Mariah Carey Tops Holiday Digital Downloads
Mariah Carey's 1994 recording of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" has become the first holiday song to sell one million digital downloads. Following way behind in second place is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)," which was released in 1996. Its paid downloads have reached 398,000. In third place is the 1958 Brenda Lee classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" with 334,000.
Brandy Releases New Album
On December 9, the fifth album by R&B singer Brandy will be released. Human is her first studio record since 2004's Afrodisiac. Brandy describes Human as one of her most personal and emotional albums. She told USA Today, "Over the past couple of years, I've been trying to get myself together, and I've been blessed to reconnect with my purpose, which is music. This is about reconnecting with my fans and making them feel that I'm not only singing my song, but singing their song as well."
Motown Releases Anthology Packaged as 10-CD Box Set
On December 9, Motown Records will kick off its 50th anniversary celebration with the 10-CD box set "Motown: The Complete Number Ones." The anthology features more than 190 tracks by 50 different Motown artists and is packaged with a photo book and an introduction by Smokey Robinson. Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. on January 12, 1959. On January 13, 2009, the "Now That's What I Call Music" series will issue "Now That's What I Call Motown" with 25 of Motown's biggest hits.
Diana Ross, Il Divo Among Artists Featured at Nobel Peace Prize Concert
Diana Ross, Dierks Bentley, Jason Mraz, Il Divo and The Script are among the artists scheduled to perform at this week's Nobel Peace Prize Concert. The show will take place on December 11 in Oslo, Norway. One day earlier, the Norwegian Nobel Committee will present former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, with a Nobel Peace Prize for "his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts."
Kanye's New Album Tops Billboard Chart
Kanye West debuts at Number One on this week's Billboard 200 with 808s & Heartbreak (week ending December 13). According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 450,000 copies its first week of release. SoundScan also reports that teen Country star Taylor Swift has sold more than one million copies of her second album Fearless in only three weeks. Fearless spends its third week at Number One on the Country Albums list.
New Album Releases December 9
"On My Radio" - Musiq Soulchild
"In A Perfect World" - Keri Hilson
"Universal Mind Control" - Common
"Call and Response: The Remix Album" - Maroon 5
"Across The Universe" - Justice
"Avant" by Avant
"The Dark Knight" - original motion picture soundtrack
Rapper Lil Wayne leads the 2008 Grammy contenders with eight nominations, including Album of the Year for Tha Carter III. It was the only 2008 album to sell one million copies its first week of release. Sales now total more than 2.7 million copies. Other multiple nominees include rock group Coldplay with seven mentions; Ne-Yo and Kanye West with six; John Mayer, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Radiohead and Jazmine Sullivan with five; and Adele, the Eagles, Lupe Fiasco, George Strait, T.I. and Danger Mouse with four each. The 51st annual Grammy Awards will be presented in 110 categories on February 8, 2009. (Complete list of nominees at www.grammy.com.)
Look Who's Going on Tour!
2009 could prove to be a lucrative year for the touring industry. One of the most anticipated outings is the return of No Doubt. Lead singer Gwen Stefani said on the band's web site, "I don't think we should wait. Pack up the babies and get a bunch of nannies. So fun! Would be so inspiring to get out there and play all those songs again." No Doubt's first concert of 2009 will be headlining the Bamboozle festival on May 3 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Also heading out on the road in 2009 are Country superstar Kenny Chesney, who will once again play some stadium dates during the arena tour; Billy Joel and Elton John, who will begin co-headlining shows in March; and, Britney Spears, who will support her new album Circus. Spears will kick off her first arena tour in five years on March 3 in New Orleans.