammy winner premieres new song written with David Baerwald, Richard Marx also performs

Lee Ann Rimes

Lee Ann Rimes brings a new sound to the Sundance ASCAP cafe.

Credit: AP Photo

LeAnn Rimes debuted several new songs at a packed show at the ASCAP Music Café here at Sundance on Jan. 25. Dressed casually in a sweater, black pants, and black velvet boots, Rimes assuredly ran through a 45-minute set accompanied only by keyboards and a guitar.

Although she’s been in the headlines more lately for her love life than her singing abilities, Rimes’ voice is a pure, powerful instrument. Ever since she burst on the scene as a 13-year old in the mid-90s and was hailed the next Patsy Cline, Rimes has displayed a rare talent among contemporary singers. Now 27, the Grammy winner has grown into her pipes.

Nowhere was that more evident then on “What Have I Done,” a raw, emotional song she premiered at Sundance, written by her, frequent collaborator Darrell Brown and David Baerwald. I would have never thought that the gritty Baerwald and mainstream Rimes would be too odd a pairing to work, but if “What Have I Done” is any indication; they capture lightning in a bottle together. Rimes did not say if the song referenced her recent divorce from Dean Sheremet, but it wasn’t hard to read between such lines as “What have I done/I broke the sweetest heart of the only man who ever loved me” and “There’s a hurt in me that I don’t understand.” It’s a gutwrenching tune. On the lighter side, she also performed the up-tempo “God Takes Care of Your Kind,” which she co-write as a revenge fantasy after a girlfriend went through a divorce from a scoundrel.

Rimes is working on two albums, she revealed. Up first will be a covers album produced by Vince Gill. Second will be an album of new material, some of which she debuted at Sundance.

She closed the Jan. 25 session at the Music Café. Among the artists also playing during that day’s concert were pop dance group 2AM Club, whose RCA debut comes out later this year, as well as singer/songwriter K.S. Rhodes, soulful rocker Daniella Cotton and the combo of Vertical Horizon’s Matt Scannell and Richard Marx. The duo played together on Tuesday after playing individual sets on Monday.

Aside from writing surefire melodic pop songs with airtight hooks, Scannell and Marx definitely knew how to work a crowd. Marx told the story of being recognized on Main Street on Monday by a woman who came running up to him and declared her love. He thanked her, after which she asked when had he lost his British accent. “She thought I was George Michael,” Marx grimaced. Scannell then asked if he’d been coming out a bathroom, referencing Michael’s sex scandal a few years back.

The two also managed to play some music between cracking jokes, including a number of songs made famous by each on their own, as well as some new songs, including a great one called “I’m Not Running,” where their voices blended seamlessly together. The pair released an acoustic collection last year and will release a live set recorded earlier this year soon, as well as an electric set in coming months.

2010 Grammy predictions: Do Zac Brown Band, MGMT or Keri Hilson deserve best new artist?

Why isn't Lady GaGa eligible for this award?

Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson is a prime candidate to win Best New Artist at the Grammys this year.

Credit: AP Photo

There are only a few days left until the Jan. 31 Grammy Awards so we're down to the big four categories: song, record and album of the year, as well as best new artist. Today, we look at best new artist.

Best New Artist

Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Let’s just consider for a moment if we’d even be talking about the other folks as contenders in this category if Lady GaGa had been eligible. As you know by now, she was not in contention because “Just Dance” was nominated in the dance category last year. Also not eligible were likely contenders Phoenix, who had released too many albums to be considered “new,” even though this was the band’s breakout year, and Kid Cudi, who did not release his debut album in time for consideration.

With all those codas out of the way, Zac Brown Band is the clear frontrunner here. The group, whose major label debut, “Foundation,” has sold close to 1.5 million copies, more than three times the amount of “In a Perfect World” from Hilson, ZBB’s closest competitor. Additionally, ZBB is likely to snare the majority of votes from the country community as will Hilson from the R&B genre, while MGMT, Silversun Pickups and Ting Tings will split the alternative rock vote. The award has only gone to a country artist twice before (Leann Rimes and Carrie Underwood), but ZBB will also pick up some rock votes courtesy of their jam band following.

The Grammy goes to: Zac Brown Band


Below is a rundown of our previous predictions.


Song of the year
Best rock performance by duo or group
Best male pop vocal performance
Best female pop vocal performance
Best pop group performance
Best alternative album
Best rock song
Best pop vocal album

Who do you think is going to win Best New Artist at the Grammys? Share your thoughts below.

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