Jason Aldean’s ‘Night Train’ Rolls to No. 1 On Billboard 200

As forecasted a week ago, Jason Aldean‘s “Night Train” chugs to a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart, opening atop the ranking with 409,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The Broken Bow-released album not only secures the country superstar his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 but also the second-largest debut of the year. Only Mumford & Sons‘ “Babel,” which moved 600,000 in its first week (Oct. 13), started with a bigger number. (The staff at RED Distribution can celebrate both achievements, as both “Babel” and “Night Train” are distributed by the indie company.)

As “Night Train” pulls into the No. 1 spot, Aldean bests his previous biggest sales week, tallied when his last album, “My Kinda Party,” debuted with 193,000 in November 2010. The set bowed and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, blocked from No. 1 by Taylor Swift‘s “Speak Now,” which was in its  second week at No. 1.

Beyonce to headline Super Bowl halftime show

Beyoncé will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in February, the singer confirmed on her website today.

Update: 6:40 p.m. The Associated Press reported it first, citing an anonymous source. The official announcement about the Pepsi NFL Halftime Show came from the NFL and CBS late today.

Beyoncé’s website had a huge picture of her under the headline “Countdown to Touchdown” and the date of the game splashed across her cheeks.

Super Bowl XLVII is Feb. 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the first in that city since 2002 and the first since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city and devastated parts of the Louisiana Superdome in 2005.

A 16-time Grammy winner, Beyoncé sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 in her hometown, Houston, when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.

Interscope Records relaunches its corporate website for the e-commerce, Twitter generation

Interscope Records, the record company behind the likes of Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen and La Roux, is taking a new approach to its corporate website, working to merge traditional and social content.

Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) is actually the full name of the umbrella label, owned by Universal Music Group (UMG) and founded when Geffen and A&M Records were merged into Interscope more than a decade ago.

IGA’s new website is setting out to reimagine the concept of what a record label website does as, oftentimes, it isn’t the number one go-to for fans seeking information and news around their favorite artists.

Using real-time social technologies from Echo and Arktan (see previous coverage here), Interscope draws on the social activities of its signed artists. In the process, it seems that Interscope is hoping to draw fans to the site not only to engage with the artists they already like, but discover other ones too.

What you’ll now see is a stream of tweets, with content from Instagram and YouTube embedded and permeating across the site. Interscope is essentially weaving all the social content associated with its artists together into one portal, with all the latest posts appearing first on the homepage.

“Everything a record label does is social,” explains Lee Hammond, VP of Digital for IGA. “By leveraging this activity as the primary content source for our label website, we will always have the freshest, most relevant content available for our fans. When our social media manager posts content to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, that content will instantly flow into the Featured content on our home page.”…

Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ Drives Gains on Social 50 Chart

Rihanna is back at it. This week she jumps 23-3 on Billboard’s Social 50 chart, elevated by attention from her newly released single “Diamonds” off her upcoming album “Unapologetic” (set to be released November 19)…

The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, using a formula that blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays.

“Diamonds” has gained over 8 million views since its September 27 release, causing a 28% overall gain in new viewers to her VEVO channel with 29 million overall views acquired during the charting week. This week she added 1.3 million new Facebook fans and 105,000 Twitters followers

Muse Break Fourth No. 1 Album in U.K., Rihanna Has Top Single

In a busy week of new entries on the U.K. sales charts, published Sunday (October 7), Muse‘s “The 2nd Law” sold 108,000 units to become their fourth No. 1 album in their home territory, while Rihanna‘s new single “Diamonds” outsold last week’s bestseller, PSY‘s “Gangnam Style,” as well as arrivals by One Direction, Adele and Ellie Goulding.

Muse’s opening sales tally is the fourth highest for any artist in the U.K. this year. The band first topped the album survey with 2003’s “Absolution” and have also had No. 1s with “Black Holes & Revelations” (2006) and “The Resistance” (2009). The latter debuted with sales of 148,000. From the new set, “Madness” moved 28-25 on the singles chart….

Taylor Swift has notched her first Hot 100 No. 1 and P!nk has pocketed her first Billboard 200 leader. What other stars could be in line for their first toppers?

Despite having made 45 prior visits, Taylor Swift didn’t score her first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 until “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” her 46th attempt, soared 72-1 on the ranking earlier this month.

This week, P!nk tops the Billboard 200 at last, as “The Truth About Love” launches at the summit. Having first appeared on the list more than 12 years ago, P!nk had charted five previous studio albums and one best-of set, rising as high as No. 2 with “Funhouse” in 2008.

(Swift had, however, already tallied two No. 1s on the Billboard 200 prior to her first Hot 100 coronation, while P!nk had collected three Hot 100 leaders before crowning the Billboard 200.)

What other star acts have, perhaps surprisingly, yet to top a prominent Billboard chart? And, who yet might?

On the Hot 100, Justin Bieber remains in the hunt for his first No. 1, among 29 total charted titles, having risen as high as No. 2 in April with “Boyfriend.” Could “As Long as You Love Me,” featuring Big Sean, become his first No. 1? It currently bullets at No. 7.