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Pepsi will bring back Michael Jackson's silhouette for new cans. Will you drink the King of Pop's pop?

As part of a new partnership between Pepsi and Michael Jackson’s estate, one billion cans of America’s second-favorite soda will feature a special edition “Michael Jackson Bad 25″ design based on the pop legend’s silhouette.

The marketing move is part of the brand’s new “Live for Now” campaign, which will feature other Jackson-related tie-ins including live events, music, and “opportunities for fans to access special edition merchandise,” touts a press release. The deal coincides with the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s iconic “Bad” album and tour, and Sony Music plans to release new mixes from the album — although it’s hard to imagine what hasn’t already been done to MJ’s music on YouTube.

“We are thrilled to bring Michael and Pepsi back together, as they were in 1988, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BAD album and tour and to put Michael on one billion Pepsi cans — perhaps a Guinness record,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate. The double Johns refer, of course, to the 1988 mash-up of pop star and pop soda that resulted in this classic commercial:

Considering the widespread appeal of both Jackson’s oeuvre and the Pepsi brand, the partnership is suitable, but given the potentially distasteful trend of raising the dead via holograms, something tells me that we’ll soon see much more than just MJ’s silhouette popping up.

Read more:
Pepsi and Michael Jackson back in business
Album sales: ‘Hunger Games’ becomes first soundtrack since ‘Michael Jackson’ to top chart
Melanie Amaro wants EVERYONE to have a Pepsi (except for Sir Elton John) — VIDEO

Country singer Mindy McCready hospitalized

Mindy-McCreadyThe attorney for Mindy McCready confirms to EW that the 34-year-old country singer has been hospitalized in Florida; ABC News reports that she is currently in good condition there.

McCready, whose 1996 debut Ten Thousand Angels sold more than 2 million copies, has faced numerous personal travails in the last decade, including highly publicized suicide attempts, substance abuse issues, and revelations of a long-running affair with baseball star Roger Clemens that began when she was a teenager; she most recently appeared on the third season of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab.

Read Whitney Pastorek’s 2009 EW feature on McCready here.

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Rihanna channels Slash in ‘Rockstar 101′ video: Watch here
Ne-Yo unleashes ‘Beautiful Monster,’ first single from upcoming album
Two-year-old girl covers Justin Bieber, awaits record contract
U2 postpones tour to 2011 due to Bono’s back injury
John Fogerty talks about being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame — and having George W. Bush as a fan

Slipknot bassist Paul Gray found dead at 38

Slipknot-Paul-Gray-diedImage Credit: Annamaria DiSantoMultiplatinum nu-metal collective Slipknot, known for their ever-present face masks, horrorcore imagery, and theatrical stage shows, lost bassist Paul Gray today; he was 38.

TMZ says, via information obtained from the Urbandale Police Department, that Gray’s body was found by an employee at an Iowa hotel early this morning, and the Des Moines Register has reported that there is no evidence of foul play; an autopsy with toxicology tests is scheduled for tomorrow, May 25.

The band’s publicist verified his death, but did not provide additional details: “I can confirm that the news is sadly true,” she tells EW, “But that is all I can offer at this time.”

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Controversial church announces plans to protest outside Ronnie James Dio’s memorial service, thanks God for his death
Courtney Love to sell her stake in Nirvana catalogue for $162 million? Not true, say reps
Happy birthday Bob Dylan! The bard turns 69 today
Ex Panic! at the Disco members Young Veins, ‘Everyone But You’: An EW exclusive stream

Two-year-old girl covers Justin Bieber, awaits record contract

toddler-girl-baby-coverSomebody had to step to last week’s viral junior high Gaga cover kid—somebody who just recently learned to stand, period.

Meet Ella, a two-year-old who graduates from babyhood to “Baby”-hood with her tweety-bird YouTube rendition of Justin Bieber’s bouncy pop smash—she’s a little shaky on the intro, but her TV-remote-microphone game is on point, and she pretty much nails the multisyllabic chorus (though, alas, no assist from Tiny Ludacris).

Also: Biebs himself may want to take a bangs cue from MC Ella’s blue butterfly barrette; it really helps steal the sightline advantage back from aggressively anti-Bieber revolving doors: READ FULL STORY

The Pussycat Dolls 2.0: Meet the new members, including a former 'So You Think You Can Dance' contestant

Pussycat Doll creator Robin Antin announced the newest members of PCD through her twitter page on May 22nd, and debuted a photo of lead singer (and Dancing with the Stars finalist) Nicole Scherzinger along with the new gals.

Included in this version of PCD is former So You Think You Dance contestant and Fame star Kherington Payne (far left), plus America’s Best Dance Crew runner-up Rino Nakasone-Razalan, former Lakers Girl Vanessa Curry, and former Girlicious contestant Jamie Lee Ruiz.

Of course this is not the first change to the PCD line-up, with Scherzinger as the lone consistent member. And many groups have changed their roster over the years to varying degrees of success (Van Halen; Journey) but PCD has sort of become like a modern-day Menudo with its various incarnations.

Will the new girls help PCD return to the top of the charts? Maybe. Confession: I’m a total PCD convert. I have a PCD hoodie that I occasionally [ed note: occasionally-often] wear in my office. And just for old time’s sake, here’s my favorite video by the sexy songstresses: READ FULL STORY

Courtney Love to sell her stake in Nirvana catalogue for $162 million? Not true, say reps

courtney-loveImage Credit: PRN/PR Photos; Everett CollectionAn item in the New York Daily News’ Rush & Malloy gossip column positing that Courtney Love was ready to sell her 75% stake in the Nirvana song catalogue to global investment firm Oaktree Capital—complete with a quote from an “insider” stating that “Courtney thinks [it] comes with too many memories … It’s haunted”—spread like interweb head lice yesterday, far and wide.

But no one, it seems, called Love’s reps to see if there was any credence to the story, and it turns out, there isn’t. There’s “nothing to it,” her publicist told EW in a succinctly worded, pronoun-free statement. “Not a clue [how the rumor started]. Never even heard of that company Rush & Molloy reference.”

Nevertheless, this is hardly the first time Love’s ownership of late husband Kurt Cobain’s estate has made the news; in 2001, she fought surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic over the then-unreleased track “You Know You’re Right”; and in  2006, sold 25% of her share of the band’s publishing rights to Larry Mestal, a former Virgin Records executive, for $50 million. Last fall, Unsanctioned use of Cobain’s avatar in a 2009 Guitar Hero release actually united Love with longtime foes Grohl and Novoselic temporarily; both vehemently opposed it in public statements (although only Love, as sole executor of her husband’s estate, threatened a lawsuit against Guitar Hero parent company Activision).

Ex Panic! at the Disco members Young Veins, 'Everyone But You': An EW exclusive stream

The-Young-VeinsImage Credit: Dana ZielinskyIn 2005, oddly punctuated Las Vegas emo-pop princes Panic! At the Disco found sudden fame—and scored a multi-platinum debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out—while still in their teens; three years later, the Pete Wentz proteges’ ambitious, swirly-psychedelic followup Pretty.Odd. pleased critics, but left many of their young fans flummoxed.

Now, after parting ways with frontman Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith, guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker have reconstituted themselves (with two additional new members) as the Young Veins, whose heavily ’60s-Brit-pop-influenced debut Take a Vacation! arrives June 8. Suffice it to say, someone discovered Dad’s Kinks records. And his Zombies ones too.

Stream the gentle, folksy “Everyone But You,” after the jump:

READ FULL STORY

New Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers track 'Jefferson Jericho Blues': An EW exclusive stream

tom-pettyAs much as they ever went away (the band recently celebrated their 34th anniversary), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers return June 15 with Mojo, their first album since 2002’s The Last DJ.

You might have seen the band perform new song “Jefferson Jericho Blues” on last weekend’s Alec Baldwin-hosted SNL season finale, but you can only stream the (Baldwin-free) studio version here:

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
True Blood Vol. 2′ exclusive full soundtrack stream: Hear new songs from Beck, Elvis Costello, and more

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter wows Town Hall: EW’s live review
Taylor Hanson on performing live with Conan O’Brien: ‘He’s got chops!’
‘Glee’ Exclusive: Susan Boyle to play the McKinley High lunch lady?
Joy Division’s Ian Curtis: Gone 30 years today

Muse, 'Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)': Watch the epic video for the first 'Twilight: Eclipse' single here

muse-eclipseImage Credit: Danny Clinch; Kimberley FrenchBlood-red backlighting! Eclipse clips galore! Matthew Bellamy in shiny pants! Collisions! Love! Forever! If God took an ice-cream scooper to the inside of a Twi-fanatic’s brain, it would very likely look like this, the just-released video for Muse‘s “Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever).”

Watch the U.K. rockers’ performance-and-movie-bits-heavy clip (via MTV) for the first single from the upcoming Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack, due June 8 (and see EW’s exclusive gallery of stills from the video shoot here): READ FULL STORY

'True Blood Vol. 2' exclusive full soundtrack stream: Hear new songs from Beck, Elvis Costello, and more

true-blood-volume2A very good thing for those who love Bad Things: True Blood‘s third season doesn’t begin until June 13, but the HBO vamp camp’s second soundtrack volume is now streaming exclusively on EW, five days before it hits digital and physical shelves (click here for iTunes pre-order).

What’s on it? New songs from Beck, Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello, and the Band’s Robbie Robertson; covers by M. Ward and “Bad Things” theme song singer Jace Everett; plus classic tracks from Bob Dylan, 13th Floor Elevators, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Eels, Chuck Prophet, and more.

Find the complete track listing below, and sink your teeth into the full stream after the jump:

1. “Howlin’ For My Baby” – M. Ward
2. “Evil (Is Going On)” – Jace Everett & CC Adcock
3. “Bad Blood” – Beck
4. “How To Become Clairvoyant” – Robbie Robertson
5. “Shake And Fingerpop” – Jr. Walker and The All Stars
6. “Frenzy” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
7. “Kiss Like Your Kiss” – Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello
8. “Gasoline And Matches” – Buddy & Julie Miller
9. “You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)” – Chuck Prophet
10. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” – The 13th Floor Elevators
11. “Fresh Blood” – Eels
12. “The Forgotten People (Bon Temps Remix)” – Thievery Corporation
13. “New World In My View” – King Britt & Sister Gertrude Morgan
14. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” – Bob Dylan
READ FULL STORY

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