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Billboard Awards performers announced: Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, more

Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber will hit the stage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 19.

Billboard announced Wednesday that Bruno Mars and R&B singer Miguel will also perform at the awards show. Those acts are finalists for the milestone award, a new honor presented to an act who has achieved a landmark on the Billboard charts in the last year.

Other nominees include The Band Perry and Pitbull.Nominations for other categories haven’t been announced.

Prince will receive the icon award at the show, to air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Online voting is open for the milestone award and will be narrowed to three finalists later this month.

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Taylor Swift takes on critics during Newark concert: 'They're building you up just to knock you down. But they haven't yet.'

It was a sea of red as Taylor Swift kicked off the first of three shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ last night as part of her Red tour — red spotlights, giant red flags, sparkly red dress, sparkly red microphone, sparkly red guitar, even a sparkly red violin bow…you get the point.

The concert featured most of Swift’s new album, a soulful new arrangement of one of her biggest hits, one technical gaffe on a duet with opening act Ed Sheeran, and several references to the media’s treatment of her song topics and personal life.

After opening the concert with “State of Grace” and “Holy Ground,” Swift addressed the screaming masses before launching into the title track from her recent Red album: “I write about my feelings. I’m told I have a lot of feelings,” she said with a smile. “But 13,000 of you opted into hearing about my feelings for the next two hours.” And she wasn’t kidding. READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift debuts '22' video, has more fun than you -- VIDEO

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Technically, as of three months ago today, she is an old and wizened 23.

But this morning, Taylor Swift released the video for her latest single, “22,” on Good Morning America. The video, in typical T-Swift tradition, is a heavily encoded tribute to the greatness of awesome Sisterhood Parties, partially done like an Instagram photo.

Luckily, it also has the good fortune to be accompanying one of the best songs off of Red — watching Swift and her posse dance around in fedoras and shoot confetti guns to that delightful stompity-stomp melody is almost hypnotic:

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Taylor Swift has some harsh words for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler [UPDATES: Fey and Poehler respond]

Peter Lindbergh, exclusively for Vanity Fair

Peter Lindbergh, exclusively for Vanity Fair

Good ol’ Taylor Swift graces the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair, and the 23-year-old “22” singer had a lot of things to get off her chest.

One of those things was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globes jokes. If you recall, the pair made a crack about Swift’s dating history, with Fey telling the singer to “stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son.”

Here’s what Swift had to say about all that: “You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”

So, um, maybe don’t gift Swift a copy of Bossypants for Christmas? (The quote, if you’re wondering, is from Madeleine Albright.)

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Watch One Direction's Harry Styles get hit in the groin by a shoe -- VIDEO

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An audience member at One Direction’s show in Glasgow threw not one, but two shoes at Harry Styles — and the second one hit him where it hurts.

And before you make the obvious Taylor Swift joke, Buzzfeed beat you to it.

Watch the video here. You probably want to turn the volume low:

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Music sales up internationally for the first time since 1999

It’s no secret that the music industry has not had the greatest 21st century. Back in 1999, labels collected over $28 billion in sales, the biggest peak in history. (That’s a lot of copies of …Baby One More Time.) When the calendar turned over, the deluge began, and the combination of widespread broadband Internet access, innovations in file sharing technology, and a general devaluation of the product led to steady declines in sales. Pirates were partially to blame, but so were music executives who were slow to adapt to the brave new world.

But perhaps the industry has found bottom. According to a report put out by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, music sales were up 0.3 percent in 2012. That’s not much of a gain from the year before, but it’s better than losing more blood. All told, the industry brought in $16.5 billion in sales.

Most of that increase, unsurprisingly, comes from the steady increase in people willing to pay for digital music. Download sales were up nine percent over 2011 and accounted for 34 percent of the overall pie. More and more income is also coming in care of streaming services, whose subscription fees now make up 10 percent of all music sales internationally.

Of course, when you dive deeper into the numbers, there’s some obvious top-heaviness. READ FULL STORY

Eric Church leads with 7 ACM nominations

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They don’t call him Chief for nothing: Eric Church is the top nominee at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards.

The rising country music star has seven nominations for the April 7 awards show in Las Vegas. Hunter Hayes is next with six, followed by Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert at five apiece.

Swift and Lambert are up for the academy’s top honor — entertainer of the year — with Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Swift is going for her third straight win in that category.

Shelton and Bryan will co-host the broadcast, to air live on CBS from the MGM Grand. READ FULL STORY

Hear Samuel L. Jackson perform Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

 Django Unchained star Samuel L. Jackson — who had a viral hit last year with his salty Go the F*** to Sleep audiobook — is back at it with a growling, get-these-snakes-off-my-plane reading of the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Because he’s a secret TSwift fan? Because the song is really a piece of veiled historical commentary on the Confederacy’s attitude toward the Union in Django‘s antebellum South? Who’s to say. All we know is the hijinks went down on London’s 95.8 Capital FM station, and as you can imagine, Jackson’s version sounds like less of a cutesy kiss-off than a Pulp Fiction-style “Say what again” double dare, complete with a few new Tarantino-esque lines at the end. Check out the clip below:

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Golden Globes Best Original Song nominees -- LISTEN

Excited for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host the Golden Globes this Sunday night? Join the club. But beyond the fun hosts, there is a ton of entertainment to look forward to during Sunday’s live event: Movies (Lincoln or Les Misérables?!), TV (Will Homeland repeat their Emmy wins?) and even music, with Best Original Song bringing star power in the form of Adele, Taylor Swift and Hugh Jackman. Listen to all five nominees below, and pick your favorite going into the broadcast.

Interestingly, of the Golden Globe nominees, only Skyfall and Les Misérables’ songs were nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar yesterday, which may point to their odds at the Globes — although there have been plenty of Oscar/Globes differences before. Will Swift emerge victorious? Will the Les Mis crew get another award? Spoiler alert: This is yours to lose, Adele.

Listen to all the nominees below:

1.) “For You,” from the movie Act of Valor. Music and lyrics by Monty Powell, Keith Urban. READ FULL STORY

Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons added to Grammy lineup

Considering there are a total of 81 categories at the Grammy Awards and only a small fraction of those actually get handed out during the telecast, the main events of any given Grammy show are the performances. What other reason did anybody have to tune into last year’s show other than to watch Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney Houston and Nicki Minaj’s British-accented exorcism?

This year’s batch of performers is starting to build, and it begins with some massive acts. Rihanna, Taylor Swift, fun., Mumford & Sons, and the Black Keys have all been confirmed to perform live at the 55th Grammy Awards, which will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Mumford, fun., and the Black Keys are among the most nominated artists at this year’s show (Mumford and fun. each have six, while the Black Keys have five plus one more Producer of the Year nod for Dan Auerbach). Rihanna and Taylor will walk into the building with three nominations each, though Swift likely would have collected more had her latest album Red come out in time for consideration (pencil her in for at least a half-dozen noms in 2014).

Now that we know some of the people who will definitely be performing, the speculation can begin about what those artists will perform and who they might invite along. READ FULL STORY

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