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'Guardians of the Galaxy' soundtrack tops Billboard 200

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Star-Lord would be proud: Guardians of the Galaxy’s soundtrack is currently the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter “Star-Lord” Quill’s most prized possession is a mixtape titled Awesome Mix Vol. 1featuring previously recorded songs by the Jackson 5, David Bowie, and the Runaways. This alone makes the soundtrack’s spot on the top of the charts notable—all previous No. 1 soundtracks have featured at least some music recorded just for that film, but all of the Guardians’ tracks were recorded in the ’70s.

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Billboard Music Awards 2014: And the winners are...

Robin Thicke tried to win back Paula Patton, a hologram of Michael Jackson performed… and, oh yeah, a bunch of statuettes were handed out at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. Check below for a full list of winners. (P.S. Congrats, JT!)

Top artist:
Miley Cyrus
Imagine Dragons
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Justin Timberlake

Top new artist:
Bastille
Capital Cities
Ariana Grande
Lorde
Passenger

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Bruno Mars is Billboard's Artist of the Year

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First he gets that Super Bowl slot, now this: Bruno Mars has been named Billboard’s Artist of the Year, beating out Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and other pop stars who grabbed headlines in 2013.

Apparently, the charts mattered more than media attention this year. Mars came in at No. 1 on eight of Billboard’s year-end lists, including “Hot 100 Artists,” “Top Overall Artists,” “Hot 100 Singles Airplay,” “Hot Digital Songs,” “Mainstream Top 40″ and “Pop Digital Songs” with tracks from his 2012 album Unorthodox Jukebox, which includes hits “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” and “When I Was Your Man.”  

“Mars’ artist of the year nod may come as a surprise,” Billboard admits in its year-end issue. “But as if on a stealth mission, the adventurous Unorthodox Jukebox commanded a steady presence on the Billboard 200 following its No. 2 debut last December.” After that, the piece notes, the album hung onto the top 20 every week through Sept. 14, landing at No. 1 in its 12th week. It has sold 1.8 million copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Mars’ Moonshine Jungle world tour also ranked in the Top 25 tours of the year. He’ll be back on the road on Feb. 28, though the tour stops are still yet to be announced.

More on EW.com
Bruno Mars is not ‘Jersey’ enough to play Super Bowl halftime, says Twitter
Bruno Mars confirmed for Super Bowl: What can we expect?
Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl: Why choosing him makes good (business) sense

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis make Billboard history with 'Thrift Shop' and 'Can't Hold Us'

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made history on Wednesday when their single “Can’t Hold Us” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, following “Thrift Shop”‘s rise to the top in February. The Seattle-based rap collaborators are now the first duo to have their first two singles on the Hot 100.

Both tracks appeared on the rapper/producer duo’s album The Heist, which was released in August 2012.

Among all artists, not just duos, Macklemore and Lewis is the first act to see its first two singles reach No. 1 since Lady Gaga hit the scene with “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” in 2009.

Read more:
Macklemore rapper talks pizza parties, social change, video for ‘Thrift Shop’
Seven things to know about ‘Thrift Shop’ hitmakers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
‘Harlem Shake’ hits number one, ushers in new world of YouTube-fueled charts

'Les Mis' highlights rule Billboard soundtracks chart

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At the end of the day, Les Mis is a hit.

The buzzy Oscar hopeful already rules at the box office, having earned the second-highest Christmas opening of all time. Now Billboard reports that the musical’s soundtrack has debuted at the number one spot on its Soundtracks chart, selling 43,000 units according to Nielsen SoundScan. Even more impressive: The album was released Friday, Dec. 21, while SoundScan’s tracking week ended on Sunday, Dec. 23, meaning Les Mis topped the chart after just three full days on sale. The soundtrack also appears at number 33 on the Billboard 200 chart, above releases by fun. and Kelly Clarkson.

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Lil Wayne surpasses Elvis

Lil Wayne is not only making rap history, he’s making rock ‘n’ roll history: the rapper has surpassed Elvis Presley as the leading male with the most entries on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Lil Wayne now has 109 songs on that chart with Thursday’s debut of Game’s song “Celebration,” where he is a guest alongside Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa. Of his 109 charted songs, only 42 are led by Lil Wayne; 67 are songs where he is the featured act.

Thursday is the rapper’s 30th birthday.

Presley totaled 108 songs on the Hot 100 since it launched in 1958. Presley’s career kicked off before that and several of his songs — like “Heartbreak Hotel” — could not be included in his total number.

The Glee cast has the most Hot 100 entries with 204.

Read more:
Lil Wayne ridiculous deposition video
Lil Wayne set to release prison memoir
Lil Wayne defends pulling Nicki Minaj from Hot 97’s Summer Jam

Album sales: Chris Brown's 'Fortune' outperforms discounted competition

Chris Brown has definitely found fame in many senses (not all desirable), and now the R&B crooner can add to his fortune.

After months of too-soon hype, false starts, and one epic bottle-throwing fight, the controversial Breezy saw his fifth album Fortune land at the No. 1 spot of this week’s Billboard charts (not exactly a breezy(!) ride to the top).

The new Brown album sold 134,000 copies in its first week, a significant drop from the 270,000 in debut-week sales of his previous album, last year’s F.A.M.E. While Fortune outsold the other non-Frank Ocean R&B contender of the season — Usher’s Looking 4 Myself (which sold 128,000 in its first week) — it should be noted that the alleged bottle tosser Brown competed mainly against a flurry of older albums that Amazon was dispensing at 99 cents a pop — a price so unusually cheap, Music Mix couldn’t even locate the proper “cent” symbol on the keyboard.

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2012 Billboard Music Awards: 20 essential takeaways from the show

Like most music awards shows, the Billboard Music Awards are so not about the statuettes that are doled out. The show — which aired live last night on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel, with hosts, Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell — is typically more about everything but the awards: performances, tributes, collaborations, and other sundry craziness.

Hell, even the fashion — hello to Miley Cyrus’ barely-there suit jacket — is more important than the prizes! And that was no different this year. Just a handful of the 46 awards were actually given out during the show (LMFAO dominated), which was jolted to life with performances from Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, and Linkin Park; tributes to Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, and Stevie Wonder; a collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys; and a heartfelt speech by Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Here are 20 essential takeaways from the evening:

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Album sales: Lionel Richie triumphs again, Jason Mraz grabs second place

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Richie’s on a roll!

It initially debuted under Madonna’s MDNA three weeks ago, but Lionel Richie’s country duets album Tuskegee is now entering its second straight week at No. 1. (Madonna, on the other hand, is slumming it at No. 29 at the moment.)

Tuskegee‘s continued success meant a silver sales medal for Jason Mraz, whose latest effort Love Is a Four Letter Word settled for second in the battle of the soulful singer-songwriters.

Speaking of which, Adele continues her reign by remaining in the top three; of all the albums in the top ten, 21 experienced the lowest drop in sales (-3%) from the previous week.

Also premiering on the charts this week is Train’s California 37, which landed modestly at No. 4 — a career high for the band. Following them are those lovable British rascals One Direction, whose debut album is still whipping the kids into a frenzy.

Atlanta rapper Future also charted a debut this week with Pluto, his first studio album. It scored some 40,000 sales to rank at No. 8, while a Jack Johnson-led live album featuring guests like Eddie Vedder and Willie Nelson rounded out the top ten by snagging 26,966 in sales in its debut week.

Check out the full chart below for more figures:

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Adele, LMFAO, and Rihanna lead Billboard Music Award finalists

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Fresh off their name-checks in the Time 100, Adele and Rihanna have more kudos to brag about. They’re leading the pack of Billboard Music Awards nominees, along with Lady Gaga, LMFAO, and Lil Wayne. Adele scored 18 nods — including Top Artist, Top Female Artist, and Top Billboard 200 Artist — off the mega-sales of her album 21 and its lead single “Rolling in the Deep.” “Party Rockers” LMFAO will be in the house behind thanks to 17 nods. Rihanna could win up to 13 trophies, and Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne could be walking home with a lot of hardware, after netting 10 nods apiece. Usual suspects like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Nicki Minaj, and Bruno Mars are also among the pool of finalists. You can view the full list here.

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