<p>Eminem returns this Nov.&nbsp; And we're gonna guess it's not a kinder, gentler&nbsp;Eminem.</p>

Eminem returns this Nov.  And we're gonna guess it's not a kinder, gentler Eminem.

Credit: Interscope

Eminem announces release date for 'MMLP2'

New single, "Berzerk, will drop on Tuesday

Eminem’s new album, “MMLP2,” will come out Nov. 5.  The word of the release date came during the MTV Video Music Awards. “MMLP2” stands for “Marshall Mathers LP 2.” “Marshall Mathers LP” was Eminem’s third studio album. “MMLP2” will be his eighth.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>One Direction</p>

One Direction

Credit: Jon Furniss/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and One Direction lead this week's tally

'N Sync and Luke Bryan also make the list

1. Katy Perry: “Roar” roars up the chart, leaping from 85 to 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, largest on the back of selling more than 550,000 digital downloads, a career high for Perry.

2. Taylor Swift: She sets the record for most sellouts at Staples Center for a solo act at 11. The current album may be called “Red,” but she’s so in the black.

3. One Direction: The British boy band breaks the attendance record for “Today” concerts as 18,000 crowd into mid-town Manhattan. They are never going away, are they? 

4. Luke Bryan:
His “Crash My Party” crashes on the Billboard 200 with sales of 528,000, the third highest opening tally this year and the best by a country artist.

5. Ed Sheeran: He sells out his gig at Madison Square Garden. Not bad for Taylor Swift’s opening act.

6. Sara Bareilles:
Her single, “Brave,” which some are claiming Perry ripped off for “Roar,” gets a serious sales bump following the controversy. After peaking at No. 61 this Spring, it rebounded last week flying 66-41 on the Billboard Hot 100 from sales soaring from 28,000 to 51,000 in one week.

7. 'N Sync: The boy group gets ready to reunite for the first time in 10 years for Sunday’s Video Music Awards, but then we’ll have to say “bye, bye, bye” to them once again...

8. Madonna: She turns 55 and celebrates by getting grills on her teeth. Someone call AARP; It’s time for an intervention. 

9. Bon Jovi: Like pulling a band-aid off slowly, the process that has led to founding guitarist Richie Sambora leaving the band after 30 years started in April and allegedly came to a formal end this week (though neither party has confirmed it). Yes, the group is named after Jon Bon Jovi, but it’s always been a partnership to the fans. Whatever kept Sambora off this tour, we still hope it's only temporary.

10. Sid Bernstein: The man who brought the Beatles to America died at  95 earlier this week. We loved him, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Final MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Predictions
Credit: AP Photo

Final MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Predictions

It's Justin Timberlake vs. Robin Thicke vs. Miley Cyrus

Though all eyes will be on the performances at Sunday night's Video Music Awards, including watching Lady Gaga's live premiere of "Applause" and a rumored 'N Sync reunion, there will be plenty of Moonmen handed out at the annual MTV ceremony.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, but it's really coming down to a contest between Timberlake's "Mirrors" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" in many category. Here's how we see it going down.

MTV's VMA's will air live from Brooklyn's Barclays Arena starting at 9 p.m. E.T. They are tape delayed on the West Coast.  Look for complete coverage all night long on HitFix.

Check out our predictions in the embedded story gallery. Who do you think is going to win big Sunday night? Share your thoughts below.

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<p>John Mayer</p>

John Mayer

Credit: Victoria Will/AP

Can John Mayer top Luke Bryan on next week's Billboard 200?

It's a crazy week with five debuts in the top 10

Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” holds off five newcomers on next week’s Billboard 200 to remain at No 1 for a second straight week.

After selling a staggering 528,000 (2013’s 3rd best opening tally), Bryan will see his weekly total drop to between 165,000-175,000, but that’s still enough to keep him in pole position.

John Mayer’s excellent “Paradise Valley,”  which includes a duet with Katy Perry, comes closest to knocking Bryan off his perch, but will likely have to settle for runner-up, with sales of up to 155,000. His last album, 2012’s “Born and Raised,” bowed at No. 1.

Mayer’s title is one of four debuts in the top 5. Coming at at No. 3 will be “Three Kings” (65,000-70,000) from TGT, the new group composed of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank; Jimmy Buffett’s “Songs From St. Somewhere” (55,000-60,000) at No. 4, and Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” at No. 5 (50,000-55,000).

Robin Thicke’s former No. 1, “Blurred Lines” (45,000-50,000) slips to No. 6, “Now That’s What I Call Music” is at No. 7 (35,000-40,000). Rapper A$AP Ferg bows at No. 8 with “Trap Love”  (30,000-35,000). Disney’s soundtrack for “Teen Beach” is at No. 9 (30,000-35,000) and Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” at No. 10 (27,000-30,000), according to Hits Daily Double.

Just missing the top 10 are two more debuts: the latest from the Tedeschi Trucks Band at No. 11 and singer/songwriter Ben Rector at No. 12.

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<p>Justin Timberlake's 'Mirrors'</p>

Justin Timberlake's 'Mirrors'

Countdown to MTV's Video Music Awards: Video of the Year: Timberlake vs. Thicke

Will it be Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke's year?

As MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards approach, we’ll countdown to the Aug. 25 ceremony, which airs live at 9 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, closely followed by Bruno Mars, Pink, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Among the artists performing on the show are Lady Gaga, who will open the awards; Timberlake (with a rumored ‘N Sync reunion), Mars, and Cyrus.

We’ll look at a different category each day leading up to Aug. 25. Later this weekend, we'll list all our predictions, with some additions, in a video gallery.  Plus, look for full coverage of the VMAs, including live blogging, commentary, fashion best and worsts, and more on Sunday.
 

Video of the Year 
Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, "Thrift Shop"
 Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
 Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"
 Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble"

This is a race between “Blurred Lines” and “Mirrors.” “Mirrors” is the more artistic statement, although some may find the second half of Timberlake’s video a little pretentious. Some folks may also find “Blurred Lines” creepy, but not enough to keep it from winning here. One question: why isn’t Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” in this category?

Who Should Win: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Who Will Win: Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines”
 

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<p>Marvin Gaye</p>

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye family turned down settlement from Robin Thicke: Report

Offer made before Thicke filed lawsuit to protect 'Blurred Lines'

Robin Thicke’s seemingly pre-emptive filing of lawsuit last week asking for a ruling that “Blurred Lines” does not infringe upon Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and George Clinton’s “Sexy Ways” is suddenly making a lot more sense.

[More after the jump...]

 

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Watch: Pearl Jam's striking new video for 'Mind Your Manners'

Watch: Pearl Jam's striking new video for 'Mind Your Manners'

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The Seattle band snarls through taut, cinematic clip

Pearl Jam captures man’s inhumanity to man and other living things in the video for “Mind Your Manners.” Directed by noted rock photographer Danny Clinch, the video opens with a quaint '50s film about the importance of manners before crashing into a Pearl Jam performance in front of a screen quickly cutting to different disturbing images.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Kendrick Lamar in &quot;Swimming Pools&quot;</p>

Kendrick Lamar in "Swimming Pools"

Countdown to MTV's Video Music Awards: Best Hip-Hop Video

Drake and Kendrick Lamar compete against themselves in strong category

As MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards approach, we’ll countdown to the Aug. 25 ceremony, which airs live at 9 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, closely followed by Bruno Mars, Pink, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Among the artists performing on the show are Lady Gaga, who will open the awards; Timberlake (with a rumored ‘N Sync reunion), Mars, and Cyrus.

We’ll look at a different category each day leading up to Aug. 25.

Best Hip Hop Video

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us"
Drake, "Started From The Bottom"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools (Drank)"
A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, "F--kin' Problems"
J. Cole feat. Miguel, "Power Trip"

With its explorer theme, “Can’t Hold Us” is certainly the most ambitious of the five clips, and also the most uplifting. “Swimming Pools” is the most emotional. The gritty clip for “Power Trip” has a body count. “Started From The Bottom” is the funniest, and A$AP has the most booty, but is the least ambitious.

Who should win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Who will win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f. Ray Dalton,”Can’t Hold Us”

Previous Predictions:

Best Pop Video
Best Female Video
Best Male Video


 

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<p>Selena Gomez's &quot;Come and Get It&quot;</p>

Selena Gomez's "Come and Get It"

Credit: Hollywood Records

Countdown to MTV's Video Music Awards: Best Pop Video

It's a close race between Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez

As MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards approach, we’ll countdown to the Aug. 25 ceremony, which airs live at 9 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, closely followed by Bruno Mars, Pink, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Among the artists performing on the show are Lady Gaga, who will open the awards; Timberlake (with a rumored ‘N Sync reunion), Mars, and Cyrus.

We’ll look at a different category each day leading up to Aug. 25.

Best Pop Video

Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
Fun., "Carry On"
Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
Selena Gomez, "Come and Get It"

This is a race between Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” and Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop,” and given that it’s a fan-voted award, Cyrus’s fans will probably be the more active voters.  “Mirrors” is the most artistic of the group, Cyrus’s is the weirdest.  Fun.’s “Carry On” does a great job of setting the inspirational mood of the song and blends performance and story, but the band’s voters probably won’t come out en masse. Bruno Mars captures just the right energy for the retro “Locked Out Of Heaven.” Selena Gomez is the dark horse here- her fan base could coalesce to push “Come and Get It” to the top spot. It’s a beautifully shot clip with lush fields and lots of fashion changes.

Who Should Win: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Who Will Win: Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”

Past Predictions

Best Female Video
Best Male Video



 

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What if the Dixie Chicks hadn't insulted George Bush from a London stage?
Credit: The Weinstein Company

What if the Dixie Chicks hadn't insulted George Bush from a London stage?

Would they still be burning up the country charts?

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

In 2003, The Dixie Chicks were on top of the country world, garnering airplay and selling out venues around the world for their tight, strong melodies, lead by Natalie Maines’ strikingly strong, compelling vocals. They were a new breed of country star: completely contemporary and modern. They appreciated the past, but had no desire to revisit it.

Then, while on tour in London in March 2003, as the U.S. was preparing to invade Iraq, under President George W. Bush’s command,  Maines looked out at the audience and said, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”

Quicker than you can say “weapons of mass destruction,” country radio retaliated, dropping the Chicks’ music and angry Americans burned their albums.

Two days later, Maines followed up by saying that she felt that President Bush was ignoring the opinion of many Americans. Four days after the initial comment, she issued a half-hearted apology, saying, “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful.” She went on to say that she wanted to see every viable option explored before the U.S. went to war, but the apology was too little too late.

What if Natalie Maines had never dissed President Bush  from the London stage?

Three things that might not have happened:


1. Country music wouldn’t be drowning in tired, hackneyed tropes about pick-up trucks, girls in short skirts and cowboy boots, and tractors. The Dixie Chicks brought a certain sophistication to country music. Their music was awash in country instrumentation—fiddles, mandolins, banjos —but their lyrical approach was fresh and innovative, adding a spunky  twist to  topics such as domestic abuse (“Goodbye Earl”) escaping a bad marriage (“Sin Wagon”), or just the need to break away from home (“Wide Open Spaces”).

2. The Dixie Chicks wouldn’t have appeared nude on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. As part of their publicity campaign to explain their political position, Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison posed nude for the cover of the magazine with words such as “Traitor,” “Hero,” “Brave” and “Free Speech” on their bodies.

3. The Dixie Chicks wouldn’t have swept the 2007 Grammys. Yes, the trio’s “Taking The Long Way” was a strong effort, but the five trophies, including album of the year, and record of the year for “Not Ready To Make Nice,” were as much a statement of solidarity by the music community as it was an acknowledgement of creative achievement.

Three things we predict might have happened:


1. They would have continued to make great records. In many ways, it felt like the Chicks were just hitting their stride and finding their voice. Instead, after the 2006 “Taking the Long Way” album and “Shut Up and Sing” documentary, they retreated to lick their wounds and have only occasionally played gigs.

2. Both Maines and her band mates, siblings Maguire and Robison would have also had solo careers run parallel to the Chicks. We probably still would have gotten the two excellent Courtyard Hounds sets, as well as Maines’ rock album, “Mother.”

3. Country music would have embraced more outspoken female artists. To an extent that has happened with Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves, but way too many country females still tend to play it safe, content to not stir the pot.

Did history work out for the best?

No. In terms of their commercial career, the Dixie Chicks plunged off a cliff. As “Shut Up & Sing,”  the documentary about their fall,  chronicles, they received death threats and the public has been very slow to forgive her words, even though other artists have made far more incendiary comments. While they seem to be touring more —the trio just announced a slate of Canadian dates for late summer and early fall— they are a voice that is severely missed.

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