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August 13, 2012

NO DOUBT:  THE BILLBOARD COVER STORY!

"We Made the Record of Our Lives" — Gwen Stefani on "Push and Shove," the band’s first album in 11 years.

"We’ve never fit into any format," Stefani says simply. "Luckily we’ve been able to fit into both [pop and rock] a little bit, though not really consciously… We’ve just managed to nudge our way in."

READ the full story at Billboard.com

August 10, 2012
RIHANNA + OPRAH August 19th: Teaser Video!

Though she may appear as tough cookie, there’s still one topic that causes Rihanna to break down: her break-up with singer Chris Brown.

In a mash-up of teasers for an upcoming episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” the “Where Have You Been” singer can be seen shedding tears when asked questions about Brown — such as if he’s a “true love” and the current status of their relationship.

"It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. I lost my best friend," Rihanna says in the second teaser. She also admits to feeling resentful, dark and once holding a grudge.

Besides her break-up/relationship with Brown, Rih Rih and Oprah cover how the star deals with fame and her love for her hometown of Barbados. The footage feels shockingly open and intimate, considering how tough Rihanna usually appears. Oprah herself even admitted she was “surprised” during her time with Rihanna.


Rihanna’s episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19. Watch the trailer for the episode above.

Check out the Video Teaser At Billboard.com!

August 3, 2012
AVICII, JUSTICE Lead Dance Invasion At LOLLAPALOOZA!

Get ready to dance, Lollapalooza fans. This year’s three-day, sold-out mega-festival that starts Friday on Chicago’s lakefront will have well-known headliners like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Black Keys, but it also will have a special focus on dance music. Two electronic heavyweights, Avicii and Justice, will play main stage shows this year

Swedish DJ-producer Tim Bergling, who performs as Avicii, sees his Lollapalooza performance as an example of dance music’s growing popularity.

"It’s just been blowing up so rapidly," Bergling said. "It’s really interesting to see the bigger festivals getting into it now and recognizing the genre."

Festival founder and Jane’s Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell said he looks at his more than 130-artist lineup as a guide to what’s happening in music.

"It’s not just alternative rock that’s happening," Farrell said in April when the lineup was announced. "You’ve got Avicii headlining this thing and his music is what is happening."

The festival also is expanding the stage that has hosted dance and electronica acts, removing last year’s tent that didn’t allow enough room for the more than 15,000 fans who wanted in.

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July 18, 2012
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE’S BEN GIBBARD Announces Solo Album:

After seven studio albums as the frontman of indie rock stalwarts Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Gibbard is striking out on his own with a solo disc. “Former Lives,” his first solo album, is due out on Oct. 16 in North America via Barsuk Records. 

The album’s 12 songs were written over the past eight years, and recorded with Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza in Los Angeles, where Gibbard has moved from his native Seattle. Gibbard has previously collaborated as a solo artist with American Analog Set's Andrew Kenney on 2003's “Home Volume V” and Son Volt's Jay Farrar on 2009's “One Fast Move or I'm Gone.” The singer-songwriter also formed the Postal Service with Jimmy Tamborello for the brilliant one-off album “Give Up” in 2003.

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June 20, 2012
2 CHAINZ Joining NICKI on ‘PINK FRIDAY’ U.S. TOUR!

Surprises are sure to be in store for the North American leg of Nicki Minaj's ‘“Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” tour. But there's one friend Nicki is bringing along for all 14 tour dates: 2 Chainz.

2 Chainz’s opening slot comes at a good time. The “Beez in the Trap” collaborator’s album, “Based on a T.R.U. Story” (Aug. 14), debuts two days after the tour ends. He’ll perform at all tour stops excluding Los Angeles and Oakland. 

Here are Nicki Minaj’s U.S. tour dates: 

July 16: Chicago, Ill. (The Chicago Theatre)                        
July 17: Detroit, Mich. (Fox Theatre Detroit) 
July 19: Cleveland, Ohio (State Theatre at Playhouse Square) 
July 22: Atlanta, Ga. (Fox Theatre Atlanta) 
July 24: Miami, Fla. (James L. Knight Center) 
July 26: Birmingham, Ala. (Boutwell Auditorium) 
July 28: Houston, Tex. (Bayou Music Center) 
July 29: Dallas, Tex. (Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie) 
July 31: St. Louis, Mo. (Peabody Opera House) 
Aug. 2: Denver, Colo. (Wells Fargo Theatre) 
Aug. 4: Las Vegas, Nev. (Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) 
Aug. 7: Phoenix, Ariz. (Comerica Theatre) 
Aug. 11: Seattle, Wash. (Paramount Theatre) 
Aug. 12: Vancouver, B.C. (Queen Elizabeth Theatre)


June 9, 2012
KID CUDI to Channel ‘The Chronic 2001’ on ‘Indicud’ Album:

Kid Cudi will return with “Indicud,” his third solo album, the MC tweeted on Tuesday.

"My new album is entitled ‘indicud,’ it will be my version of The Chronic 2001, some songs i’ll produce, others i’ll feat &/or play songwriter," he tweeted, referencing Dr. Dre's seminal 1999 album and calling the new set, “My best work.”

Cudi teased an upbeat release, adding, “Hello again. Lets have some fun this time.” He did not announce a release date.

A “Chronic”-style effort would mark a return to hip-hop after the left-turn of “WZRD,” Cudi’s experimental rock collaboration with Dot da Genius. That album, released this February, bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

Cudi’s previous solo effort was 2010’s “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.”

Via Billboard.com

June 1, 2012
MEEK MILL Talks ‘Dreamchasers’ 2, NAS Collabo + ROC Nation Deal:

When he isn’t in the studio or on the road, Meek Mill prefers to be in the streets. The 25-year-old rapper, known for his punctuated style, has taken his love of motocross bikes to the Internet through a partnership with iPhone app VIDDY, serving as a judge for a contest that ends on June 2. 

For the competition, entrants can upload videos of themselves doing motocross bike tricks through viddy.com/MeekMill. The Maybach Music Group rapper will sort through the entries to determine the most skilled rider, who will take home a custom ETHIKA, Inc. custom motocross bike with an $8,500 value, as well as other prizes. According to the Philadelphia native, participating in the giveaway was a no-brainer based on his prior experience with bikes.

"I actually ride myself, and I know the tricks and things like that. I can actually determine the best tricks they do and who puts out the best video," Meek told The Juice. "I’ve been riding my whole life. I’ve been around for a second, it’s what I do on my time off. I have about five bikes that I ride different times when I get a chance to." 

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April 20, 2012
Oops! LMFAO Served With $7 Mill Lawsuit By Former Managers:

Before LMFAO hit the “American Idol” stage for a performance Thursday night, the party-loving pop outfit was served with a $7 million lawsuit from their former management company, TMZ reports.

According to the website, the band’s DJ frontman RedFoo, he of the wild hair and lack of inhibitions, was handed the suit for breach of contract on his way into the “Idol” studio. TMZ said he laughed in response, taking a photo with the process server, who smiled for the camera (see: photo evidence on the site).

The management company, named in reports as Rpm Grp, claims it signed the Los Angeles-based electronic pop duo of Stefan Kendal Gordy (RedFoo) and Skyler Austen Gordy (SkyBlu) in 2008, helping launch them “from 0 to 60,” only to get shown the door once they became successful.

The suit, filed in Santa Monica Superior Court, also accuses the group of tortious interference and accounting, alleging RedFoo and SkyBlu poached Rpm employees to be their new managers, paying them a salary rather than writing the agency a commission check.

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April 9, 2012
A$AP ROCKY Talks Debut Album:

While Harlem hip-hop hero A$AP Rocky is hard at work on his debut studio album for Polo Grounds/RCA/A$AP Worldwide, the rapper tells Billboard.com that “Ridin’,” a collaboration with Lana Del Rey that leaked last week and was quickly removed from the web, will likely make it onto the final album. 

"I might not put it out before because people already know what it is," says Rocky. "It sounds crazy so far though. We were just gonna call it ‘My Bitch,’ but we’re not gonna get much play with that, so we called it ‘Ridin’.’ [The song] is some Bonnie and Clyde shit."

Although the pairing of the magnetic MC and bluesy pop singer might be a little confusing on paper, Rocky’s affinity for Del Rey’s music helped orchestrate the collaboration. 

"You didn’t know about me being a huge Lana Del Rey fan? That’s all I kept talking about all winter," says the rapper. "I first had had a crush on her from seeing her on the Internet — I fell in love with her voice the first time I heard it. I probably heard it in July, August for the first time, I think it was ‘Blue Jeans.’ And from then on, I’m like… I love her! Mind you, we never even spoke to each other, and then in Complex [magazine], when she said I was her favorite rapper, I was like, ‘Oh fuck no, man. I gotta work with her! My dream girl acknowledges me!’"

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April 6, 2012
YAY MELANIE FIONA! SHE SNAGS HER FIRST NO. 1 ON THE R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS CHART SAYS THE JUICE|BILLBOARD.COM
Melanie Fiona earns her first No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with her two-week old “The MF Life” (2-1). It’s the first album to reach No. 1 without debuting in the top slot since Nicki Minaj's “Pink Friday” ascended in its seventh chart week in January 2011. "The MF Life" lifts despite a 53% decline to 16,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her first charted album, “The Bridge,” debuted and peaked at No. 4 in November 2009 at the start of a 46-week chart run. 
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YAY MELANIE FIONA! SHE SNAGS HER FIRST NO. 1 ON THE R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS CHART SAYS THE JUICE|BILLBOARD.COM

Melanie Fiona earns her first No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with her two-week old “The MF Life” (2-1). It’s the first album to reach No. 1 without debuting in the top slot since Nicki Minaj's “Pink Friday” ascended in its seventh chart week in January 2011. 

"The MF Life" lifts despite a 53% decline to 16,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her first charted album, “The Bridge,” debuted and peaked at No. 4 in November 2009 at the start of a 46-week chart run. 

READ MORE

March 24, 2012
MAC MILLER Drops ‘Macadelic’ Mixtape:

Mac Miller is taking listeners on “a most dope experience” on his new mixtape.

"Macadelic," a release "inspired by love, drugs and the search for euphoria," per the digital liner notes, dropped on the MC’s website on Friday.

The 17-track set features Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and Odd Future’s Casey Veggies, among others, with production credits including Clams Casino and Lex Luger — and a Beatles sample, which drops toward the end of “Desperado.”

In November, the Pittsburgh rapper’s “Blue Slide Park” made history as the first independently distributed debut album to top the Billboard 200 since 1995.

Listen to the Mixtape at Billboard.com

March 23, 2012
J. COLE Enlists MELANIE FIONA For Upcoming Album:

Expect to hear more from J. Cole and Melanie Fiona in the near future as they join forces for Cole’s upcoming sophomore album.

Aside from their collaboration, “This Time,” off her sophomore album, “The MF Life,” (March 20), Fiona told The Juice that the two recently got in the studio in L.A. to lace a song for Cole’s next project. 

"I did a track for him which will probably be on his new album… His song [has] a real positive message," Melanie Fiona revealed. "It’s about a competition he was having with young girls and boys about keeping your head up and staying positive. I actually haven’t heard a final version of it yet." 

Fiona couldn’t pass up on collaborating, yet again, with fellow Roc Nation labelmate, especially on a track that showcases one of Cole’s strong points. Enlightening lyricism.  “It felt good that he had reached out to me to be on a record like that, you know? I think that says a lot about how he sees me as an artist and that’s cool. That’s exactly how I want to be represented,” Fiona told The Juice.

J. Cole has been working on a new album for some time now. In October 2011, he told Billboard that he’s “already tracking the second album.” “I’ve got the foundation of songs that I’m gonna put on it already, so it’s just a matter of taking these songs to the next level,” Cole said. 

Via Billboard.com

March 21, 2012
The Beliebers may have to wait until Monday (Mar. 26) to hearJustin Bieber's “Boyfriend” in its entirety, but the pop superstar was kind enough to unveil the full lyrics of his new single on his official web site on Wednesday, so that his fans could submit their own videos of the song using the lyrics. Riddled with tender come-ons, introductions to his falsetto (yes, he literally says “Say hello to falsetto” before presumably reaching new heights with his voice) and the word ‘swag,’ the Mike Posner-produced track seems to — from a lyrical standpoint, at least — up the ante for the teen titan. 
What, you ask, are the standout lines in “Boyfriend,” the memorable turn-of-phrases that pop fans will be mouthing along to all summer long? Billboard.com was happy to rank (and attempt to decipher) the five best lines from Justin Bieber’s latest single:  Check it Out at Billboard.com

The Beliebers may have to wait until Monday (Mar. 26) to hearJustin Bieber's “Boyfriend” in its entirety, but the pop superstar was kind enough to unveil the full lyrics of his new single on his official web site on Wednesday, so that his fans could submit their own videos of the song using the lyrics. Riddled with tender come-ons, introductions to his falsetto (yes, he literally says “Say hello to falsetto” before presumably reaching new heights with his voice) and the word ‘swag,’ the Mike Posner-produced track seems to — from a lyrical standpoint, at least — up the ante for the teen titan. 

What, you ask, are the standout lines in “Boyfriend,” the memorable turn-of-phrases that pop fans will be mouthing along to all summer long? Billboard.com was happy to rank (and attempt to decipher) the five best lines from Justin Bieber’s latest single:  Check it Out at Billboard.com

March 21, 2012
HTC’S Beats by Dre in MOG Acquisition Talks:

Upscale headphone maker Beats by Dr. Dre is in talks to buy subscription music service MOG, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Beats’ owner, Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC, is looking to create a music offering that combines its mobile devices, Beats’ headphones and MOG’s all-you-can-listen streaming plan, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

News of the possible acquisition was earlier reported by Business Insider.

MOG Chief Executive David Hyman declined to comment. HTC dismissed earlier reports as rumor and speculation.

Last August, HTC announced it was paying $300 million for a 51 percent stake in Beats Electronics LLC, a company headed by rapper and producer Dr. Dre and recording executive Jimmy Iovine.

The maker of handsets that work on Google Inc.’s Android platform has been struggling with intense competition from Samsung Electronics Co. and iPhone maker Apple Inc. HTC said its profit fell 26 percent in the final quarter of last year.

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February 21, 2012
February 18: Willow Smith runs into the love of her life, Tyler, the Creator at the Odd Future pop-up shop in Los Angeles, California.

February 18: Willow Smith runs into the love of her life, Tyler, the Creator at the Odd Future pop-up shop in Los Angeles, California.

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