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Taylor Swift sells record-breaking 1.2 million copies of 'Red' in first week

We thought it might happen. It looked like it might happen. And then it happened.

Taylor Swift’s latest album Red sold over 1 million copies in its first week — a whopping 1.21 million copies to be exact, according to the music industry maestros at Hits Daily Double — making her the first woman in chart history to ever have two albums sell over 1 million copies in their first weeks. (Speak Now sold 1.05 million units in its first week in 2010.) The only other artists to have ever achieved that feat are The Backstreet Boys (with Millenium and Black and Blue), ‘N Sync (with No Strings Attached and Celebrity) and Eminem (with The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show). READ FULL STORY

Carly Rae Jepsen's 'This Kiss' video travels back to the 1980s: Watch it here

“Call Me Maybe” chanteuse Carly Rae Jepsen isn’t going down without a fight.

Her album sales may be disappointing, and her new single “This Kiss” might not be anywhere in the iTunes Top 200, but she’s determined to score another solo hit without the help of Justin Bieber or Owl City.

Jepsen dropped the video for her latest single “This Kiss,” and it’s every bit the 80s homage that the synthy song is. Filled with neon geometric backdrops, gaudy hairbows, and Jepsen’s standard patterned pants (or are they bedsheets?), “This Kiss” has us feeling like putting on our shoulder pads and driving to the club in our black Trans-Am. But does all the added flair make the hook any better? I’m not sure.

Watch the clip below: READ FULL STORY

What's the best song on Taylor Swift's 'Red'?

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The great thing about the release week of a new Taylor Swift CD is that everyone — that includes mega-fans, “which famous ex-boyfriend is this one about?” decoders, and outright haters — wants to talk about it. That’s just how it works when you’re one of the biggest stars on the planet.

This fact is especially true for Red, Swift’s latest album, which dropped yesterday. The disc finds the pop-country vixen pushing her musical boundaries further than ever before, and it’s causing a ruckus in the industry. “Country radio has been a little taken aback by it because it is so obviously pop,” Scott Borchetta, the President of Big Machine Records, Swift’s label, tells EW. “[But] we haven’t’ been hiding behind what she’s been doing.” he says. “She wrote this record with Max Martin, and Shelback, and it’s a big pop record with some country leaning.”

“We’d be in the studio,” Borchetta remembers, “and I’d say, ‘This record wants to do more than what you’re doing to it, and she’d say, ‘What do you mean?’ and I’d say, ‘If it’s country, run toward it, if it’s pop, run toward it, if it’s rock, run toward it. You have artistic license to do your music. I want to encourage you to go to the edges.’”

And go to the edges she did. Red finds Swift flirting with U2-esque arena rock on “State of Grace,” dubstep on “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Katy Perry party-pop on “22,” handclap-happy piano celebration on “Stay Stay Stay,” and crooning alongside Brit Ed Sheeran on “Everything Has Changed.”

It’s a lot to digest on a first listen, but now that you’ve had a whole day to process Red, let’s talk about the songs that work and the ones that don’t: READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift channels U2 on new track 'State of Grace': Hear it here

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If Taylor Swift has made one thing clear in the lead-up to her fourth album Red, it’s that her genre is nigh impossible to pin down.

First came the outright pop of her first no. 1 Hot 100 hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Then came the plaintive, slow country sound of “Begin Again.” After that, we got more pop and sonic vocals with “Red.” And last week brought the dubstep-laden “I Knew You Were Trouble.” So obviously the next logical step was… Brit rock? READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift explains her personal rainbow of emotions on 'Red'

Yesterday Taylor Swift unveiled the title track of her upcoming fourth album Red on Good Morning America, and if you pinned me down, I’d say the pop track is really quite vermillion. Or perhaps tangerine.

What, you don’t attribute a color to every song you hear?

Then you and T-Swift are never ever ever going to be friends — this girl has a color chosen for everything! (To be fair, I do the same thing. I was debating this weekend whether Mumford & Sons’ new album is dark green or rich burgundy.)

According to the chorus of “Red,” here’s how Swift remembers a recent relationship:

Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark grey all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving him was red

Those are the only colors the song — which Swift says is all about “intense emotion” — brings up, which kind of let me down. I feel like if we’re going with a color theme for a whole song, we need more splashes than just red, blue, and dark grey — I mean, is dark grey REALLY a color? How about some yellow and green? Weirdly, I’m being serious — I kept waiting for some other hue to pop up, and it never did. Now I feel totally mauve, you know?

Check out the track below: READ FULL STORY

Ke$ha loses inhibitions on new single 'Die Young': Hear it here

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Don’t say Ke$ha doesn’t know how to party like a warrior (though one with a short lifespan).

The dance-floor animal just released the new single from her upcoming second album Warrior, and it has all the pop swag of a high-school girl sneaking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice into prom. “Lookin’ for some trouble tonight,” Ke$ha warns on the thumping, remix-bound track that encourages listeners to dance their way to their graves.

And you just might. Let the official lyric video below liven up your day:

READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift's new track 'Begin Again' isn't a break-up song

It’s more a post-break-up song, if we’re being technical. They’re very different things.

Swift previewed “Begin Again” on Good Morning America on Monday, and she will play a snippet of a new song on GMA every Monday until the Oct. 22 release of her fourth album, Red. A few hours later, “Begin Again” got an early release on iTunes, where it’s already shot to No. 1, thereby becoming the first single to dethrone “Gangnam Style” in a week.

Compared to her smash pop single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and her sad, sweet lullaby for a cancer victim “Ronan,” Swift’s new song is by far the most country thing that we’ve heard off of Red so far. READ FULL STORY

Madonna zings Lady Gaga: 'Imitation is the highest form of flattery'

“I’m going to dedicate this next song … to Lady Gaga.”

Uh-oh! The last time Madonna began a sentence like that onstage, she ended up taking a catty swipe at nemesis Elton John. And as it happens, she went on to give Gaga — a noted Elton John partisan — the same treatment when dedicating the song “Masterpiece” to her at an Atlantic City concert last Saturday.

“You wanna know something? I love her,” the Material Girl said of Mother Monster. “I love her. I do love her.” But wait for it… “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Zing!

But Madge followed up her backhanded compliment by prophesying that “one day, very soon, we’re going to be on stage together. Just you wait. You think I’m kidding? I love Lady Gaga.”

READ FULL STORY

Christina Aguilera releases new single 'Your Body' -- Hear it here

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It’s a good day to be a reality-show judge–slash–pop star!

On the heels of today’s new track from all-but-confirmed American Idol judge Nicki Minaj, Voice mentor Christina Aguilera got back to fostering her own musical career with “Your Body,” the first single off her upcoming album Lotus, due out November 13.

”This album is about self-expression and freedom,” she told Ryan Seacrest this morning. “There is a lot I have gone through personally over the past few years and this record represents a rebirth for me. The record is about freedom and getting back to the root of who I am and what I love to do.”

You can check out the single, which will be available on iTunes on Monday, in the clip below:

READ FULL STORY

'Free Pussy Riot Fest' held in Russia despite government pressure

A music festival to support jailed members of the Russian band Pussy Riot went forward despite official pressure to cancel it, organizers said Monday.

Olga Kurnosova said city officials had tried to force her to stop Sunday’s show in St. Petersburg — President Vladimir Putin’s hometown — and firefighters had threatened to close down the Glavklub hall, claiming safety violations ahead of the concert.

About 1,000 people attended the “Free Pussy Riot Fest” headlined by the Russian rock protest bands DDT and Televizor, whose songs have long riled Soviet authorities and Putin’s Kremlin. READ FULL STORY

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