Khaled has friends in high places on salute to getting messed up
- Critic's Rating C
- Readers' Rating n/a
It takes a village of rappers to convey the message “Now we’re gonna get f***ed up/no excuses/no apologies” on “Take It To The Head,” the thumping first single from DJ Khaled’s forthcoming album, “Kiss the Ring.”
Khaled is joined by Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne on the Runners’-produced, mid-tempo track. Brown does the melodic heavy lifting here, while the others mainly chime in with raps that are NSFW listening. Warning: lots of uses of the N word here. Lil Wayne appeared on DJ Khaled’s 2011 hit “I’m On One,” which also featured Drake.
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When will we know who's playing the Aug. 3-5 fest?
Did you get your tickets yet? Lollapalooza three-day passes went on sale today for the Aug. 3-5 festival in Chicago's Grant Park.
A limited number of Early Bird passes priced at $200 have already sold out. Once that unspecified number was gone, the price bumped up to $230. No single-day passes are available yet. Prices include service fees.
As usual, the tickets went on sale with no word on who is playing the festival. The line-up won’t be released until April 11.
The rumor mill is running rampant about who is playing, of course. In February, a Tweeter going by @lollaleaks tweeted that the headliners would include Metallica, Beyonce and Sonic Youth-- each of which could pretty much be shot down, which is exactly what Lollapalooza organizer Perry Farrell did. Then @Lollaleaks announced the whole thing was a hoax. Forbes ran an interesting piece on @Lollaleaks a few days ago and how his little joke escalated that's worth a look.
15 fun things we learned about Madonna from her Twitter: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and 'Kill Bill 3'
Will she keep tweeting? Are she and Deadmau5 friends again?
Will they make it through the dates without killing each other?
After Steven Tyler has wrapped up his season two “American Idol” judging duties, look for him to return to his day job: Aerosmith will start its first U.S. tour in two years on June 16 at Minneapolis’s Target Center.
There’s no word yet on if the new album, which the band has been working on for ages now, will be ready by then. Aerosmith’s last studio album was 2004’s “Honkin’ On Bobo.”
Does 'Dancing on the Ceiling' cut it as a country track?
By calling his new album, “Tuskegee,” after his hometown, instead of the much-more accurate, “Nashville,” Lionel Richie is determined to let fans that he grew up listening to country music.
For those who think it’s a stretch for the popmeister to re-record some of his biggest hits with such country stars as Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, remember that Richie has a legacy at country radio: Conway Twitty recorded “Three Times A Lady,” Alabama performed “Deep River Woman” with him, and, of course, Kenny Rogers took “Lady” to the top of not only the country charts, but Billboard’s Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. (Read my interview with Richie here).
Veteran rockers also make the list
1) One Direction: The boy band becomes the first British group ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with its first album. We doubt Paul McCartney is losing any sleep over not getting that record.
2) "The Hunger Games" soundtrack: The movie will likely break the $138 million mark this weekend, while the excellent T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack will handily come in at No. 1 next week. Let’s home he doesn’t have to fight Adele to the death for the top spot.
3) Motley Crue and KISS: The two veteran rock groups announce a summer tour together. They promise to rock and roll all night or until the early bird special, whichever comes first.
4) Madonna: As she prepares to release “MDNA” on Monday, she holds a Facebook Q&A with Jimmy Fallon on Saturday. We’d loved to have seen a few TV performances, other than the Super Bowl. We’re just saying.
5) Dr. Dre: The hip-hop artist/producer will produce the forthcoming horror thriller, “Thaw.” Man, he’ll do anything to keep from finishing and releasing “Detox.” It’s his “Chinese Democracy.”
6) Adam Levine: His resurrection continues. After “The Voice’s” exposure helped give the Maroon 5 singer the band’s biggest hit yet, he is now delving into acting, and is in negotiations to appear on season two of “American Horror Story.” Taking bets now on how his character will die.
7) Skrillex: Skrillex, David Guetta, Diplo and 30 other electronic dance musicians sign exclusive residencies with the Wynn in Las Vegas. Folks can go to their sets right after seeing Garth Brooks.
8) The Black Keys: The duo apologizes to Nickelback for calling them the worst band in the world in an incredibly backhanded apology by adding they aren’t the only ones who don’t like the Canadian band. Hey, at least they said Chad Kroeger has better hair than they do.
9) Lionel Richie: The icon sells more than 20,000 copies of new album, “Tuskegee,” on HSN. Susan Boyle, who sold 80,000 albums when she plugged it on QVC laughs. Her record-setting hour required no dancing on the ceiling.
10) Whitney Houston: The autopsy released this week reveals cause of death is drowning and hardening of arteries brought on by cocaine use. Nothing but sadness.
Movie soundtrack has a wide margin going into the weekend
The revolving door at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 looks likely to continue next week as “The Hunger Games” soundtrack will be the fourth title to top the chart in as many weeks.
As of Friday, the soundtrack to the box office winner had a commanding lead over Adele’s “21,” which has hung out at No. 2 since being pushed out the top spot by Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” a few weeks ago, according to Hits Daily Double. “The Hunger Games” is on track to sell up to 200,000 copies by Sunday’s chart close. “21” will likely see up to 135,000.
In addition to “The Hunger Games,” three other albums will likely debut in the top 10: The Shins’ “Port of Morrow” will come in at No. 3, while Odd Future’s “The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2,” will bow at No. 5. Grammy winner Melanie Fiona’s sophomore set, “The MF Life,” should hold off a charge from “Now That’s What I Call Music” to land at No. 8.
This week’s No. 1, One Direction’s “Up All Night,” will likely fall to No. 4, while Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” drops to No. 6. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Hits” remains in the top 10 six weeks after her death at No. 7.
Rounding out the top 10 is fun.’s “Some Nights,” which will likely remain at No. 10.
Billboard will announce the chart results Wednesday morning.
New album, 'Tuskegee,' pairs him with Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and more
Lionel Richie now knows what it feels like to give birth. The superstar expected it to only take a few weeks to record “Tuskegee,” his new album out Monday (March 26) that pairs him with a number of top country acts on new versions of his classic tunes. Instead, the process dragged on for nearly 10 months.
“We had a baby, and by the way it was the most painful baby I got in my whole life, but in the end, look at the baby,” he says, glowing with pride. And what a baby it is— with many, many parents. Among the acts recording both his solo and Commodores hits with Richie are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton, Jimmy Buffett, Shania Twain and Willie Nelson. The album also reunites Richie with Kenny Rogers, who took Richie's "Lady" to the top of three Billboard charts in 1980: country, Hot 100 and adult contemporary. Rogers' version also reached No. 42 on the Top Black Singles chart.
Before the first volume has even been released, Richie is already hoping for a volume two and there’s plenty of hits left off “Tuskegee,” including “Still,” “Three Times A Lady,” and “Sweet Love,” to warrant one. “They’ll be a part two with more new songs,” Richie predicts.
Richie has been stumping for the new album harder then the Republican presidential candidates and his enthusiasm about the project is infectious. He recently held a party at his Beverly Hill mansion for select radio program directors and press. It’s as gorgeous and lovely a home as you would imagine (my whole apartment would fit into the drive way). He played each of the album’s 13 songs and gave amusing anecdotes about recording each one.
The acts picked their own songs, many made their selections based on memories a certain tune triggered for them. Richie encouraged them to make the tune their own. “They’d say, ‘But Mr. Richie that will overshadow you,’ and I’d say, ‘Exactly. What a wonderful thing’,” he said when I interviewed him at the end of the evening. “What I’ve found in artistry sometimes is there’s an ego that happens where I have to out sing you or outperform you. That’s if you’re purely a singer. I’m purely a writer.”
By approaching the project as the writer, his attitude was. “How can you make my kids shine? We’re going to buff up my babies... Someone said to me tonight, which I thought was the best compliment ever, ‘Why am I thinking that this version of your songs is better than the old version?’ I said, ‘Because it’s the new version’.”
The boldest artist was Darius Rucker, who flatly told Richie that he was singing Richie’s part on “Stuck On You.” “By the way, he was dead serious,” Richie recalls with a laugh. “Can you imagine telling Frank Sinatra ‘I’m singing your part and you have to find your part.’ Frank would be out of there. [I said], ‘You guys, I want you to make this songs yours and I’ll kind of scat in between. I’ll be around.”
Most of the album was recorded in Nashville, but Richie traveled to the Bahamas to record an island-flavored “Endless Love” with Shania Twain, who was recording for the first time after going through a debilitating vocal paralysis that left her unable to sing.
“I think the one that was the most rewarding was pulling Shania out of that thing she was in. I didn’t realize it, she was gone,” he recalls. “By the way, she’s still gone because I need to talk to her more to get her back, but the more she performs, the more she’s going to get it back. But she was scared to death. I think [Vegas] will help her.” Twain starts a residency at Caesars Palace in December.
Speaking of, is Richie the next artist, following in the footsteps of Elton John, Cher, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks and Twain, to start a concert residency in Las Vegas? He seems a natural fit given his raft of hits and his wide appeal.
“I would love to do that “ Richie says, and admits he’s been approached already. He thinks it will happen eventually, but it is likely a ways off.
"It would be a great thing after a while, probably a couple more years, where I’ll have a [residency] where I can stay here, hang out, go there... commute or even what’s happening right now with Garth Brooks: he flies in and out [after each weekend’s shows]. I’m still a songwriter. There’s something about flying around the world. By the time I get home, I know the next album, I know the next song.”
Richie will be hitting Vegas the weekend of March 31 for the Academy of Country Music Awards, which air live April 1. The following night, CBS will tape “Lionel Richie and Friends: A Lifetime of Hits.” The special, which will air later this Spring, will feature many of the artists who appear on “Tuskegee,” as well as several others, including The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum.
Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda
“You Are” with Blake Shelton
“Say You, Say Me” with Jason Aldean
“Stuck On You” with Darius Rucker
“Deep River Woman” with Little Big Town
“My Love” with Kenny Chesney
“Dancing On The Ceiling” with Rascal Flatts
“Hello” with Jennifer Nettles
“Sail On” with Tim McGraw
“Endless Love” with Shania Twain
“Just For You” with Billy Currington
“Lady” with Kenny Rogers
“Easy” with Willie Nelson
“All Night Long” with Jimmy Buffett
What's the new release date for the 'American Idol's' set?
Lambert calls "Trespassing" "an exciting journey through the past two years of my life. It's been a transformative period and I really wanted to make music from what I've experienced. All these songs honestly explore the ups and downs of my reality."
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Can the Material Girl still shock and surprise?
- Critic's Rating B
- Readers' Rating A
For all her success, there’s always seemed to be something remote about Madonna, as if she’s behind glass. So it comes as a bit of a shock at first that tucked within “MDNA’s” often sterile beats, she shows the most emotion that we’ve heard from her. Talk about confessions on a dancefloor...
Madonna’s 12th studio album, out March 26, touches on two of her favorite go-tos: religion and dance, but she’s added scorned spouse to the mix. “MDNA” is triptych into her psyche and there’s a lot going on in that platinum head of hers, most of it set to throbbing beats per minute.