Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tells Personal Story

Big Machine Records releases Taylor Swift's third album, Speak Now on October 26.  Taylor included songs she wrote about recent events in her life.  "Each song is a different confession to a different person," she says.  The track "Innocent" deals with last year's run-in with Kanye West, when he interrupted her acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards.  "Dear John" is reportedly aimed at John Mayer, whom she dated briefly.  Taylor refers to "Back To December" as her first apology song.  She wrote the song about her former relationship with Taylor Lautner, who appeared with Swift in this year's film "Valentine's Day."

Lil Wayne Makes Big Gains on Billboard Chart

Lady Gaga Postpones Paris Concerts; Rihanna Launch
Lady Gaga Postpones Paris Concerts; Rihanna Launches Entertainment Company

Two weeks ago, Lil Wayne entered the Billboard 200 at Number 2 with his new album I Am Not a Human Being. Last week, the set dropped to Number 16, but jumps to Number One its third week of release, thanks to a 443 percent increase in sales.  According to Billboard, that's the biggest chart leap since January of 2008, when Radiohead's In Rainbows moved from Number 156 to Number One.  

Lady Gaga Postpones Paris Concerts

Lady Gaga Postpones Paris Concerts; Rihanna Launch
Lady Gaga Postpones Paris Concerts; Rihanna Launches Entertainment Company

Lady Gaga was forced to postpone her October 22 and 23 concerts in Paris due to the tensions in France.  Students are striking and holding protests over the country's plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.  Concert promoter Live Nation released a statement that says, "Unfortunately, as there is no certainty that the trucks can make it to the Bercy for this weekend's shows, the Lady Gaga performances are now postponed.  Lady Gaga apologizes to her fans for any inconvenience."  She has rescheduled the shows for December 19 and 20.

Rihanna Launches Entertainment Company

Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD
Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD

Rihanna has launched her new company Rihanna Entertainment, which she says "will merge all of her businesses, including music, film, fragrance, fashion and book ventures."  The 22-year-old singer has also changed business managers.  She parted with Marc Jordan to sign with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Management.  In 2005, Rihanna was signed to Jay-Z's Def Jam Records.  Her fifth album, Loud, will be released on November 16.

New Memorial Honors Hootie & The Blowfish

On October 21, the city of Columbia, South Carolina unveiled a permanent memorial in honor of the 25th anniversary of Hootie & The Blowfish.  The band formed in Columbia in 1985 when guitarist Mark Bryan and Darius Rucker were attending the University of South Carolina.  Bassist Dean Felber was added soon after and drummer Jim Sonefeld joined in 1990.  All four members of Hootie & The Blowfish attended the unveiling.

New Album Releases October 26:

The original motion picture soundtrack to "Country Strong" (film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Country singer Tim McGraw)
"Olympia" by Bryan Ferry,
"Mi Plan Remixes" by Nelly Furtado
"Living Proof" by Buddy Guy
"Crazy Love Hollywood Edition" by Michael Buble
"Let's Touch the Sky" by Fourplay
"Duets: Friends & Memories" by Juice Newton
"The Essential Dixie Chicks" by the Dixie Chicks
"The Essential Highwaymen" by The Highwaymen.

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

On October 27, the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research will hold its 35th annual Awards Gala in New York City.  Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic Records, and his brother Avery Lipman, Co-President and COO of Universal Republic Records, will receive Humanitarian of the Year Awards.  Singer Kenny Loggins will be presented with the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.  And, Charlie Daniels will receive the Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award.  Colbie Caillat and Enrique Iglesias will perform at the event, which will be attended by more than 11-hundred music and entertainment executives, pharmaceutical and business leaders and celebrities.  The benefit will feature a silent auction with items that include exclusive music and sports memorabilia and vacation trips.

Awards Presentations/Winners:

Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" CD
Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" CD

Lady Antebellum and Easton Corbin each received seven nominations for FOX-TV's inaugural American Country Awards.  Carrie Underwood follows close behind with six nods, and Miranda Lambert and Josh Turner received five each.  Executive producer Bob Bain says, "Unlike any other country music award show, the American Country Awards will give fans the power to choose all of the winners, which means the awards will reflect what America is listening to and watching right now."  Trophies will be handed out in 17 categories covering recordings, tours and videos.  The American Country Awards will be presented in Las Vegas on December 6.  

Look Who's Going on Tour!

John Mellencamp kicks off a U.S. tour on October 29 to support his new album, "No Better Than This."  The first show takes place in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.  Mellencamp is doing something different with this tour.  The first half-hour features a documentary about the making of "No Better Than This," and the concert will include three musical set-ups.  He says for the first 40 minutes "I'm gonna come out and play with upright bass and cocktail (drum) kits and a lot of acoustic instruments."  The second set-up will be a solo acoustic performance with only his guitar, and the final set will feature his full rock band.