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Adele cancels all live dates and promotional appearances for rest of year

Adele

Adele announced today that she is canceling all of her live dates and promotional appearances for the rest of the year. This news comes three weeks after the British singer canceled her sold-out U.S. tour because of a hemorrhage on her vocal chords.

Adele was due to play six U.K. dates next month but, according to an announcement on her website, the singer’s continuing problems with her throat have forced her to bow out of all her commitments until she recovers from an upcoming throat surgery, but that “a full recovery is expected.”

While the singer’s live appearances may be on hold, her album 21 continues to dominate the Billboard 200. The collection is currently enjoying its 13th week at number one. No album has spent more weeks in that position since 1998′s Titanic soundtrack.

Read more on EW.com:
Adele holds off Casting Crowns atop Billboard 200
Adele cancels sold-out U.S. tour due to vocal illness

Adele returns to the top of the Billboard 200, passes 4 million sales total; Casting Crowns scores top debut

After 35 weeks on the chart, Adele’s smash album 21, which has yet to leave the Top 5, rose back into the number one spot on the Billboard 200 this week, selling an additional 106,000 copies.

That number pushed 21‘s total to a whopping 4.1 million copies, by far the biggest selling album of 2011. All told, the “Someone Like You” singer has spent 13 non-consecutive weeks atop the chart this year. Now, if she could just fix those dang vocal cords!

Christian band Casting Crowns finished close behind in second place with first-week sales of their album Come to the Well at 99,000 copies. The band’s last album, 2009′s Until the Whole World Hears, got off to a stronger start with 167,000 copies sold, but to be fair, that disc still holds the record for the highest Christian-album debut in history. Come to the Well‘s 99,000 debut is nothing to cast a stone (or crown, for that matter) at.

In third place, Scotty McCreery continues to impress as his album Clear As Day dipped just 36 percent to 57,000. That gives the country balladeer three-week sales of 342,000. His runner-up, Lauren Alaina fell down to tenth place, dropping 63 percent in her second week to 26,000. Her record, Wildflower, has now sold 95,000 copies, which isn’t incredible, but it’s not half bad considering Alaina’s lead single, “Like My Mother Does,” only peaked at number 36 on the country chart. (Not all American Idol alums are as fortunate as these two…)

Last week’s chart-topper Evanescence falls back into fourth, as their self-titled third album fell 69 percent to 40,000. It has sold 167,000 after two weeks. Meanwhile ,Tony Bennett’s Duets II rises one spot into fifth place with another 39,000 copies sold. The 85 year-old crooner’s set has moved 434,000 copies in five weeks, and sales should remain strong through the holidays.

R&B singer Joe fared alright in his debut: His latest album, The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy sold 33,000 copies, good enough for eighth place. His 2009 set Alright started at number 7 with 49,000. Check out the top ten below: READ FULL STORY

Evanescence tops the Billboard 200 after five-year hiatus; Lauren Alaina debuts in fifth place

Evanescence

Despite a five-year break from the music scene and some major personnel changes, goth rockers Evanescence returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart today with their self-titled third album, which sold 127,000 copies in its first week.

Though that number is far less than Evanescence’s last album, The Open Door, which debuted at No. 1 in 2006 with 447,000 copies sold, it is impressive that the Amy Lee-led band managed to move that many discs without a smash single like “My Immortal” or “Bring Me To Life.” Their current single, “What You Want” sits at number 13 on the Rock Songs chart.

Another rock band enjoyed a strong debut this week: L.A.’s Five Finger Death Punch started off at No. 3 (behind the indomitable Adele, whose 21 is STILL holding strong at No. 2) with 91,000 copies of their album, American Capitalist, sold. That’s a big jump from their 2009 record, War Is the Answer, which debuted at No. 7 with 44,000.

Last week’s chart champ, Scotty McCreery’s Clear As Day, slipped down into fourth place after a 55 percent drop to 88,000, giving him a two-week total of 285,000. Meanwhile, his runner-up, Lauren Alaina, got off to a pretty good start herself with 69,000 copies of her disc Wildflower sold in its debut week.

Ryan Adams’ Ashes and Fire and Martina McBride’s Eleven debuted with 49,000 and 40,000, respectively. Joe Jonas wasn’t as lucky. Without his brothers beside him, the “Just In Love” singer started at No. 15 with only 18,000 copies. Check out the top ten below: READ FULL STORY

Adele, Lady Gaga lead American Music Awards nominations

Much like the MTV Video Music Awards, the actual statuettes handed out at the American Music Awards are almost entirely beside the point.

While nobody can ever really recall who won awards seconds after they are handed out, the AMAs always provide a tremendous TV broadcast, full of performances from artists plugging high-profile fall albums. In the past few years, they have really upped the ante on the on-stage components of the show, which have made it a can’t-miss for pop music enthusiasts.

Of course, they’re still going to hand out awards too, and the usual suspects dominate the list of nominations, which just came out today: Adele, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift lead the nominations, with Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and Beyoncé all picking up multiple noms themselves.

There are a handful of interesting head-to-heads going on in the nominations, too, as former Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé will compete for Soul/R&B Favorite Female Artist, and former lovers Rihanna and Chris Brown square off for Soul/R&B Album.

Check out the full list of nominations below. READ FULL STORY

Adele cancels sold-out U.S. tour due to vocal illness

Adele

Adele’s on-again-off-again tour is now off again. The British singer has canceled her sold-out, 10-stop tour of the U.S. due to a vocal chord hemorrhage.

Having struggled with vocal chord issues before (she recently canceled and later rescheduled six dates due to laryngitis), Adele was wrapping up the U.K. leg of her tour and preparing to launch her U.S. tour on Oct. 7 in Atlantic City, N.J. when doctors told her that she needed an extended rest period in order to recuperate.

An apologetic statement from Adele follows below:  READ FULL STORY

Adele releases heartbreaking, beautiful 'Someone Like You' music video: Watch it here

Adele’s soaring, cut-yourself-already ballad “Someone Like You” may have recently dipped to No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100, but maybe its just released music video — splendid in its simplicity — will help it reclaim the top spot from Maroon 5′s overplayed “Moves Like Jagger.”

The understated, black-and-white clip promoting the song — which you can catch below — is, in a word: quiet. Honestly, it’s just what you’d want to see for this break-up heart-wrencher. Adele spends the nearly five-minute-long video simply walking around Paris, which is somehow fittingly deserted, as she wails through the haunting lyrics.  READ FULL STORY

On the Billboard charts: George Strait, Lil Wayne, The Beatles post big numbers

The fall release schedule has only just begun, with plenty more massive albums coming over the next few months.

And label folks and artists alike must be breathing a sigh of relief, because the chart numbers suggest that people are interested in buying music.

Lil Wayne leads this week’s Billboard sales numbers. After notching the second-biggest opening week of the year (Lady Gaga’s Born This Way still holds tight to the top spot), Weezy moved another 219,000 copies of Tha Carter IV to keep the number one spot. Adele checked in at number two, likely buoyed by the success of the Hot 100-conquering single “Someone Like You.”

The two biggest stories on the chart come in at spots three and four. In the third-place position, George Strait sold 91,000 copies of Here For a Good Time, making it the week’s top debut. Strait’s numbers are sort of absurd: This is his 39th album, his 17th debut in the Billboard top 10, and the 24th time he has topped the Billboard Country Albums list. He’s had a pretty staggering career, though it should be noted that his opening week numbers are down a bit from his previous album Twang, which debuted on top of the albums chart with 155,000 copies sold.

Another release comfortable with the upper echelons of chart success came in at number four: the Beatles 1, the compilation of their 27 chart-topping songs originally released in 2000, moved 60,000 copies of its newly-remastered version. That’s sort of a drop in a bucket, as 1 has sold more than 31 million copies worldwide and was the top-selling album of the first decade of the 21st century. 1 also spent a total of eight weeks at the top of the albums chart at the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001.

The only other big headline this week belongs to Maroon 5, whose 2010 album Hands All Over got a shot in the arm thanks to the success of “Moves Like Jagger,” which is on the just-released deluxe edition of the album. It came in at number seven this week, a jump from position 23 last week. Rounding out the top 10, Foster the People’s Torches returned to the first tier thanks to the continued love for “Pumped Up Kicks” (look for some more info on that song coming in this week’s episode of Entertainment Weekly).

This week’s new albums includes a number of excellent releases, though only the new album by Staind seems to have a shot at dethroning Lil Wayne. Who do you think will topple tha Carter himself in the coming weeks? Let us know in the comments.

Read more on EW.com: 
Review: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter IV
Fall Albums We Can’t Wait to Hear
Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ is the first ballad in three years to top the Hot 100 — or is it?

Adele's 'Someone Like You' is the first ballad in three years to top the Hot 100 -- or is it?

Adele

Adele’s success is certainly refreshing, and she continues to rack up accolades and records — in fact, she has a handful of new entries in the latest Guinness Book of World Records).

And some people, apparently, are even making up arbitrary turns of events in order to keep her awards flowing.

This morning, Billboard reported that Adele’s “Someone Like You,” which is currently the number one song on the Hot 100, is the first ballad to sit atop that list in over three years. They cite Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” as the last ballad to inhabit the top position.

The article is a pretty interesting read, because it gets into the psychology of radio programmers and how they approach playing songs based on tempo, as well as the way that trends dictate what the top song in the country is (thanks to the likes of Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and Katy Perry, uptempo pop tends to rule radio). There are more machinations in choosing radio playlists than you probably thought.

While that conversation is well and good, it’s built on a fundamental untruth: “Someone Like You” is not the first ballad to top the Billboard Hot 100 since “Take a Bow.” Since “Take a Bow” abdicated the position to Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” back in 2008, at least three songs that could be described as ballads have taken the number one position.

The most obvious one is “Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem and Rihanna’s juggernaut from the summer of 2010. Though it prominently features angry rapping and a video about domestic violence, it certainly is as slow-burning as “Someone Like You.” Let’s put it another way: You certainly can’t dance to it.

There are other chart-toppers from the hip-hop world that could probably slide into the “ballad” category, including T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” Are these not ballads? Is it possible to craft a hip-hop ballad? And what is a ballad, anyway? Is there a certain set of criteria it must satisfy, or is it like the Supreme Court’s take on pornography and you simply know it when you see it?

Let us know your thoughts on balladry in the comments below. (And seriously, “Love the Way You Lie” is totally a ballad.)

Read more on EW.com: 
Song of Summer ’11? YOU Say…
VMAs 2011: The Winners, the Losers, and Lady Gaga
Adele pays tribute to Amy Winehouse: ‘I don’t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was’

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's daughter sings! Sort of: Watch the video here

Internet commentary is a cruel mistress, which 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina has undoubtedly learned already in her young life.

So we won’t editorialize too much on the vocal stylings of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s sole offspring—who, like a thousand other anonymous teenagers with Adele crushes and iCameras in their bedrooms, probably didn’t mean this for mass music-critic consumption.

(Though she did post it to her Twitter account, which has a perhaps-slightly-above-anonymous-average 7,000+ followers). Anyhow, here she is, covering the current no. 1 song in the country, “Someone Like You”: READ FULL STORY

PJ Harvey bests Adele to take this year's Mercury Prize, becomes only two-time winner

The nominees for the 2011 Mercury Prize—awarded by a panel of judges to the year’s best British album—were a typically quirky bunch, with some familiar names (PJ Harvey, Adele, James Blake, Elbow) and a bunch of must-be-big-in-England? picks like Metronomy and Ghostpoet.

While it’s never easy to predict the winner (past victors include puzzlers like Ms. Dynamite and Klaxons), Adele seemed like a good bet, given her uniformly strong reviews and massive sales.

Nope! PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake has won the prestigious award this year. (Her Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea earned the prize a decade ago.) Personally, I think they made the right choice. Adele will have her moment at the Grammys, which love to reward those sorts of classy-and-massive good-taste albums.

Let England Shake is something else entirely: a dark, eccentric, and deeply serious take on war and history that’s as unsettling as Adele is comforting. “Death was in the staring sun,” she sings on “All and Everyone,” “fixing its eyes on everyone/It rattled the bones of the Light Horsemen/still lying out there in the open/as we, advancing in the sun/sing “Death to all and everyone.”

Hopefully now more people will give this difficult album the time and attention it deserves. What do you think of this year’s winner? Should Adele have taken the prize?

More on EW.com:
The worst songs of the ’90s named in new poll — Do you agree?
Beatles back at no. 1 on iTunes today; major artists share their favorite Fab Four tunes
Rock the Bells: Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and more live at NYC’s Governors Island

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