Hip Hop Mogul Chris Lighty Dead..

“Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty died Thursday morning after he shot himself during an argument with his ex-wife inside his Bronx apartment, sources told the Daily News. Lighty, 44 — a longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey — put a gun to his head and fired after a spat with his former wife, Veronica, inside the South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., police sources said.  Law enforcement sources said Lighty — who divorced his wife last year — may have been dealing with financial struggles, including owing about $5 million to the IRS. Lighty, founder of Violator Management, merged with another talent company to form Primary Violator around the time his divorce.” Read more here..

BMG signs will.i.am

BMG Chrysalis US has signed a new worldwide publishing deal with Black Eyed Peas man will.i.am.

The seven-time Grammy Award winner has sold 31 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide with the Black Eyed Peas. He has worked as a producer with the likes of Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, David Guetta and film composer Hans Zimmer.

This morning, he premiered his new single Reach For The Stars from Mars. As in, the planet.

will.i.am was previously signed to publishing outfit Cherry Lane, which was itself acquired by BMG in 2010.

The star recently appeared as a coach of BBC One’s The Voice UK and is the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, two NAACP Image Awards, a VH1 Do Something Award, the BMI President’s Award and a 2008 Webby Award.

One Direction Returning with New Album in November

One Direction‘s debut album “Up All Night,” which spawned the hits “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing,” was released less than six months ago, but the U.K. vocal group is already moving on to its second full-length. A new One Direction album is slated to be released in November through Syco/Sony Music, with a new single, “Live While We’re Young,” arriving on Oct. 1. Read more at Billboard….

 

Official: Taylor Swift’s ‘Never’ Song Sells 623,000; Sets Female Digital Record

It’s official: Taylor Swift has set the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” sold 623,000 in the week ending Aug. 19 — according to Nielsen SoundScan — and it thus debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart.

Not only is it the best week ever for a woman, but the second-largest ever overall. Only Flo Rida‘s “Right Round” has sold more in a week, when it debuted at No. 1 with 636,000 on the Digital Songs chart dated Feb. 28, 2009. (Billboard)

Streaming Music Will Over Take Downloads…

Florence and the Machine’s Spectrum was the most-streamed song in the UK this week.  But, what does this mean?

“It means streaming music is the fastest-growing sector of the industry, overtaking downloads, which are due to see an increase of 8.5% this year.” Strategy Analytics forecast that spending on digital music – including downloads, streaming music and mobile sales – would overtake that of physical products like CDs in 2015, both in the UK and worldwide. (BBC)

Musical Olympics: 40 Countries’ Top Stars

With athletes, celebrities and fans from across the world gathered in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, we thought the time was right to celebrate the artists that have made their home countries most proud by winning gold (records) and making a lasting, global impact on the music world.

By using a combination of Billboard chart data, Nielsen SoundScan sales numbers, and a little secret editorial sauce of our own making, the Billboard.com team attempted to pinpoint the most important and influential musician(s) to emerge from 40 countries around the world. Some choices were no-brainers (who but the Beatles could represent England?), while other led to all-out office brawls (which is one reason why there are four artists representing the U.S.A.). The task was far from easy, but when the dust finally settled, we were left with a list that we stand firmly behind and (mostly) agree on.

Read more at here

Olympics 2012: Muse and Kate Bush rumored to perform closing ceremony

Kate Bush is one of the biggest music names mentioned here as a potential performer at Sunday’s star-studded Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The singer’s name is being bandied about in the British media alongside acts touted as already booked, including Muse, George Michael, The Who and the much-anticipated reunion of Spice Girls.

Also featuring in the hotly anticipated mix is “The X Factor” U.K. boy band finalists and Simon Cowell progeny One Direction, an appearance by Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye and a turn from singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

Michael tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning: “Have to get up at a reasonable time to get to the dress rehearsal…”

Madness and Pet Shop Boys, according to reports, also have been added to the stellar bill of music stars, with Paul McCartney tipped to make an appearance to sing another Beatles hit following his role in the Opening Ceremony.

Read more here

The Gaslight Anthem

Mercury/IDJ recording artists The Gaslight Anthem celebrate their major label debut, Handwritten, achieving their highest chart entry to date at #3 backstage at their sold-out show at N.Y.C.’s Webster Hall. The group’s single, “45,”is currently Top 15 on the Alternative chart, as the following ransack the band’s dressing room beer and cold cuts spread (l-r): Esther Creative Group’s Tom Sarig, drummer Benny Horowitz, IDJMG President/COO Steve Bartels, vocalist Brian Fallon, SVP Promotion Rock Formats Christine Chiappetta, Mercury President David Massey, bassist Alex Levine and guitarist Alex Rosamilia.(HITS)