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Tag: Music Biz (11-20 of 86)

Did Disney inadvertently spark a possible Joy Division reunion?

Getting members from defunct bands to reassemble can be a tricky business, but Disney may have found “A Means to an End.”

It began when the company riffed off of Joy Division’s 1979 classic Unknown Pleasures for a new t-shirt, altering the black-and-white pattern from the album’s iconic cover art to resemble Mickey Mouse’s distinctly shaped head.

After garnering much attention online, the shirt was discontinued by Disney, and now the ones in circulation fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay.

But the fracas may also inspire a 3/4ths reunion for the beloved post-punk band.

READ FULL STORY

Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift lead this year's Academy of Country Music Awards nominees

It’s probably too early in the day for tequila, but Kenny Chesney has some celebrating to do.

The nominees for the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced this morning, and the “You and Tequila” singer safely leads the pack with an impressive total of nine nominations, including the major categories of Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album, Single, and Song of the Year.

Not far behind is Jason Aldean and his respectable six nods, while Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and Toby Keith also nabbed multiple slots on this year’s ballot.

While Chesney is no stranger to these shindigs (the twangy beach bum has won Entertainer of the Year four times before), the singer’s been mostly dormant in recent years. But thanks to his huge crossover hit (which got an assist from the equally durable Grace Potter), the 43-year-old artist is enjoying a late-career surge.

The show will be hosted by Blake Shelton and Reba McIntyre, and CBS will air it live from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand on April 1.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

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Adele passes Rihanna on Hot 100, targets 'The Bodyguard' for all-time album chart mark

Adele_240.jpg

Adele’s still proving to be the ultimate chart-breaker. “Set Fire to the Rain,” the singer’s third 21 single, has toppled Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to claim top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Ri Ri’s Calvin Harris-assisted track, which slips to number two this week, spent 10 total weeks on top of the chart, the stoutest run at that spot since Ke$ha notched nine weeks there at the beginning of 2010 with “Tik Tok.”

“Set Fire to the Rain” is Adele’s third number one, joining “Rolling in the Deep” (which spent seven weeks on top last year) and “Someone Like You” (five total weeks in 2011). Of course, 21 is also the number one album in the country this week, which means that Adele rules both charts simultaneously. That’s not necessarily a remarkable feat, as plenty of artists have lorded over both charts simultaneously, and 10 artists have even done it with two songs (most recently, Usher pulled it off with the Confessions singles “Yeah!” and “Burn” back in 2004). But in an interesting bit of trivia, Adele is now the only artist in history to rule both charts with three different singles from the same album. READ FULL STORY

Neil Young on music today: 'I don't like it'

Neil Young is not happy.

While at Utah’s Slamdance, where he’s promoting the upcoming concert film Neil Young Journeys, the 66-year-old got to talking about what he believes is the problem with modern music: sound quality.

“I’m finding that I have a little bit of trouble with the quality of the sound of music today,” Young said. “I don’t like it. It just makes me angry. Not the quality of the music, but we’re in the 21st century and we have the worst sound that we’ve ever had. It’s worse than a 78 [rpm record].”

“Where are our geniuses?” he asked. “What happened?”

READ FULL STORY

MegaUpload indictment: File-sharing site still shut down by the Justice Dept., but so-called 'CEO' Swizz Beatz appears to be in the clear

When the federal government shut down popular file-sharing site Megaupload on Thursday, the war over Internet piracy seemed to sweep its first famous casualty into the line of fire.

In a widely circulated report, Kasseem Dean (known better to the world as either Swizz Beatz or Mr. Alicia Keys) was referred to as the company’s CEO, and there were expectations that he would be one of the targets of the case.

But according to the 75-page now-unsealed indictment, Dean is not involved with the suit, and his name does not appear anywhere in the document. There are seven targets, four of which have already been apprehended, including owner Kim Dotcom. None of them are Dean.

And though there were rumors that Dean had been some sort of “silent partner” in the business, Megaupload’s lawyers said that the hip-hop mogul’s involvement in the company had been greatly exaggerated. “He was in conversations to be named CEO,” attorney Ira P. Rothken told the New York Daily News. “His involvement in the company was highly attenuated. There were discussions and he was involved in a promotional video and in brainstorming future projects, but not much else.”

In fact, Rothken told the Washington Post, “My understanding is that there wasn’t actually a CEO of the company.” And Forbes noted, “If [Dean] was involved, it wasn’t on the books.” READ FULL STORY

Astro becomes second 'X Factor' contestant to sign with L.A. Reid's Epic Records

Is The X Factor going all American Idol on us?

The 15-year-old rapper Astro, who was eliminated from the competition on Dec. 1, has just announced that he’s inking a deal with Epic Records — just like his fellow runner-up Chris Rene did yesterday.

Astro, whose full fake name is Astronomical Kid and full real name is Brian Bradley, was an early favorite among fans thrilled by the bespectacled emcee’s preternatural talents. But the Brooklyn-based teenager eventually lost the crowd due to rampant cockiness and a televised tantrum, during which he pouted, “I really don’t want to perform, I feel it’s unnecessary.”

After Astro’s run ended, many wondered whether he’d get picked up by one of his own idols, namely Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. But L.A. Reid — who mentored Astro on the show and also runs Epic — took the bait instead. Maybe the real way for X Factor contestants to win a record contract is to impress Reid?

How about you, reader — are you impressed by the one-two punch of Chris Rene and Astro getting major-label deals? Do you think Astro will live up to his hype? And are there any other contestants you’d like to see get signed? We know you’re out there, Rachel Crow Nation!

Read more:
‘X Factor’ runner-up Chris Rene signs record deal with Epic — EXCLUSIVENicole Scherzinger performs new song ‘Pretty’ on ‘The X Factor'; will she finally catch her break?Kris Allen working on his second album: What does he need to prove?

No Doubt, Nicole Scherzinger Twitter accounts hacked by Ron Paul supporters

Is Kelly Clarkson a trendsetter?

Eyebrows were raised when No Doubt, X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, and political punks Rise Against all expressed their support for Ron Paul via Twitter yesterday.

But it didn’t take long for said eyebrows to return to their proper positions, as it was revealed that the artists’ feeds had actually been hacked by Ron Paul supporters.

“Today We Officially Endorse Ron Paul 2012,” said a tweet from No Doubt’s verified account early in the day. “If you actually read what Ron Paul is saying, you will discover that for the first time in your life a politician is not lying to you.”

The band later issued a correction, writing, “Our Twitter account was hacked last night. No political endorsements at this time. Love, No Doubt.”

“We were hacked,” echoed Rise Against’s Twitter account, whose apparent endorsement tweet included a link to a Ron Paul donation page. “As you would all assume, We DO NOT support Ron Paul.”

Scherzinger, rather than clarify that she was duped, simply deleted the planted tweet.

Yet it’s time to re-raise those tired eyebrows, because the techno-political plot thickens: All of the hacked artists in question are signed to Interscope.

Could there be something more sinister going on, or does the label just assign the same password (probably “password”) to all of its artists?

Either way, our eyebrows are getting a serious workout today. Readers, what are your conspiracy theories? Leave them in the comments below.

Read more on EW.com:
No Doubt says first album in 10 years will now be their first album in 11 years
Kelly Clarkson gets into extended Twitter war over endorsement of Ron Paul
Kelly Clarkson isn’t the only celeb showing support for a presidential hopeful

Spotify to begin limiting free streaming, calls off endless honeymoon

About six months ago, the Internet music community collectively Tebowed in awe before the greatness of Spotify. It seemed too good to be true: Here was a service with an incredibly deep well of music that streamed at very high qualities, all for free.

And if you ponied up a mere 10 bucks a month, you could take everything with you via the Spotify app. With all these things laid before us, why would anybody listen to music any other way again?

But like all great revolutions in digital music, the inevitable fallout had to come sooner or later. Everybody conveniently forgot that the “unlimited” free streaming would narrow to a limited amount after six months, and that deadline is fast approaching for first adopters.

If the Euro model is any indicator, free users will be limited to around 10 hours a month, with individual songs capped at five spins in that same time period. So now free users will not only have to put up with the ads, but also will run out of digital mileage in the time it takes to spin Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend ten times (which you couldn’t do, because it will send you away once you hit that fifth time through “Nothing Lasts” — irony!). READ FULL STORY

Rihanna crowned best-selling digital artist of all time

How does one sell nearly 50 million downloads in six years? By releasing nearly 50 million singles in six years.

Hyperbole aside, Nielsen Soundscan revealed that Rihanna is now the top-selling digital artist of all time (time here being about as old as the iTunes Store), having moved 47.5 million digital tracks since her 2005 debut.

This gives her a safe lead ahead of runners-up the Black Eyed Peas, who have 42.4 million digital tracks under their Tron belts, and Eminem, who ranks third with 42.29 million.

The Grammy-winning singer’s previous accomplishments include eclipsing Madonna to become the fastest artist to produce 20 Hot 100 top-10 singles, which she pulled off with “We Found Love.”

Of course, one might say RiRi breaks a lot of records largely by making a lot of them. Since 2005, the Barbadian chart beast has released six studio albums and an astonishing 27 singles — more than the BEPs and Eminem combined in the same amount of time.

The full list is below; see if you can count how many of them haven’t collaborated with Rihanna before: READ FULL STORY

Today in Kelly Clarkson: Yes, she's ditching 'Idol' for the 'Voice'; no, Ron Paul didn't actually affect her sales

Sorry, Seacrest: Kelly Clarkson is making a Breakaway from American Idol.

The singer and first Idol winner will serve as a mentor on the next season of The Voice, the New York Post reports. The episode will air in the spring and feature the “Mr. Know It All” songstress giving tips to contestants under Voice coach Blake Shelton’s wings.

Could this mean that Idol is officially square now, eclipsed by newcomers like The Voice and The X Factor?

“The thing I love about The Voice is that they’re more mentors — they’re not judges,” Clarkson said of Idol‘s hotter, younger sister in an interview last September. “I would never really want to be a judge, just because I don’t want to break people’s hearts.”

Added Clarkson, “I so want to audition for The Voice and see if I can get the chairs to turn around!”

Elsewhere, Billboard reports that the Ron Paul bump that supposedly lifted Clarkson’s sales ended up being a bit of a hoax.

While her most recent album Stronger did in fact experience a rise in the charts, it actually dropped in sales — just not as steeply as other albums, likely due to a big promotional push from the Apple iTunes Store.

Read more on EW.com:
Kelly Clarkson sees sales pick up following Ron Paul endorsement
Kelly Clarkson gets into extended Twitter war over endorsement of Ron Paul
Kelly Clarkson isn’t the only celeb showing support for a presidential hopeful

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