<p>Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.</p>

Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' tops Billboard Hot 100 for 12th week

Which two acts score their first Top 10 hits this week?

Of the 35 weeks so far in 2013, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been the No. 1 song on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for more than one/third of them.

This week, Thicke’s streak continues as “Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., spends its 12th week at No. 1, holding off Katy Perry’s “Roar” for at least one more frame. It is only the 14th song to have that long a stint at No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 55-year history.

For the first time during its reign, “Blurred Lines” shows a slight dip in radio listenership, so that may be a sign that the song is losing its stranglehold.  Perry’s “Roar” drops in digital sales after its amazing 550,000 tally last week, but gains in airplay and streaming to stay at No. 2.

Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” remains at No. 3, but she could definitely see a bump after her attention-getting performance at Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV.

Lady Gaga, who opened the VMAs, could also see another rise next week. Regardless, the song continues its upward trajectory this week, as it climbs 6-4, propelled largely by streaming of the video.

All hail Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” as it falls 4-5, but celebrates its 52nd week on the Billboard Hot 100. It is only the second song, following Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” to spend a full year on the Hot 100, according to Billboard.

Rounding out the top 10, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake falls 5-6, Avicii lands his first top 10 as “Wake Me Up”  soars 11-7. Capitol Cities’ “Safe And Sound” ticks up two to No. 8, while Lana Del Rey also sees her first Top 10 hit with “Summertime Sadness,” featuring Cedric Gervais, as it rises 15-9. Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” drops 7-10.

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<p>Nine Inch Nails</p>

Nine Inch Nails

Credit: AP Photo

Stream Nine Inch Nail's new album, 'Hesitation Marks' in full now

Hear Trent Reznor's latest one week before its official release

Nine Inch Nails’ “Hesitation Marks” isn’t out until next Tuesday (Sept. 3), but fans can stream NIN's album in its entirety now via iTunes.

The album comes in standard and deluxe versions (and with four covers), with the latter featuring three bonus tracks: "Find My Way (Oneohtrix Point Never Remix)," "All Time Low (Todd Rundgren remix)" and "While I'm Still Here (Breyer P-Orridge 'Howler' Remix)" ( OK, how cool is a Todd Rundgren remix? )

First single, “Came Back Haunted,” has reached Top 10 at Modern Rock Radio, while the poppy (by NIN standards) second single, “Everything” is also doing well.

Recorded by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder, “Hesitation Marks” is Nine Inch Nails’ first album in five years and features Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Crimson’s Adrian Belew (who was in NIN for a hot minute), and bassist Pino Palladino.

And if you’re not busy on Sept. 3, Nine Inch Nails will be playing a record release show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour.  The full arena tour starts Sept. 28




 

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Justin Timberlake talks 'sense of desperation' in making 'The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2'

Justin Timberlake talks 'sense of desperation' in making 'The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2'

Watch his teaser for the sequel

Fresh off his 15-minute performance at Sunday night’s Video Music Awards (giving the only appearance people are talking about other than Miley Cyrus’s twerkfest), Justin Timberlake has posted a trailer for his “The 20/20 Experience —2 of 2.”  The set comes out Sept. 30.

The combined albums—"The 20/20 Experience" came out in March and is the biggest selling album of 2013 —took 20 days to record in the studio and Timberlake just couldn’t stop as the songs came tumbling out.

Timberlake also posted an open letter on his website, noting that he wrote the songs for the two sets “over a year ago, it’s been so hard to wait this long to release them. I can’t wait for you to hear The 20/20 Experience in full.”

He also promises more action to come: “Catch your breath, TN kids,” he write, alluding to the pet name he’s given his band for this project. “We’ve still got the 3rd and 4th quarter to go.” In other words, we’re just coming up on halftime.  Timberlake, who just completed a stadium tour with Jay Z, has his own arena tour coming up for the rest of the year.

He concludes the letter with “This is too much fun.”

The video shows Timberlake and producer Timbaland goofing around in the studio as Timberlake talks about the speed with which the projects came together. “We usually take our time,” he says, and I felt like it would drive the creativity in a different way to feel like we had to spring every day and it would hyper-focus us.”  He also says he felt like he "owed" it to himself to exploit this "sense of desperation" to make music.

 

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Album art for Scotty McCreery's 'See You Tonight'

Album art for Scotty McCreery's 'See You Tonight'

Credit: Universal Music

New Scotty McCreery album, 'See You Tonight,' out Oct. 15

Watch his new trio perform

American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s new album, “See You Tonight,” will come out Oct. 15.

Produced by Frank Rogers, best known for his work with Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker, the album features a number of tracks co-written by McCreery.

“This album is a big step from where we were. I have been writing for a long time now, since I was a kid, but these are the first songs I've had a chance to record and release to the public and I'm excited,” says McCreery, in a statement. “I was lucky to have my first single off the record be one that I co-wrote.  I am excited about letting folks hear it. We have been working on this for the better part of a year now, so it's a long time coming.”

McCreery also suggested that the album will have an “old-school country” feel. “You will hear the contemporary country, but you will always hear the steel guitar and fiddle and those little nuances that make the older country what it was. I definitely am trying to stay true to my tastes as an artist on this album,” he says.

The album follows his platinum-selling debut, 2011’s “Clear As Day,” and last year’s “Christmas with Scotty McCreery.”  First single, the title track, is at country radio now.

McCreery, who is in his sophomore year at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and is an ardent Wolfpack fan, debuted his new trio over the weekend at Packapalooza, a back-to-school rally/street festival. McCreery was joined by NSCU head football coach Dave Doeren and NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson on “Wagon Wheel," which has special meaning for Raleigh-ites (says this proud one).  The video is embedded below the track listing for “See You Tonight.”

How long before you think he switches from "Scotty" to "Scott?" I say the switch happens with the next album.

"See You Tonight" track listing:
 

1.         NOW - Written by Scotty McCreery, busbee and Frank Rogers
2.         SEE YOU TONIGHT  - Written by Scotty McCreery, Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell
3.         GET GONE WITH YOU - Written by Ross Copperman, Lynn Hutton and Tammi Kidd Hutton
4.         FEELIN' IT -Written by Frank Rogers and Matthew West
5.         FEEL GOOD SUMMER SONG -Written by J. T. Harding, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
6.         BUZZIN' -Written by busbee and Frank Rogers
7.         CAN YOU FEEL IT -Written by Scotty McCreery, Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell
8.         THE DASH  -Written by Kyle Jacobs and Preston Brust
9.         BLUE JEAN BABY -Written by Matt Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Matt Jenkins
10.       FORGET TO FORGET YOU -Written by Casey Beathard and Michael Dulaney
11.       I DON'T WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND -Written by Scotty McCreery, Frank Rogers and David Fanning           
12.       CAROLINA MOON -Written by Jon Randall Stewart and Ronnie Stewart
13.       SOMETHING MORE -Written by Scotty McCreery and Frank Rogers

 

 

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<p>Lucy Hale in the studio</p>

Lucy Hale in the studio

Lucy Hale from 'Pretty Little Liars' recording country album

What would Aria say?

Pretty Little Liars’” Lucy Hale has a secret of her own: she’s been working on a country album.

Hale, who plays Aria Montgomery on the hit ABC Family series,  grew up listening to Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Shania Twain, according to press release. Between filming the series and her other duties, such as recently co-hosting the Teen Choice Awards, Hale has been making the trek to Music City to write and record her debut album with producer Mark Bright. Bright has produced albums for artists like Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Rascal Flatts.

The first single will come out early next year with the full album to follow on Disney Music Group Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.

Hale will start the all important step of  kissing babies and shaking hands with country programmers this fall as she hits the road to let them know that country music is, really, truly, her first love.

 

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<p>We'll call this photo &quot;reaching&quot;</p>

We'll call this photo "reaching"

Credit: AP Photo

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus after the Video Music Awards and her 'publicity art'

Thanks for the 'Baby's First Twerk' instructional video, but time to move on

Dear Miley,

I’m not really sure why you feel the need to keep stabbing any existing memory of  “Hannah Montana” in the heart. We got it a few years ago when you performed “Party in the USA” and used the pole on an ice cream cart as a stripper pole. We got it again—over and over—with the various photo spreads with you showing off body parts, grabbing your crotch— and the videos that are your own version of “Girls Gone Wild.” Move over, Joe Francis. And we got it again last night in your Video Music Award stripper act performance.

You pretty much buried Hannah Montana for good after the last movie in 2010 (I know, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been way longer than that), and you can stop dedicating every minute to stomping on her grave now.  We got it. You are never, ever getting back together with that boring little school girl. Not when there’s molly to ingest and beer to drink and miles of twerking to go before you sleep.

Your "We Can't Stop" performance at the VMAs last night, as you grinded up against dancers dressed as plushie teddy bears, looked like something out of a misguided “Baby’s First Twerk” home video.  Really, no one wants to see that and it’s a good thing that Robin Thicke had on sunglasses for your performance together on “Blurred Lines” so we couldn’t see his reaction as you stroked his crotch with a foam finger. Somehow, you made the women in the “Blurred Lines” video look classy. Nice job!

A friend of mine has coined a new term for performances like yours. He calls it "publicity art." It's certainly not music and it's not really performance art —there's not that much thought put into it. It's a calculated attempt at grabbing headlines and it works. But only for so long. And the really irritating thing about it is you have to keep upping the ante. No performer can keep that up forever.

Instead of trying to shock us with how shocking you are and expecting us all to clutch our pearls, why not really stun us with something: show us that you can sing. Some of us know you can from songs like "The Climb" and "Wrecking Ball," the song you released yesterday, but a lot of folks need a reminder.  You don’t have to stop dancing or even twerking and stomping around like some awkward dinosaur, but it would be nice if you quit sticking out your tongue more than Gene Simmons. It’s almost like you have a facial tic.

No one expects you to dress up like you’re headed to a church social though you certainly got some great reactions, including Rihanna’s stony-faced, slightly bemused one. Not like she’s one to talk.

We already know you  Can’t Be Tamed. That’s so 2010. Why not show us that you can’t be stopped because you’re simply too talented.

Thanks,
Melinda 

 

 

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<p>Lady Gaga opens the 2013 MTV&nbsp;Video Music Awards.</p>

Lady Gaga opens the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/CharlesSykes

Watch: Lady Gaga opens MTV VMAs with 'Applause'

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How many wigs does she wear?

Lady Gaga took a stroll down memory lane with her performance of “Applause” to open the MTV Video Music Awards. Starting as a nun (with her face through a block of white poster board), she segued from wig to wig, recreating various videos of yore, to “ARTPOP’s” face paint until she ended the frantic performance in the clam shell bikini she features in the "Applause" video.

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<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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