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Lady Gaga opens up to Howard Stern in exhaustive 90-minute interview, performs acoustic version of 'The Edge of Glory'-Listen here

After months of skeptics calling for Lady Gaga to brave an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, this morning she did just that.

The 90-minute conversation was by far the most detailed interview she’s ever granted, sharing her thoughts on money, fame, the L.A. lifestyle, and her history of drug use. Of course, Stern was in his usual irreverent form, asking trademark questions about Gaga’s sexual history (which we can’t print here, though you can listen to the entire interview below).

But much of it revealed less prurient details, like the fact that the chorus for “Born This Way” came to her in the shower, and that she often vocalizes melodies that come to her into her BlackBerry; she even proceeded to play some raw, early cell-phone versions incarnations of “Judas” and “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love).”

Stern didn’t hide the fact that he was chagrined it took so long for her to make an appearance on his show—“I felt I was more important than The Gayle King Show”—and that he’d received some threatening Little Monster-penned missives warning him to go easy on Her Ladyship. But by the end he seemed easily won over to the Cult of Gaga and declared her soaring acoustic rendition of “The Edge of Glory” to be “one of the best performances we’ve ever had on the show.”

Listen to the interview after the break and read some highlights we’ve transcribed below: READ FULL STORY

Adele, Katy Perry help music sales go up for the first time in seven years

At the halfway point of 2011, it shouldn’t be surprising that Adele’s 21 is the top-selling album of the year. But did you know that thanks to that big boost, alongwith solid entries by the likes of Lady Gaga and Mumford & Sons, album sales are actually up for the first time in seven years?

According to the mid-year report published by Nielsen SoundScan, a few more than 155 million albums have moved in the first six months of 2011, compared to the just under 154 million that sold during the same time in 2010. That’s a whopping one percent gain!

It’s always good to be up, but considering album sales have been in total freefall for years (at this time last year, sales were down 11 percent compared to the same time in 2009), there was really no place to go but up.

There are some real reasons to celebrate, though. READ FULL STORY

'X-Factor' judge L.A. Reid reportedly to take lead at Sony's Epic Records

L.A. Reid — former chairman of the Island Def Jam record label and judge on Fox’s upcoming singing-competition series The X-Factor — has landed a new gig as the head of Sony Music’s Epic Label Group, which is set to be restructured to include Jive Records, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sony has yet to respond to requests from EW seeking confirmation.

When he begins in the post after the 4th of July holiday, it will reunite the famed 55-year-old executive with two major artists — Usher and Pink — who he helped discover.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix

Read more:
Official: L.A. Reid signed as ‘X-Factor’ judge
Island Def Jam exec L.A. Reid officially resigns: Read his letter to the staff here

You're Lebanese! You're...Censored: Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' banned in Lebanon


Not everyone’s in love with “Judas,” it seems.

First, Lady Gaga’s religious-themed tribute to the thirty-pieces-of-silver-loving turncoat rankled some Catholic and Latino groups. Now it’s resulted in her No. 1 album Born This Way getting banned in Lebanon. Though you might think that title-track shout-out of “You’re Lebanese!” would be a source of pride for the Middle Eastern country, Lebanon’s General Secretary Department has prohibited the sale of Born This Way CDs due to its being “offensive to Christianity.” READ FULL STORY

Carrie Underwood passes Kelly Clarkson as most successful 'Idol' winner as two country stars square off in finals

While this season’s final contestents, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, battle it out for the metaphorical championship belt on American Idol, marking the first time in the history of the show that two country-based artists will be squaring off in the finals.

That could prove to be a boon for whoever walks away the victor, because season four winner Carrie Underwood just became the top-earning contestant in the history of Idol.

She just passed first season winner Kelly Clarkson on Billboard magazine’s tally, selling over 12 million albums and 18 million digital tracks since she picked up the duke in 2005. Clarkson slips to number two on the list, having sold 10 million albums and nearly 16 million downloads.


Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' album leaks in full: To listen or not to listen?

It’s almost anti-climactic, really.

After months of intense pre-release buildup and more hype than Donald Trump threatening a presidential bid, Lady Gaga’s hotly anticipated album Born This Way has leaked.

It was set to drop Monday, but when the singer previewed the entire album for UK subscribers of the British newspaper Metro, even she must have known that it was going to go viral faster than Ebola. Get our first impression after the break: READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry spent every week of the last year in the Hot 100 top 10-what did YOU do?

Katy Perry‘s second album Teenage Dream came out almost a year ago, but the 26-year-old star has already celebrated another kind of anniversary: As of last week (which saw her “E.T.” lose its top position to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”), Perry had been in the top 10 of the Hot 100 for a full 365 days.

That’s 52 consecutive weeks with a song—“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,”“E.T.”—at or near the top of the charts (and some weeks, she checked in with two top 10 hits). No artist has ever spent an entire year in the top 10—not Mariah Carey, not Elvis Presley, not Madonna, not even the Beatles.

Of course, a lot has changed in the 53-year history of the Billboard Hot 100.


U2 break Rolling Stones' record for highest-grossing tour of all time: Have you seen it yet? Take our poll

In one of the few measurable victories Ireland gets over Great Britain, U2 recently surpassed the Rolling Stones’ record for highest-grossing tour of all-time with their U2 360° Tour. Erin, go Brag!

England’s oldest hitmakers previously held the record after raking in $558 million from 2005 to 07 for their A Bigger Bang Tour, but U2—who are still touring behind their 2009 release No Line On the Horizon—are set to take in more than $700 million by the time U2 360 wraps in late July. With 26 shows to go, the Irish quarter are almost ready to get back to saving the world/destroying Broadway. READ FULL STORY

Recording Academy cuts 31 Grammy Awards categories

The Recording Academy, whose annual Grammy Awards “recognize excellence in music,” announced earlier today that they’ve cut the amount of categories used to acknowledge that greatness to 78.

The top always-televised awards—Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist—were not touched.

But several existing categories have merged. R&B took one of the hardest hits, being cut in half to four. And male, female, and group R&B Vocal Performance awards are now one: R&B Performance. Like rhythm and blues, a new award for Rock Performance replaces awards for Rock Solo Vocal Performance and Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.


Beyonce announces split from her father/manager

Beyonce has split from the only manager she’s ever known: her father. Matthew Knowles had guided his daughter’s career since her early days as a member of Destiny’s Child, and the superstar singer said that the decision to part ways was mutual and amicable. “I’ve only parted ways with my father on a business level,” Beyonce said in a statement. “He is my father for life and I love my dad dearly. I am grateful for everything he has taught me.”

In a separate statement, Matthew Knowles emphasized his commitment to his company, Music World Entertainment, in particular his gospel and inspirational label, and reflected on his daughter’s success. “We did great things together, and I know that she will continue to conquer new territories in music and entertainment,” Knowles said. “Business is business and family is family. I love my daughter and am very proud of who she is and all that she has achieved. I look forward to her continued great success.”

According to CNN, it was not immediately apparent who, if anyone, would replace Knowles as Beyonce’s manager.

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