5 Seconds of Summer

5 debuts leap onto the album chart next week, challenging 'Frozen's' supremacy

Will one of the newcomers toss 'Frozen' out of the top spot?

 It’s a big week next week for debuts on The Billboard 200 with at least five new titles bowing in the Top 10.

The big race is between the soundtrack to “Frozen,” which is vying for its 9th week at No. 1, but is facing a big challenge from boy band 5 Seconds of Summer and its EP, “She Looks So Perfect.” Hits Daily Double says the two are too close to call, with “Frozen slated to sell between 140,000-150,000 and “Perfect” between 135,000 and 145,000.

The contenders for No. 3 and 4 are also close, but 100,000 copies separate them from the No. 1 and No. 2 slots. Chevelle’s “La Gargola” and Christina Perri’s “Head Or Heart” are both expected to move around 40,000 units each.

Coming in at No. 5 will likely be country duo Dan + Shay’s “Where It All Began” (read our interview with the pair here).

Shakira’s “Shakira” falls to No. 6 (30,000), Johnny Cash’s “Out Among the Stars” to No. 7 (24,000), Pharrell Williams’ “G I R L” to No. 8, Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” to No. 9 (20,000) and Nickel Creek’s “A Dotted Line” bows at No. 10 (20,000).

The full chart will be released next Wednesday.

Read Full Post
Miranda Lambert

2014 Academy of Country Music Awards predictions

Who's going home with the most trophies?

Tim McGraw is the leading nominee for the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, with seven nods, but he may be going home empty handed on Sunday night. Below are my predictions in the main categories for the April 6 ceremony, which airs on CBS live EDT starting at 8 p.m.

Entertainer of the Year
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Blake Shelton
George Strait
Taylor Swift

SHOULD WIN: George Strait. Even though some will consider it a sentimental win, he’s still selling out arenas and going out at the top of his game.
WILL WIN: Blake Shelton

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Lee Brice
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban

SHOULD WIN: It’s a bit of a strange category: Where’s Brad Paisley? Where’s Eric Church?  Of this group, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are the stand out vocalists, with Shelton winning by a nose.

WILL WIN: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Sheryl Crow
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

SHOULD WIN: If we’re going solely by voices— and it is a vocalist award— Carrie Underwood, but she seems to have fallen out of favor with voters the last few years.

WILL WIN: Miranda Lambert

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

SHOULD WIN: Florida Georgia Line. No one else has come close to their success this year. Perennially a weak category, Thompson Square is the other duo that could give them a run for their money

WILL WIN: Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

SHOULD WIN: The year’s strongest category, this is a toss up between The Band Perry and Little Big Town and Lady A (although Lady A was dormant for much of the time)

WILL WIN: The Band Perry

Album of the Year
Blake Shelton, ‘Based on a True Story…’ L
uke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’
Florida Georgia Line, ‘Here’s to the Good Times’
Kacey Musgraves, ‘Same Trailer Different Park’
Tim McGraw, ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’

SHOULD WIN: Kacey Musgraves. “Trailer” is the strongest, most consistent album of the bunch.

WILL WIN: Blake Shelton, “Based on a True Story…”

Single Record of the Year
Florida Georgia Line, ‘Cruise’
Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), ‘Highway Don’t Care’
Lee Brice, ‘I Drive Your Truck’
Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’
Darius Rucker (Feat. Lady Antebellum), ‘Wagon Wheel’

SHOULD WIN: The best written song of the bunch is “I Drive Your Truck” (although this is not a songwriters’ award), and the funnest song in the bunch is “Mama’s Broken Heart,” it’s really a tie.

WILL WIN: “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line. It was simply unstoppable last year.

Read Full Post
Kurt Cobain

Remembering Kurt Cobain's death 20 years later

How could the Nirvana frontman have already been gone so long?

There are some moments you don’t forget. I remember exactly where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain had died.

I was sitting in my cubicle at Billboard’s New York office at 1515 Astor Plaza. I was the magazine’s talent editor. It was Friday, April 8, 1994.

Read Full Post
Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey pouts her way through girlish 'Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight': Listen

Is this from 'Ultraviolence' or a stolen track?

A new Lana Del Rey tune leaked out today and it’s a safe bet that unless she’s going in a different direction, “Meet Me in the Pale Moonlight,” will not be on her new album.

Read Full Post
Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw's new album coming Sept. 16

'Sundown Heaven Town' will be preceded by summer tour

Tim McGraw will release “Sundown Heaven Town,” his 13th studio album, on Sept. 16. First single, “Lookin’ For That Girl” is at radio now.

Read Full Post
Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton
Credit: CBS

7 reasons to watch Sunday's ACMs: Blake Shelton, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift and more

Plus, we've come up with a drinking game

The 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards airs Sunday night at 8 p.m. on CBS.  While slightly more prestigious than the American Music Awards (which are similarly produced by dick clark productions), the ACMs are to the CMA Awards what the AMAs are to the Grammys: they are a little less stuffy and a little more loose-limbed. The ceremony is in in Las Vegas, so artists are out of their Nashville hometown and they feel a little less constrained.

Read Full Post
Pharrell Williams
Credit: CBS

Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' makes it six weeks at the top

Williams' surpasses Elvis Presley in a vital statistic

Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” continues its residency at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth week. The song, remarkably, continues to make gains at radio, this week garnering 225.9 million all-format impressions. That puts it in second place behind Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., for the all-time record.

Read Full Post
Courtney Love

Courtney Love reforms Hole with mid-'90s era line-up

Is there new music and a new tour coming?

Courtney Love is reuniting the mid-1990’s-era iteration of Hole.

It’s unclear yet if the intention is to record new material or to tour or to do both, but Love told The Quietus that she, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Eric Erlandson and Patty Schemel have been rehearsing new material.

“I started playing with Patty and Melissa and Eric, just to see how that was,” she said. “We already played like three or four times in the last week.”

Love plans to release a new single, “Wedding Day,” shortly before her May U.K. tour, but she doesn’t mention if the tune is one of the songs she and her former band mates worked on.

Auf Der Maur, Erlandson, and Patty Schemel last recorded with Love on 1998’s “Celebrity Skin” before having various falling outs with the singer and breaking up in 2002.

Love formed Hole in 1989 with Erlandson. Auf Der Maur replaced bassist Kristen Pfaff, who died of a drug overdose in 1994.

The Love/Erlandson/Auf Der Maur/Schemel line-up reunited ever so briefly in 2012 when Love joined the other three for two songs at the afterparty following the premiere of "Hits So Hard," a documentary about drummer Schemel.

Previously, Love released 2010's "Nobody's Daughter" under the band name Hole, although Erlandson, Auf Der Maur and Schemel were not on the set.


Read Full Post
Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae reinvents David Bowie's 'Heroes' for Pepsi

She says the Thin White Duke is a fan

Janelle Monae upends David Bowie’s classic, “Heroes,” for Pepsi’s “Now is What You Make It” campaign.

Read Full Post
<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves to tape CMT's 'Crossroads'

Episode will air on VH1 and MTV, too

Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves will be tour mates this summer, but first the two will come together for the 50th episode of “Crossroads,”  CMT’s innovative series that pairs country artists with acts from another genre.

Read Full Post