<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: AP Photo

Will Britney Spears or Garth Brooks have the No. 1 album next week?

How is 'Britney Jean' looking as we go into the weekend?

Garth Brooks will have his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in 12 years next week as his box set, “Blame It All On My Roots,” is slated to climb 3-1 (155,000).

The Walmart exclusive notched third place this week after only 3 1/2 days of availability this week, selling 164,000. In addition to being available only at the big box retailer, fans can only purchase the physical set, no download is available.

Christmas titles continue to deck the charts as The Robertsons’ “Duck The Halls” takes the Duck Dynasty clan’s first holiday album to No. 2. (120,000). It is projected to narrowly top Britney Spears’ new album, “Britney Jean,” which will bow at No. 3 with slightly lower numbers. If "Britney Jean' comes in at No. 3, it will be her lowest debuting album, as all her previous sets have entered at No. 1 or No. 2.

Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas set, “Wrapped In Red” continues to sell well, at No. 4 (115,000.)
This week’s No. 1, One Direction’s “Midnight Memories,” sees a massive drop from 546,000 to around 20% of that, but will still likely top the 100,000 mark for the No. 5 spot, according to Hits Daily Double.

The bottom five looks like it will be Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP2” at No. 6 (80,000), a capella quintet Pentatonix’s “PTX, Vol 11) at a new high of No. 7 (65,000), Michael Buble’s “Christmas” at No. 8 (60000), the “Frozen” Soundtrack at No. 9 (50,000) and Katy Perry’s “Prism” at No. 10 (45,000).

In a further sign that Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” is in serious trouble, the title falls out of the top 20 only four weeks after release.

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Love burns brightly in Daft Punk's 'Instant Crush' video

Love burns brightly in Daft Punk's 'Instant Crush' video

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas does the heavy lifting here

Can a video be romantic and deeply creepy at the same time? Yes it can, especially if it’s Daft Punk’s new clip for “Instant Crush,” featuring Julian Casablancas. You’ll never look at museum dioramas the same way.

Taking a cue from “Night At the Museum,” the video “stars” two figures: a Napoleonic War soldier and the beautiful maiden he just happens to be positioned across from. Their tragic love story plays out in different parts of the museum and it’s a tribute to the video makers that even though the mannequins' expressions never change, the viewer totally feels the intense love between the two and the indignation the soldier feels for her during one pivotal scene.

In addition to singing the song, Casablancas does the heavy lifting here as the the helmeted duo are nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s The Strokes lead singer performing on a podium while the  life and death drama plays out.

I think it's one of the best videos of the year. What do you think of "Instant Crush?"

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Lorde creates her own universe in new 'Team' video: Watch
Credit: Universal Music Group

Lorde creates her own universe in new 'Team' video: Watch

Join her world of ferns, puritan outfits and motorbikes

In Lorde’s world, it’s not always the most popular kid who wins. She embraces the misfits, as “Royals” taught us. In “Team,” a band of high school kids in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world are looking for a new ruler. And they pick the new king in a decidedly Mad Max way as two kids don helmets, hop on bikes and joust with table legs.

Because it’s Lorde’s world, the unpopular kid —the one with the stringy hair, acne and a limp, is victorious.

Despite the bombed-out building (which is the perfect metaphor for how most of us feel about high school), Lorde is in a lush setting, full of greenery. With her hair pulled back, her sullen expression, and her dark lipstick, she looks more like a post-goth vampire than your typical high school kid.

Though she sings “we live in cities you’ll never see onscreen,” in an effort to heighten the sense of disenfranchisement and the distance between Auckland and the rest of the world and the kids in the song, the video for “Team” was actually shot in Brooklyn.

Lorde has said that the video came out of a dream she had about "teenagers in their own world, a world with hierarchies and initiations....I dreamt about this world being so different to anything anyone had ever seen." 

“Team” is the second single from “Pure Heroine,” following “Royals,” which has spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

What do you think of "Team?" 

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Credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP

Six predictions for Dec. 6's Grammy Nominations

Who will come away with the most nods?

The Grammy nominations for the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards will be announced Friday (6) during the enthusiastically titled CBS television special, “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!—Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night.”  

In addition to announcing the nominees in a smattering of the 80 or so categories, the hour-long program, which will air Live!! at 10 p.m., will feature performances from Lorde, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke with Earth Wind & Fire and Keith Urban with Miguel.

Here are six predictions for tomorrow night:

*Justin Timberlake will come away with nominations in three of the big four: album, song and record of the year, as well as a number of collaboration nods.

*Best new artist nominees will likely be Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ellie Goulding and Kendrick Lamar...although Ariana Grande could also sneak in there. (Depending upon how vigilant the Grammys are, Kacey Musgraves may not be eligible for best new artist: nominees can not have put out more than three albums and “Same Trailer Different Park” is her fourth album, following three indie and/or self-released sets.)

*Regardless of whether she gets
a best new artist nod, Kacey Musgraves will be the leading country nominee. The Grammys have gotten better by getting in step with country’s populist taste, but the voters still love to support acts that get no or scant country radio play like past nominees Ryan Adams and Lyle Lovett. And who can forget 2007 when the Dixie Chicks won album of the year after the country music industry had shunned them? Musgraves has been embraced by the press of all stripes and will show up on lots of Top 10 lists, yet she’s struggling at radio and has only eked out one Top 10.

*Both Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Lorde
could achieve the holy grail: nominations in all of the major four categories, album, song, record of the year and best new artist. Both are likely, but the nod goes to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis since most voters still know Lorde for one song not for the depth of  her album, “Pure Heroine.”

*Even though Robin Thicke is performing “Blurred Lines” at the nominations concert, and that’s usually a good sign, the backlash against “Blurred Lines” may result in the song getting blanked when it comes to record of the year. It was the biggest song of the year, spending 12 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, but the tide turned on the song for some. It could still eke out a nomination, but it’s far from a sure bet....although it will likely get some nods in collaboration categories.

*Kanye West, who has been a Grammy magnet
, may pay the price for some of his antics. It shouldn’t matter, but West’s belligerence has turned some of his most ardent supporters against him. He was legitimately robbed of an album of the year nomination for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” three years ago after three previous albums getting nods, and he’s probably not returning to the category with “Yeezus.” Don’t feel too back for him, however, West already has 21 Grammys, the sixth highest among any male artist.

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<p>Dave Bowie</p>

Dave Bowie

David Bowie goes back in time for new video, 'I'd Rather Be High': Watch

WW2 footage tells the story of a reluctant soldier

While David Bowie’s “The Next Day” hasn’t delivered any traditional hits, he has kept his first studio album in 10 years in the spotlight since its release in March by steadily releasing videos from the project,

Each mini-movie has had its own theme and they’ve ranged from the intriguing narrative of  “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” with Tilda Swinton or much more low key, like the $12.99 video for  “Love is Lost.” They've all been artsy, but accessible.

Late last night he released the clip for “I’d Rather Be High (Venetian Mix).”

The song, one of the jauntier musical tracks from “The Next Day,” is actually a strident anti-war song from the perspective of  a 17-year old who enlists in the war only to realize he’s way over his head.  Director Tom Hingston takes the WW2 lyrics and juxtaposes them against footage of WW2 soldiers and different scenes from the era to create a  deceptively uplifting video about wanting to be high instead of fight, or as Bowie sings: “I’d rather be high, I’d rather be flying, I’d rather be dead or out of my head than training these guns on those men in the sand.”

Hingston runs the images through some grainy filters and throws in some black and white altered images of Bowie in the clip that creates a stirring overall work.

The song was also used in a Louis Vuitton commercial featuring Bowie, which takes the song in a totally different direction.

Which clip do you like better? 

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<p>Candince Glover</p>

Candince Glover

Credit: Meeno

'American Idol's' Candice Glover: 'I'm a hopeless romantic': Interview

On new single 'Cried,' and her major label debut

Cried,” the official first single from “American Idol” Season 12 winner Candice Glover’s forthcoming  “Music Speaks,  came out last week and it gave listeners a taste of what to expect from her forthcoming debut.

Though she didn’t write the gorgeous ballad, The Underdogs’ produced tune speaks for her. “When you have been through it or not, and I have, you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve so people can connect to it. This guy just doesn’t love you any more and you’re tried so hard to understand,” she says. “That’s the part of love that all of us wish we hadn’t been through.”

The love theme plays prominently on “Music Speaks,” which will come out Feb. 18. “Love is one of my favorite things to talk about,” she says. “Every song will be about losing it or finding it, seeing a guy and not knowing if you want to tell him how you feel yet. I guess I’m a hopeless romantic.”

Glover’s coronation single, the uplifting “I Am Beautiful,” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs chart.

Though “American Idol” winners usually release an album shortly after they win their title, Glover’s set has been pushed back a few times—originally from the summer to the fall and now to February. She blames herself for the delay.  “I’m such a perfectionist. That showed while I was on [‘Idol’]. Every week the contestants would practice their songs and I would be locked up in my room, making sure every single note and everything was perfect. I didn’t want to rush the album.”

The extra time has allowed Glover to consider a wider range of songs and even to include two tunes that she co-wrote, “Forever That Man,” and “Three Little Words.”

Additionally, the slower process has allowed her to get used to being in a recording studio. “Before I won ‘American Idol,’ I’d never been in a professional studio at all,” the South Carolina native says. “I’m getting more used to it. I’m really weird though, I sing way better in a crowd of 3,000. It’s easier than singing in front of 2. I have them turn off the lights [in the recording booth]. I like it to be completely jet black in there. It helps me. Then I can make all the ugly faces I want to make.”


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Miley Cyrus's 'Wrecking Ball' crashes back to No. 1
Credit: RCA

Miley Cyrus's 'Wrecking Ball' crashes back to No. 1

How did the song end Lorde's reign?

Well, that was unexpected. Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”  crashes back to No. 1 this week ending Lorde’s nine-week streak with “Royals.”

Cyrus’ return comes courtesy of a parody video of the song by Stephen Karynal, which, because Billboard now counts YouTube video streams and the clip features Cyrus’ audio of the song, pushes her back to the top. It has been nine weeks since “Wrecking Ball” dropped out of No. 1, making it the longest gap between a song leaving and returning to the top spot in the Hot 100’s 55-year history, according to Billboard.

Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, which was poised to hop into the top spot, remains at No. 2 for the fourth week. “Royals” drops to No. 3.

Following their performance of the song on the AMAs, Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha, leaps 8-4, pushing OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” down 4-5.

The push down continues as Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” drops 5-6 and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” slips 6-7.
One Direction’s “Story of My Life” climbs back into the top 10, moving 13-8, propelled by sales of the band’s new album, “Midnight Memories,” which bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 today.

Katy Perry’s “Roar” falls 7-9 and A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” featuring Christina Aguilera, makes a great big leap into the top 10, soaring 18-10. Like “Timber” and “Story of My Life,” it sees a big AMA bump.

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<p>Miley Cyrus made the mix</p>

Miley Cyrus made the mix

Credit: AP Photo

DJ Earworm's United State of Pop 2013 has arrived: Listen

Are your favorite songs included?

You know we’re approaching the end of the year when DJ Earworm’s “United State of Pop” annual mash-up arrives.

The 2013 edition showed up today and if you didn’t already know that we’d seen a return to slower-tempo, less rhythmic pop tunes, you certainly will after you watch and listen.

“The ballads seem to be a lot more present than they have been in many years,” DJ Earworm (aka Jordan Roseman) told Billboard. This is his seventh edition since launching the series in 2007.

Titled “Living the Fantasy,” the 2103 iteration is built around Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child,” with heavy doses of Lorde’s “Royals,” Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” thrown in.

While there are plenty of other songs inserted, including Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” some of the biggest tracks from 2013 are noticeably absent, at least aurally. There are plenty of shots from Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video and a few from Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” but no scant, if any, recognizable audio hook is heard from either song, same with Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Both “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” were featured prominently in his “SummerMash ’13,” as was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us.”

What do you think of "Living the Fantasy?" 

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Justin Bieber shows his vulnerable side in 'All That Matters' video: Watch

Justin Bieber shows his vulnerable side in 'All That Matters' video: Watch

Then he rubs his crotch

In his video for the slinky, slow jam, “All That Matters,” Bieber and model Cailin Russo go through the motions. By that, we mean she  slinks around in a leather outfit and pearls (because she’s classy, y’all), performing stripper moves and reclining on a motorcycle, while he occasionally makes out with her, but mainly just watches her, in the Colin Tilley-directed clip.

When he’s not doing that, he’s looking like a wounded pup, straight into the camera. It’s a dimly-shot video full of striking cuts, all meant to show how much her love means means to him. And for the ladies, there are also a few shots of a shirtless Bieber rubbing his crotch, if that’s your thing. 


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Credit: AP Photo

Metallica puts its Orion Music + More Festival on hiatus for 2014

Future of the two-day multi-artist event is in doubt

After two years of running the Orion Music + More Festival, Metallica will take 2014 off from the two-day fest to tour Europe instead.  It is unclear if the festival will return in 2015, according to Billboard.

The metal group started launched the multi-artist/multi-genre festival in 2012 in Atlantic City, N.J. and then held the 2013 edition in Detroit. The fests featured acts from all different formats of music hand picked by the band members, as well as attractions that focused on each of their personalities, including car shows, horror film tents, etc.

Back in September, Metallica lead singer James Hetfield told Billboard that he was pleased with how the second iteration went: “We loved it. I think it went smoother than the previous one.”

Even so, he added that the band and promoter, C3 Presents, weren’t sure if they were ready to commit to further festivals.  "It's the money part, man, at the end of the day... We know that festivals don't make money right away, for sure. It's not that we're out to make money; we're at least out to break even, and it certainly has not broken even yet. It's an expensive barbecue at this point."

With more dates to be added, Metallica has already announced six shows for its Spring/Summer European tour.


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