<p>Miley Cyrus's &quot;Wrecking Ball&quot;</p>

Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball"

Credit: RCA Records

Miley Cyrus crashes into No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 with 'Wrecking Ball'

Women rule the roost in the top 10

Miley Cyrus crashes into No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Wrecking Ball” becomes her first chart topper, soaring 22-1.

Streaming and digital sales propel the push following the controversial video, which features a nude Cyrus. “Ball” replaces Katy Perry’s “Roar,” which falls to No. 2, following two weeks at No. 1.

An interesting Cyrus family note: While Cyrus is the only member of her family to score a No. 1 song on the Hot 100, three Cyruses have landed top 10 hits: Miley, her father Billy Ray, who landed at No. 4 with “Achy Breaky Heart” 21 years ago; and her brother Trace, who hit No. 10 with “Shake It,” as part of Metro Station in 2008, according to Billboard.

Miley’s previous peak was No. 2 with “Party in the U.S.A.”

Lorde’s “Royals” holds at No. 3, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell,” falls 2-4, and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” remains at No. 5.

Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake,” slides 4-6, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” is at No. 7 for the second straight week, Eminem’s “Berzerk” rises 10-8, Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, slips one spot to No. 9, and Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais’ “Summertime Sadness” fades into fall as it declines four spots to No. 10.


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Watch: Justin Bieber raps on Maejor Ali's 'Lolly' video, featuring Juicy J
Credit: Island/Def Jam

Watch: Justin Bieber raps on Maejor Ali's 'Lolly' video, featuring Juicy J

We don't think they're talking about candy

Check out Justin Bieber rapping on the new video for Maejor Ali’s “Lolly,” which also features Juicy J.

Though the song has been on YouTube since February, it was only released on iTunes yesterday, the same day the video came out, and it has quickly climbed into the Top 10 in iTunes.

Maejor Ali has a piece of candy and it’s just for you, girl, and he’s so thrilled that you want to kiss the top. If you haven’t gathered that he’s talking about his tootsie roll yet, we can’t really help you.

Justin Bieber doesn’t embarrass himself as a rapper and he saves most of the provocative lines for Juicy J.
The video features women and Ali, Juicy J and Bieber dancing against a colorful background and that’s really about all there is to it, aside from some licking of actual lollypops.

It’s a big week for Juicy J, who is also on the new Katy Perry single, “Dark Horse.”

What do you think of “Lolly?”


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<p>LL Cool J -- host of previous years' Grammy Nominations Concert Live </p>

LL Cool J -- host of previous years' Grammy Nominations Concert Live

'Grammy Nominations Concert Live' set for Dec. 6 on CBS

Find out who receives nomintations for the 2014 Grammy Awards

Nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards will be announced Friday, Dec. 6 on “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! —Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night” television special on CBS.

Airing at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the special marks the sixth time the nominations (or at least nominations in a few of the 1,859 Grammy categories) will be announced via a prime-time special. This marks the first time the show has been slotted on a Friday night, a ratings graveyard, although the thinking may be that folks are more amenable to music programming to kick off their weekend. The program, which will be beamed live from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater, combines performances from likely nominees with a reading of the nominees in a few categories  scattered in between. The full list of nominees goes up online on Grammy.com as soon as the show is over.

No word yet on who will host the Grammy Nomination Concert Live, but there’s a good chance that Grammy host LL Cool J (and “NCIS Los Angeles” star) will show up.

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place Jan. 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center and will air on CBS. The Grammys are moved up this year a few weeks this year as not to compete with the Winter Olympics.

Eligibility for the 2014 Grammy Awards ends Sept. 18. Check out our gallery of potential best new artist contenders here.

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Fans petition for Gwar to replace Bruno Mars at Super Bowl halftime

Good luck with that

You may think Bruno Mars and Nickelback have nothing in common, but you’d be wrong. Remember two years ago when Nickelback haters started a petition to protest the Canadian band performing during halftime at the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit in 2011? 

A new petition has started asking the NFL to replace Super Bowl XLVIV halftime performer Bruno Mars with heavy metal shock rockers Gwar, who perform in horror film/sci fi costumes and  have more than a little fondness for graphic, over-the-top performances.  More than 18,000 people have signed the petition, according to NME.

The idea is a hilarious one and maybe Mars can work up a rendition of “Gorilla” that would feature Gwar. "We don’t want another year of sitting around talking through a muted, boring NFL Super Bowl halftime show," wrote campaign founder Jeff Cantrell, who started the petition on change.org. "We want something different. We want a real spectacle that only Gwar can provide. Doesn't the NFL want more viewers? Don’t advertisers want more people paying attention? This way everyone wins." If pearl-clutching Super Bowl watchers still haven't gotten over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," imagine the fun they'd have with Gwar's cartoonish gory antics?

The Super Bowl takes place Feb. 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Maybe Mars can respond as Nickelback did with the help of comedian Paul Scheer and Funny Or Die with a similar clip. In the meantime, here's a little Gwar to get you going this Wednesday. Unlike Mars, Nickelback protesters didn't have  specific act in mind to replace them, although local heroes such as Bob Seger and Kid Rock were suggested, they just wanted Nickelback out.


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<p>AVICCI - 'True'</p>

AVICCI - 'True'

Album Review: Avicii's new album, 'True,' expands far beyond EDM's borders

He keeps the beats, but veers into bluegrass, folk and more on debut

On Avicii’s first full-length album, “True,” out today, he seems determined to show that while he may be best known as an EDM producer and DJ, trying to pigeonhole him into any one category will only prove foolish.

Following the success of such tracks as “Levels” and “Silhouettes,” Avicii vaulted to a new mainstream level with the success of “Wake Me Up,” the first single from “True.” In the U.S., the single, featuring soul singer/rapper Aloe Blacc on vocals and Incubus’s Mike Einziger on acoustic guitar, has climbed into the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, while it has gone No. 1 in 22 other countries. The song, which combines an acoustic guitar, folky melody with Blacc’s striking vocals, and Avicii’s beats sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does... beautifully.

But that’s only the beginning of Avicii’s experimentation into the country realm. On “Hey Brother,” Dan Tyminski of Alison Krauss and Union Station and “O Brother, Where Art Thou’ fame, provides the high lonesome voice on the bluegrass tune. It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Avicii will have the bluegrass EDM field all to himself, but he pulls it off.

With album closer “Heart Upon My Sleeve,” he drafts alternative rock band Imagine Dragons' lead singer Dan Reynolds for an emotional ending. And that’s what separates Avicii from many of his colleagues: he wants to make you move —every song here has a BPM of between 120 and 135—but he also wants to make you feel something and he’s brought in vocalists who can do the heavy lifting vocally.

Even though he’s only 24, Avicii has a confidence that go a far way to convincing us that he’s not just blindly feeling his way, he has absolute conviction in his choices.  How else to explain his writing “Addicted To You” with Mac Davis. Yes, that Mac Davis from “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” fame and writer of Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto.” They pair for the mid-tempo tune of obsessive love, delivered with just the right amount of anguish by Audra Mae. 

“Addicted To You” isn’t the only look back: on the shape-shifting “Liar Liar,” featuring Blondfire and Einziger, it sure sounds like Avicii employs a Farfisa, straight out of ?uestion Mark & The Mysterians’ “96 Tears.”
Many of the tracks are pure dance (or dance pop, like new single, the thumping “You Make Me,” featuring Salem Al Fakir on vocals), and Avicii has those down cold. Particularly striking is “Lay Me Down,” which features “American Idol’s” Adam Lambert’s searing powerhouse vocal on a funky track co-written by Chic’s Nile Rodgers. It’s is a dance and pop smash (and maybe because of Rodgers’ influence the intro may remind you of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” before it explodes into its own creation).

For purists, “True” may be too adventurous for their tastes —as Avicii found out after he got major push back from some fans following his debut of many of these songs at Miami’s Ultra Festival in March—but for the rest of us, Avicii has created an album that invites all of us to join in, even if we never step foot in a club.

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<p>Pearl Jam - 'Sirens'</p>

Pearl Jam - 'Sirens'

UPDATED: Watch the video for Pearl Jam's emotional, gorgeous new single, 'Sirens'

Eddie Vedder had never sounded so lovely

After the punk blast of “Mind Your Manners,” the first single from Pearl Jam’s upcoming album, “Lightning Bolt,” the Seattle group comes back with a gentle, very melodic ballad, “Sirens.”

With an acoustic guitar and piano base, the song unfolds at a leisurely pace. Eddie Vedder is such an intense singer that when he lays back behind the groove a little bit here, it’s such a pleasure to hear him hold back, while sacrificing nothing emotionally.  And, make no mistake,  there’s a lot of emotion in “Sirens,” as he sings about the possibility of losing the woman he loves to another man or to his "going away." If that happens, it's vital that she know he always loved her, as he stirringly sings, "When I see your face, the fear goes away.”

Pearl Jam has no shortage of lovely ballads and this one has the same graceful beauty as "Backspacer's"  "Just Breathe," but there’s something melodically about “Sirens,” especially with the layered harmonies and Vedder’s vocal performance here, that will grab you by the throat before you realize it.  Plus, there’s a lived-in feel to the lyrics and an emotional acceptance that I’m not sure Vedder could have pulled off before he got into his 40s. “It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead,” he sings.

If “Mind Your Manners” and “Sirens” are any indication, “Lightning Bolt," which comes out Oct. 15, is going to be a hell of an album.

What do you think of "Sirens?"

UPDATED: Pearl Jam released a performance video for "Sirens" today, as well as made the song available on iTunes.


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<p>Cover art for 'Wise up Ghost'</p>

Cover art for 'Wise up Ghost'

Credit: Blue Note Records

Album Review: Elvis Costello & The Roots, 'Wise Up Ghost'

Colloboration haunts and grooves in equal measure

On “Wise Up Ghost,” Elvis Costello and the Roots make surprisingly compatible musical companions. 

From the first jagged synthetic rhythms that open the sinister-sounding “Walk Us Uptown,” it’s clear that there’s something special happening that unfurls through the course of 12 tracks.

The British singer/songwriter, known for his often snarling observations, and the Philadelphia hip-hop collective find an immediate groove that plays to both their strengths: Costello’s trenchant, biting words and complex melodies and The Roots’ imaginative and creative song construction that pulls in a wide array of influences.

[More after the jump...]


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<p>Cover art for Katy Perry's 'Prism.'</p>

Cover art for Katy Perry's 'Prism.'

Credit: Capitol Records

Don't trifle with Katy Perry on new track 'Dark Horse': Listen

Juicy J spices up the song with his rap

Katy Perry unlocked another song from “Prism” at midnight on iTunes, unleashing “Dark Horse,” an atmospheric, spaced-out track featuring rapper Juicy J.

Perry continues the animal imagery started on “Prism’s” first single (and chart topper) “Roar,” as she compares herself to dark horse, although she uses the term in a slightly different meaning than the usual underdog meaning: “So you want to play with magic/boy you should know what you’re falling for/baby do you dare to do this because I’m coming at you like a dark horse,” she sings.

It’s not as out there (literally and figuratively) at “E.T.,” but it’s definitely not Perry’s standard pop with typical verse and chorus, though with its finger snaps and pulsating, hypnotic beat, it will certainly fit in at radio. Juicy J’s rap —outside of regrettable line “She cuts your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer”—fits in smoothly, though makes the cut sound a little dated. I know it’s only been a little over a year since almost every pop track had a dropped-in rap out of seemingly nowhere, but we’ve already moved on from that somewhat. At least Juicy J’s rap fits in thematically, but for some reason, his heavily autotuned line, “There’s no going back,” takes me right back to  Psy saying “Gangnam Style.”

With both “Roar” and “Dark Horse,” Perry has presented songs about a woman regaining her power and overcoming vulnerability. It’s too soon to know if that’s where all of “Prism” is headed but it does sound like she’s pushing her own boundaries in a way that is commendable and in a way that shows growth, but still leaves plenty of the goofy Perry that people know and love (you only have to look at the adorable video for “Roar” to know that).

What do you think of “Dark Horse?”

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<p>Katy Perry, seen here at the MTV Video Music Awards</p>

Katy Perry, seen here at the MTV Video Music Awards

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Katy Perry ties record for most No. 1s on Billboard's Pop Songs chart

With whom does she share the title?

As Katy Perry’s “Roar” zooms its way 5-1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart, Perry finds herself not only queen of the jungle (check out the video), but queen of the chart... or at least co-queen.

“Roar” becomes her 10th chart topper on the 21-year old Pop Songs chart, tying Rihanna, according to Billboard.

In third place is Pink, Billboard’s newly named Woman Of the Year, with nine.

Not only is Perry a chart topper, she’s a speedy one at that. She is the only act to take six weeks or less to send her songs to the top in eight years. Just as it took “Roar” six weeks to achieve the feat, she accomplished the same wtih “California Girls” in 2010.

As evident from the below list, women rule the chart, occupying seven of the top 10 positions.

10, Katy Perry?
10, Rihanna
9, P!nk
7, Lady Gaga?
7, Britney Spears?
6, Beyonce?
6, Mariah Carey?
6, Maroon 5
6, Bruno Mars?
6, Justin Timberlake


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<p>A moment from the new Avicii video</p>

A moment from the new Avicii video

Credit: Island Records

Watch: Strap on your skates for Avicii's new video for 'You Make Me'

'West Side Story' meets 'Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger' at the roller rink

In Avicii’s new video for “You Make Me,” featuring Salem Al Fakir,  folks strap on their roller skates for a roller boogie version of “West Side Story.”

The follow up to the video Ralph Lauren commercial for top 5 hit, “Wake Me Up,” is a fun look at rivalries, over a girl, naturally, and a poke at everything from the classic musical to “Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger,” if it took place in a roller rink.

Mercedes, the waitress, is the object of desire for Chang, her ex, and Henry, cleverly dubbed The Highroller for his skating prowess. Chang, who works at the rink and has the glamorous job of de-oderizing skates despite his fairly phenomenal way on skates, wants his girl back so he and Henry have a skate-off that’s intentionally cheesy, but also highly entertaining.

We won’t say who wins, but let’s say they ride off into the sunrise together in a way that you definitely shouldn’t try at home, kids.

“You Make Me” is the second single from “True,” Avicii’s first full-length album, which comes out tomorrow. Read our interview with his collaborator, Incubus’s Mike Einziger here.  Speaking of collaborators, Avicii also worked with Chic’s Nile Rodgers on the album, although not on this track, which is a shame since it feels like the perfect time to reference Chic’s “Good Times” and its “clams on the half shell and roller skates” line

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