The Fray Rockets to No. 1 on Billboard Album Chart

Denver-based rock group The Fray debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200 this week with its self-titled sophomore album.  The band's 2005 debut album, How To Save A Life, only reached Number 14 on that chart, but went on to sell 2.37 million copies.  Next month, the Fray will spend a couple weeks performing concerts in Australia and New Zealand.

Collaborative Rap Single Tops Billboard 100 Chart

Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent's collaborative single, "Crack A Bottle," rockets 77 positions to Number One on this week's Hot 100 chart.  They also set a new download sales record by selling 418,000 copies of the song.  T.I. and Rihanna's "Live Your Life" held the previous first-week digital sales record with 335,000 copies sold.

Advertisers, Radio Stations Drop Chris Brown Following News of Alleged Assault on Rihanna

Fallout continues from Chris Brown's alleged Grammy-day (February 8) assault on his girlfriend Rihanna.  Brown's Wrigley's Doublemint gum commercial has been suspended pending the outcome of the charges.  The Body By Milk campaign has also pulled Brown's "Got Milk" advertisement.  And, some radio stations have stopped playing his songs.  Rihanna cancelled her February 12 concert in Indonesia and also her February 13 show in Malaysia.  The L.A. Times and People magazine reported the Grammy-winning singer's injuries included bruises, a black eye and a split lip.  Brown turned himself into police the same day of the alleged attack and was released after posting $50,000 bail on a felony charge of making criminal threats.

Madonna Listed as Top Moneymaker of 2008

Billboard has released its list of the top moneymakers of 2008.  Madonna brought in $242.2 million in album and digital track sales, concert tickets and ringtones.  At Number 2 is Bon Jovi with $157.2 million.  Rounding out the Top 5 are Bruce Springsteen with $156.3 million, The Police with $110 million and Celine Dion with $99.2 million.

Rapper Lil' Kim, Pop Stars Belinda Carlisle, Jewel Among New Dancing With The Stars Contestants

Contestants for the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars include several popular singers.  Country newcomer Chuck Wicks will pair with his girlfriend, two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion Julianne Hough.  Hough released her first Country album last year.  Pop-turned Country singer Jewel will dance with Dmitry Chaplin.  Pop singer Belinda Carlisle will team with Jonathan Roberts.  And, rapper Lil' Kim will be paired with last year's Dancing With the Stars champ Derek Hough.  Other celebrities signed on to the show include Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell, former professional football player Lawrence Taylor, actors Gilles Marini, David Alan Grier and Denise Richards, Apple computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, television personality Steve-O and rodeo star Ty Murray, who is married to Jewel.  The eighth season of Dancing With the Stars will premiere on March 9 on ABC-TV.

New Album Releases February 17

"Uncle Charlie" - Charlie Wilson
 "Years of Refusal" - Morrissey
 "Goodnight Oslo" - Robyn Hitchcock
 "The Annie Lennox Collection" - Annie Lennox
 "Love at the End of the World" - Sam Roberts

Awards Presentations/Winners

On February 18, the 2009 Brit Awards will take place in London.  British rock band Coldplay and Welsh newcomer Duffy lead the contenders with four nominations apiece.  Both are mentioned in the Best British Album category, which also includes Elbow, Radiohead and The Ting Tings.  Duffy faces Adele, Beth Rowley, Estelle and MIA in the Best British Female category.  Coldplay is up against Elbow, Girls Aloud, Radiohead and Take That for Best British Group.  The Best British Male nominees are Ian Brown, James Morrison, The Streets, Paul Weller and Will Young.  In addition to seven British artist categories, the 2009 Brit Awards will honor musicians in four international categories.  The Pet Shop Boys will receive a special Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Nominations for the 44th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards have been announced.  Brad Paisley received a leading six mentions, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Single Record of the Year for "Waitin' On A Woman."  Former Trick Pony lead singer Heidi Newfield is up for five ACM Awards.  In addition to her nod for Top Female Artist, she's nominated for Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for her debut solo hit, "Johnny and June."  Triple nominees include Jamey Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and George Strait, who will be honored as the Academy's Artist of the Decade.  LeAnn Rimes has been named as this year's ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award winner.  The award "recognizes Country music artists who serve others, have a generous spirit and help build the dreams of those in need."  The 2009 ACM Awards will take place on April 5 in Las Vegas.  Reba McEntire will host the show for the 11th time.

Look Who's Going on Tour!

On February 17, Country singer and former American Idol finalist Bucky Covington will begin a week-long USO tour.  The first stop is Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.  Before wrapping up the tour on February 23, Bucky will also perform free shows for troops at a U.S. Army base in the Netherlands and at three bases in Germany.