Music Sales

Sony Music returns to the top of the chart next week after being unseated by Universal Music for the past five weeks. The first third of 2012 has been dominated by both music groups during the 17-week span with Columbia Records, specifically, holding down the lead for 12 of those weeks. Columbia, which may have three in this week’s Top 5, will score a 13th week at the top as Jack White debuts #1, the first ever for the guitar god, even as a member of White Stripes. For now at least, it looks as though Sony could remain in the pole position for a little longer as Carrie Underwood (19/RCA) is set to debut on top in two weeks and will likely hold there for a few charts. Here’s how it looks headed into the weekend: (HITS DAILY DOUBLE)

*Jack White (Third Man/Columbia) 120-130k
Adele (XL/Columbia) 85-90k
Lionel Richie (Mercury Nashville) 80-85k
One Direction (Syco/Columbia) 40-45k
Nicki Minaj (YM/CM/Universal Republic) 35-40k
*Lee Brice (Curb) 35-40k
Jason Mraz (Atlantic) 35-40k
*Kip Moore (MCA Nashville) 35-40k
Gotye (Fairfax/Universal Republic) 30-35k
*The Wanted (Mercury/IDJ) 30-35k
The Black Keys (Nonesuch) 27-30k
Train (Columbia) 27-30k
Luke Bryan (Capitol Nashville/EMI) 24-27k
*Josh Abbott Band (Pretty Damn Tough) 21-24k
Bonnie Raitt (Redwing) 18-21k
Think Like a Man (Epic) 17-20k

new EVP at Epic Records

Angelica Cob-Baehler has been named EVP Marketing at Epic Records, where she will have full responsibility for the label’s marketing functions, which include product management, brand partnerships, publicity, video production, creative, digital marketing and grassroots marketing. She will report to COO Mark Shimmel. “Angelica’s creativity, passion, enthusiasm and overall expertise play a vital role in preserving the Epic Records legacy,” said label boss Antonio “LA” Reid. “Through her proven resiliency and consummate professionalism, she has built an outstanding reputation with artists, managers and label executives alike. Now, why won’t she follow me on Twitter?” Angelica added: “Working side by side with Mark Shimmel and under the guidance of LA Reid, the new Epic is a place where artist development is alive and well, a home where artistic vision can flourish and grow. I couldn’t be more excited to take on this incredible opportunity.” Angelica was previously EVP Media and Creative Services at EMI, most famously helping break Katy Perry after bringing her to the attention of then-President Jason Flom. Prior to that, she held the position of VP Publicity at Columbia Records. Angelica launched her music industry career at Atlantic Records in 1993 after graduating from UCLA with a BA in Political Science. Angelica serves on the board of the non-profit organization Generosity Water, which brings clean water solutions to impoverished countries, and actively supports the Pablove Foundation in its mission to fight pediatric cancer. In 2011, she was named one of Billboard’s Top Women in Music.(Hits Daily Double)

Gotye Says Glee’s Cover Was ‘Dinky and Wrong’

Glee” covered Gotye’shit single “Somebody That I Used to Know” on a recent episode, but there’s one person who isn’t a fan of how they did it: the singer himself.

The 31-year-old Australian artist, whose real name is Wally de Backer, explained why he wasn’t 100 percent behind the “Glee” performance backstage at L.A.’s Nokia Theatre this past weekend.

“They did such a faithful arrangement of the instrumentals but the vocals were that pop “Glee” style, ultra-dry, sounded pretty tuned and the rock has no real sense,” he told the Sunday Mail, “like it’s playing to you from a cardboard box.”

The singer also said, as the Sunday Herald Sun reports, “It made it sound dinky and wrong.”

During the episode “Big Brother” that aired April 10, guest star Matt Bomer and “Glee’s” Darren Criss were seen performing “Somebody That I Used to Know” in the school auditorium, after which the two reconciled.

“Somebody That I Used to Know” climbed to the top of the Billboard 100 singles chart after “Glee” aired and his appearance on Saturday Night Live, making Gotye the fourth Australian artist to have a No. 1 song. The music video has racked up more than 174.5 million views on YouTube.

Universal Music wins union support to acquire EMI

Universal Music Group has won the qualified support of two North American artists’ unions for its proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of the recorded music division of the U.K.’s EMI Group Ltd.

The unions gave their conditional backing in letters sent last week to the Federal Trade Commission.

In their letters, SAG-AFTRA and the American Federation of Musicians said they would support the deal if there were adequate mechanisms to ensure that Universal complies with its commitment to re-invest in artist development.

EMI is home to the recorded music of The Beatles, as well as American artists such as Norah Jones and The Smashing Pumpkins. Universal artists include Rihanna, Lady Gaga and U2.

“It has been wrenching to watch EMI wither” as its former private equity owner Terra Firma cut costs, wrote Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, SAG-AFTRA’s co-national executive director. She urged regulators to examine Universal’s commitments to artist development.

“Should the commission be satisfied that there are adequate mechanisms to ensure compliance with those commitments, we respectfully request that it look favorably on Universal Music Group’s stewardship over EMI,” she wrote.

Universal said in a statement it was “delighted” that the unions took a positive view of its plans.

x factor changing the rules

“When “The X Factor” returns for its second season in the fall, the show will have undergone some major changes, including the possible addition of Britney Spears to the judges panel. But Wednesday on “Good Day LA” (weekdays, 7 a.m. PT on Fox) L.A. Reid revealed that the new personnel won’t be the only difference between Season 1.

“One way of raising the bar of the talent we’re looking for, is that we allow contestants to come in who already have managers and agents. Last year they wouldn’t have qualified. This year they do qualify. The whole idea here is to raise the bar for the talent we’re going to find,” he explained.” (Huffington Post)

According to sources, Simon also wants to add a Disney star to the mix like Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez to reach a younger demographic.

Lil Wayne Inks Four-Album Deal With Cash Money

Lil Wayne has become synonymous with the Young Money/Cash Money phenomenon that has swept up names such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Mystikal and Busta Rhymes, and the rapper isn’t going anywhere soon. Weezy just signed a 4-album deal with Cash Money records, he announced in an interview on new MTV show “Hip Hop POV.”

The label, which he has been signed to since he was eleven years old, is reaping the sales of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded which debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 last week, and is set to gear up for Wayne’s first album since last year’s The Carter IV, titled I Am Not A Human Being II.

“Contract-wise, I only get paid for 12 songs. Maybe on a Carter album, you probably only gonna get 12 songs, maybe a bonus 13,” Weezy said during the interview. “But on this I Am Not a Human Being thing, I really don’t care… you’re probably gonna get 16 on there.”

Wayne also announced that he’s working on an album of “love songs” – but in the Wayne style, not the typical crooners one might imagine. The album will be titled Devol – “loved” spelled backward – and was borne out of his preoccupations while serving eight months in prison in 2010.

Q-Tip Signs To Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music Label

QTip, the New York hip-hop legend and former leader of A Tribe Called Quest, has signed to Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music imprint on Def Jam Recordings. His fourth solo effort, tentatively titled “The Last Zulu,” will be released through the label in 2013.

Q-Tip joins a roster that includes hip-hop/R&B artists like Pusha T, Big Sean, John Legend and Kid Cudi, among others. A G.O.O.D. music compilation album is in the works, with its West-led first track, “Mercy,” being released last week. Q-Tip previously worked with West on his 2010 album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” as well as on “Watch The Throne,” the collaborative album between West and Jay-Z.

Carrie Underwood Enters Top 10 on Country Chart

Carrie Underwood scores her 15th top 10 with “Good Girl,” which gains 1 million audience impressions and steps 11-10 in its sixth chart week. That matches Taylor Swift‘s tally in a back-and-forth race for the most top 10 singles (15) by a woman from the start of her career. Meanwhile, ‘American Idol’ contender Hollie Cavanaugh’s March 28 performance of “Jesus Take the Wheel” pushes Underwood’s original track to No. 1 on Christian Digital Songs (on Billboard.biz).

Top 10 workout songs in April

This month in the gym, radio hits ruled. Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Madonna all released singles destined for workout playlist glory. But, it’s not just pop divas who prevailed. Carrie Underwood’s latest retains a few country touches. Skrillex and Sirah cranked out a boisterous dubstep anthem. And, although most hip-hop is too slow to make the cut, J. Cole’s aptly-titled “Work Out” proved to be an exception.

Katy Perry – Part of Me – 128 BPM
Nicki Minaj – Starships – 123 BPM
J Cole – Work Out – 93 BPM
Madonna – Girl Gone Wild – 133 BPM
Skrillex & Sirah – Bangarang – 109 BPM
Carrie Underwood – Good Girl – 130 BPM
Chris Brown – Turn Up the Music – 131 BPM
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe – 120 BPM
One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful – 124 BPM
Far East Movement & Justin Bieber – Live My Life – 129 BPM

EMI Publishing renews contract with Pink

EMI Music Publishing has renewed its long-term worldwide administration agreement with Pink, who has sold over 40 million albums and 70 million singles globally and won three Grammy Awards, according to the company. The re-up, brokered by EMI Music Publishing President of North American Creative Jon Platt, will cover all of her future songwriting work as well as the catalog. In a statement, Pink noted “I’m happy to have re-signed with EMI because they’ve been with me since the beginning and I look forward to the future with them.” That future, of course, is likely to involve EMI merging with Sony/ATV in a deal that is still awaiting regulatory approval …