Demi Lovato back for “X Factor,” 2 new judges yet to be announced


Singer Demi Lovato will return as a judge on TV contest “The X Factor” for a second year, broadcaster Fox announced on Thursday, but there was no word on two more open positions on the celebrity panel.

The 20-year-old former Disney Channel star will be back in her seat when the show returns in the fall of 2013 along with creator Simon Cowell.

“I couldn’t be happier that Demi wants to come back this year,” Cowell said in a statement.

“She’s a superstar in her own right and was a fantastic mentor last year. Even though she can be really, really annoying – I truly enjoyed working with her and so did the artists.”

“X Factor” producers however have yet to announce replacements for departing judges Britney Spears and record producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who quit at the end of the show’s second season in December.

Sales of Timberlake’s new album beat expectations in first week


Justin Timberlake’s first album since 2006 made a bumper U.S. debut, selling an unexpectedly better 968,000 copies in the first week since its release, according to figures on Tuesday from Nielsen SoundScan.

“The 20/20 Experience” gave Timberlake, 32, the top spot on this week’s Billboard 200 album chart and marked the singer’s best solo effort yet.

The heavily-promoted release from the former N’Sync boy band singer had been expected to sell about 750,000 copies in its first week.

But after warm reviews and fan fever, the album sold almost 300,000 copies more than the first week sales for Timberlake’s last release – 2006’s hit album “FutureSex/LoveSounds” – despite an overall decline in album sales in recent years.

20/20 Experience How Justin Timberlake Will Break A Million In First-Week Sales


Justin Timberlake could sell a million records in The 20/20 Experience’s first week of release, making it his second No. 1 album and his highest sales debut ever. No easy feat, especially in this unpredictable musical climate, but the business-savvy singer understood you have to do more than just promote the music if you want to break records.

Timberlake managed to saturate the news cycle leading up to his album’s release with TV commercials, late night comedy stints and a very smart Target sponsorship, which managed to bump up his sale predictions from an initial figure of 500,000 copies to Billboard reporting it was looking like he had sold 950-975,000 copies by the end of the week. (The final sales stats for The 20/20 Experience are expected, at the latest, Wednesday morning.) Even more impressively, he accomplished all this without making you feel sick of him.

Timberlake seemed to be everywhere leading up to his third album’s release on March 19. His latest release marked his return to music seven years after releasing 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, a record that sold 684,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Timberlake took over your television, from those Bud Light Platinum commercials that featured the brand’s Creative Director performing “Suit & Tie” alongside some very thirsty fans to his fifth time hosting SNL, which gave the NBC show its highest-rated episode in 14 months. Not to mention JT joined Jimmy Fallon for a week-long Late Night residency that had him not only previewing songs off the album, but showing how funny he really is with skits that ranged from a barbershop quartet rendition of “Sexy Back” to a Michael McDonald impression that featured McDonald himself. Read more

Not Fade Away: The Beatles’ Debut LP ‘Please Please Me’ Turns 50

In Not Fade Away, we take a look at the legacy of some of the greatest albums of the past few decades – some iconic, some lesser known – as they celebrate significant anniversaries. Here, we take a look at The Beatles’ debut LP, Please Please Me.

The Beatles adopt a do-it-yourself approach from the very beginning. They write their own lyrics, design and eventually build their own instrumental backdrops and work out their own vocal arrangements. Their music is wild, pungent, hard-hitting, uinhibited… and personal.”

The above gem comes from the liner notes to The Beatles’ Please Please Me, which turned 50 this past weekend. There are so many things that The Beatles are remembered for, chief among them an unmatched catalog of songs. There have been way too many bands to count that started in The Beatles’ wake, and it’s likely that most of them write their own lyrics, as well as “design their own instrumental backdrops” (i.e. compose their own music) and work out their own

Simon Cowell Searches on YouTube for next big star


Talent show guru Simon Cowell is taking his popular television formula to find new stars seeking fast fame to YouTube, joining a growing trend of companies using the Internet to bypass traditional broadcasters. Cowell, the mastermind behind global TV franchises “The X Factor” and “Got Talent”, unveiled plans on Monday for the first global audition channel, called The You Generation, that will be launched in 26 countries on March 20. Syco Entertainment, Cowell’s joint venture with Sony Music, said it had teamed up with YouTube to run 26 fortnightly contests over the next year to give people the chance to upload audition videos showing their skills and win a cash prize. Our mission is to discover the world’s next big YouTube stars and showcase their amazing and unique talents on The You Generation channel,” they said in a joint statement. YouTube, the video-sharing website set up in 2005, has become a new way to uncover talent, most notably launching the career of Canadian teen pop star Justin Bieber.

Prince Reigns Over SXSW


Prince loomed over South By Southwest Music–first as a rumor, then as a confirmed booking that sent fans scurrying around Austin for a ticket giveaway, and finally as a smooth force whose nearly three-hour performance ended at 3 a.m. He led his 22-piece New Power Generation band through a dizzying run of classics, obscurities and covers.

He followed an emphatic set by A Tribe Called Quest, whose four members were tight despite rapper Q-Tip’s quip that they got hired for the show “at the last minute.” Later, pausing among songs like “Can I Kick It” and “Bonita Applebum,” when he sensed the crowd wasn’t reciprocating Tribe’s energy, he cracked, “maybe we should break up again for the third time.”

Bon Jovi Takes Customary Spot Atop Hot Tours, Ricardo Arjona at No. 2


Just as they’re in a heated battle for the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 with David Bowie, Bon Jovi takes the No. 1 ranking on the weekly Hot Tours chart with ticket sales totals reported from the first 14 cities on the Because We Can Tour that launched on Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C.  Of the 14 arenas, two hosted the band for two-night runs: Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto – both grossing more than $4 million in ticket sales revenue.  The top U.S. gross came on opening night at the Verizon Center in D.C. with revenue totaling just over $2 million from a sellout crowd of 16,876.  The total box office gross from all 16 sold out shows was more than $26.5 million.

Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience’ Eyeing Half-Million Debut Sales Week

Justin Timberlake’s long-awaited album “The 20/20 Experience” doesn’t go on sale for another week, but industry sources say it’s going to have a blockbuster debut on the Billboard charts.

Those in the know suggest the album could sell at least 500,000 copies in its debut week, easily securing Timberlake his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. “20/20’s” half-million forecast could grow even larger once the album reaches retailers.

The RCA Records set, due on March 19 in the United States, could score the best sales week for an album in four months. The last title to sell more than 500,000 in a week was One Direction’s “Take Me Home,” which opened with 540,000 after its release on Nov. 13, 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Since the start of 2012, only four albums sold in excess of a half-million in a week: “Take Me Home;” Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” in its debut frame (600,000); Adele’s “21” in the first full week after the 2012 Grammy Awards (730,000); and Taylor Swift’s “Red” in its debut (1.2 million).

London band Bastille storms to top of UK charts


British rock band Bastille raced to the top of the charts with debut album “Bad Blood” this week, knocking off Brit award winner Emeli Sande from the top spot.

Sande, who received a major boost by appearing at the London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies last summer, came second with her album “Our Version Of Events”, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday.

Welsh band Stereophonics’ album “Graffiti On The Train” came third, followed by Bruno Mars, an American singer-songwriter and record producer, with his “Unorthodox Jukebox”.

In singles, U.S. singer Justin Timberlake retained his top spot with “Mirrors”, followed by Bruno Mars’s “When I was your man” and Bastille’s “Pompeii” at no. 2 and no.3, respectively.

Media mogul seeks to build U.S. electronic dance music empire


New York media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman is the new entertainment king of Miami Beach after taking over almost all of the famous South Florida island-city’s glitzy, over-the-top nightclubs in a push to consolidate the fast-growing electronic dance music (EDM) industry.

Two Miami companies, The Opium Group and Miami Marketing Group, which own eight nightclubs, including LIV inside the historic, art deco Fontainebleau Hotel, were recently purchased by Sillerman, according to a spokesman.

The deals, in which terms were not disclosed, are the latest move by Sillerman to corner the EDM market, after saying in June last year that he was willing to spend more than $1 billion buying up EDM promoters and event organizers.

EDM is rapidly growing in popularity in the U.S. and abroad, popularized by nightclub DJs featuring acts by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Pitbull.