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Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100; Adam Levine Launches Record Label

Kelly Clarkson

Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100 Chart

This week, Kelly Clarkson reaches the top of the Hot 100 chart with “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” The song is Clarkson’s third Number One on that list. She sat at the summit for two weeks in 2002 with “A Moment Like This” and also for two weeks in 2009 with “My Life Would Suck Without You.” “Stronger” remains at Number One on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart for a second week. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the track sold 237,000 copies during the past week.

Adam Levine Launches Record Label

Adam Levine of Maroon 5
Adam Levine of Maroon 5

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine has launched his own record label, 222 Records. Glee cast member Matthew Morrison is the first artist signed to the label. “Starting my own label has been a long time goal of mine," Levine said, "and I am thrilled to be at the point in my career where it is finally happening. I am excited for everyone to hear Matthew’s forthcoming album. Great things are in store for him with this release.” Morrison’s 2011 self-titled debut album for Mercury Records produced the Top 20 Adult Contemporary chart hit, “Summer Rain.”

Adele Still Holding at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100; Adam Levine Launches Record Label
Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100; Adam Levine Launches Record Label

Top 10 debuts on this week’s Billboard 200 chart include Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die at Number 2, 77-year-old Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas at Number 3 and Fred Hammond’s God, Love & Romance at Number 8. In other chart news, Adele keeps her place at Number One on the Billboard 200 for the 19th non-consecutive week with 21.

Monica-Brandy Duet Released

Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100; Adam Levine Launches Record Label
Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard's Hot 100; Adam Levine Launches Record Label

On February 14, RCA Records releases the new duet by Grammy Award-winning R&B stars Monica and Brandy. “It All Belongs To Me” will appear on Monica’s upcoming album New Life, which is due out on April 10 and also on Brandy’s forthcoming collection. Their last duet, 1998’s “The Boy Is Mine,” spent 13 weeks at Number One on the Hot 100 chart.

Famous Backup Groups to Be Enshrined

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is holding a second induction ceremony this year. On April 14, the Hall will enshrine the backing groups of six famous singers, who earned induction previously. The additions are the Blue Caps (Gene Vincent), The Comets (Bill Haley), The Crickets (Buddy Holly), Famous Flames (James Brown), The Midnighters (Hank Ballard) and The Miracles (Smokey Robinson).

New Album Releases February 14:

“As The Crow Flies” by Amos Lee
“Heart” by Audrey Assad
“Strictly Romancin” by Catherine Russell
“Blue Moon” by Ahmad Jamal
“Romance Language” by Kirk Whalum
“What Once Was” by Lee DeWyze
“The Promise” by Mitch Ryder
“W.E.” the original motion picture soundtrack

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

The 2012 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Honors aired on February 13. This year’s honorees included Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Spike Lee, the Tuskegee Airmen and Beverly Kearney. The event took place on January 13 and was attended by first lady Michelle Obama.

Star Birthdays:

On February 12, Chynna Phillips of the pop trio Wilson Phillips celebrated her 44th birthday. Before pursuing a music career, the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas acted in such 1980s films as “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Caddyshack II” and “Say Anything.” Chynna helped create Wilson Phillips with friends Wendy and Carnie Wilson, whose father is Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Wilson Phillips 1990 debut album sold five million copies in the U.S. and produced the Number One hits “Release Me,” “Hold On” and “You’re In Love.” The trio recorded its second album, “Shadows and Light,” in 1992. The following year, the group members went their separate ways. In 1995, Chynna recorded the solo album “Naked and Sacred.” Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 to record “California.” The album of cover songs failed to produce any hits. In 2010, the group charted three Top 20 songs from its holiday album, “Christmas In Harmony.” Last year, Wilson Phillips made a cameo appearance in the critically-acclaimed film “Bridesmaids” to perform “Hold On.” They also starred in their own reality show, “Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On,” which aired on the TV Guide Network.

On February 14, Rob Thomas turns 40. Thomas is the lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty and also a Grammy-winning solo artist. Hits with Matchbox Twenty include “Push,” “3 A.M.” and “Bent.” In 1999, Thomas sang on Santana’s Number One hit, “Smooth.” Three years after the release of Matchbox Twenty’s 2002 album, “More Than You Think You Are,” Thomas recorded his first solo collection, “Something To Be.” Worldwide sales surpassed three million copies. His second solo album, “Cradlesongs,” was released in 2009. Last year, Matchbox Twenty began work on its fifth studio album, which is due out later this year.

Singer Melissa Manchester will celebrate her 61st birthday on February 15. Manchester began performing as a backup singer for Bette Midler in the early 1970s. Her first solo album, released in 1975, contained the Top 10 single “Midnight Blue.” Manchester’s other hits include “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the 1982 Top 5 single “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” In 1995, she recorded “If My Heart Had Wings,” her first album of new songs in nine years. That collection was followed by the 1997 holiday release, “Joy.” Four years later, she collaborated with Norman Gimbel to score Disney’s direct-to-video film “Lady and The Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure.” In 2004, Koch Records released her latest album, “When I Look Down That Road.”

On February 16, Andy Taylor will celebrate his 51st birthday. He’s a founding member of the British pop group Duran Duran, whose hits include “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Union of the Snake” and “The Reflex.” Taylor left the band in 1985 and performed with Robert Palmer, John Taylor and Tony Thompson in the supergroup The Power Station. The quartet’s first album spawned three hits, “Some Like It Hot,” “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” and “Communication.” In 1997, The Power Station recorded its second collection, “Living In Fear.” Simon Le Bon and keyboardist Nick Rhodes announced in 2001 that they were reuniting with drummer Roger Taylor, bass guitarist Andy Taylor, and guitarist John Taylor for the first time in 15 years. In 2004, Capitol Records released the group’s reunion CD, “Astronaut.” Duran Duran described their 2007 album, “Red Carpet Massacre,” as reminiscent of their early new-wave material. The band left Epic Records in 2009 and released its 2011 album, “All You Need Is Now,” on Nick Rhodes’ independent label. Duran Duran will begin touring next month in support of the album. The first concert takes place on March 8 in Dubai and will be followed by dates throughout Asia and Australia.

February 16 marks the birth date of pianist Bill Doggett (b. 1916). He is best remembered for his Number One single “Honky Tonk,” which remained at the top of the rhythm-and-blues chart for thirteen weeks in 1956. Doggett formed his first band in 1938 and later performed with the Ink Spots, Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and many others. Doggett died on November 13, 1996.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Drake's "Take Care" CD
Drake's "Take Care" CD

On February 14, hip-hop star Drake will kick off his 38-city “Club Paradise Tour” in Coral Gables, Florida. He’ll be supporting his sophomore album, “Take Care,” which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. North American dates run through March 11. Drake’s European shows begin on March 24 in Dublin, Ireland and wrap up on April 25 in Nottingham, England. U.S. concerts will feature special guests Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky.

Classic rock group Van Halen launches a 49-date North American tour on February 18 to support its new reunion album, A Different Kind of Truth. The album marks their first with original lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984. The rest of the group’s lineup features guitarist Eddie Van Halen, his son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass and drummer Alex Van Halen. The tour begins in Louisville, Kentucky.