World of pop gears up for the holidays

2010-11-10 07:51

New MJ song breaking the airwaves
New York – Breaking News, a preview track from Michael Jackson’s forthcoming album Michael, received instant airplay on more than 150 radio stations on Monday, following its premiere on Jackson’s website.

The song will appear on the King of Pop’s first posthumous album of original material, due on December 14 on Epic Records. The cut will stream for one week on Jackson’s site, where Michael is now available for pre-order.

According to industry tracker Nielsen, 151 US stations sampled “Breaking News’’ yesterday on formats ranging from pop and R&B/hip-hop to adult, rock and oldies. The song received 246 plays in its first day of availability and reached an estimated 2.2 million listeners.

Taxi Productions-owned Adult R&B panellist KJLH/Los Angeles played “Breaking News’’ once yesterday. “Listener reaction was very mixed,’’ said programme director Terri Thomas. “Going forward, I don’t think that the song is a hit. I think it’s a novelty. People miss Jackson, but it’s hard to compete with his classics and legacy,’’ said Thomas.

Inner City Adult R&B reporter WBLS/New York likewise played Breaking News once yesterday, lifting the audio from Jackson’s site. “Our midday host, Egypt, played the song for listeners and was immediately flooded with calls and texts giving a mixed reaction,’’ said programme director Skip Dillard.

“WBLS listeners overall seemed to think that Breaking News sounds unfinished and is not a representation of the level of perfection that Michael sought in his music. Many listeners who responded asked to hear other tracks and said that they’ll be interested to hear what else is on the upcoming album.’’

Both program directors cited the widespread speculation that the track’s vocals may not be Jackson’s throughout.
As previously reported, Sony Music Group said that it has “complete confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals on the new album are his own”.

“Many listeners questioned whether it really is Jackson on the whole song,’’ said Thomas.

“I had to listen a few times to make sure it was Jackson all the way through,’’ said Dillard. “I could hear his voice but, at times, it sounded as if other voices were used to complete the track.’’

R. Kelly sending out Love Letter

New York – With soulful new single When a Woman Loves already making an impact at radio, R. Kelly will release its accompanying album, Love Letter, just in time for the holidays.

The singer’s latest R&B opus arrives on December 14 on Jive Records, with a second single and a Christmas remix coming this month.

Kelly’s 11th studio album will include When a Woman Loves, which the singer wrote and produced and is currently at No. 23 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

The title track will hit radio as the disc’s second single on November 22, while a holiday-themed remix, Love Letter Christmas, will also be released.

Love Letter caps off a year in which Kelly released the official 2010 Fifa World Cup anthem Sign of a Victory as well as Epic, a greatest-hits compilation issued exclusively in Europe.

Untitled, the singer’s last full-length released in December last year, has sold 334 000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Bieber unveils new album cover

New York – Justin Bieber has unveiled the artwork for his upcoming My Worlds Acoustic album and announced a new single, Pray, that will appear on the set alongside stripped-down versions of his previously released material.

The cover for Bieber’s My Worlds Acoustic, which will be released exclusively through Wal-Mart stores on November 26, shows the hoodie- and leather jacket-clad pop star cradling an acoustic guitar against a grey backdrop and showing off his signature swoop haircut.

The Pray single is described as an optimistic and uplifting track, according to a statement, which also says that Bieber and his guitar will be supported by other string instruments, congas and the box-shaped drum known as the cajon, on the set.

The My Worlds Acoustic tracklist also includes Bieber’s breakout single One Time, his Karate Kid soundtrack cut Never Say Never, and Baby, the lead track from My World 2.0 and his most successful single to date reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In other Bieber news, the teen sensation hit another social networking milestone on Twitter today, breaking the six-million follower mark. The singer thanked his fans for helping him get there, tweeting: “6 MILLION OF THE GREATEST FANS ON EARTH ON TWITTER!!!! THANK U. This is crazy...My hometown only has 30 000 people total! NUTS.’’

“No one in my family had really left my town or the area and I never thought leaving was possible,’’ he continued.

“But then you all found me and you all changed my life and showed me opportunity I didn’t think existed. You taught me to #dreambig and #neversaynever. So thank you.’’

Here is the tracklist for My Worlds Acoustic:
One Time
Baby
One Less Lonely Girl
Down to Earth
U Smile
Stuck in the Moment
Favorite Girl (Live)
That Should Be Me
Never Say Never (Featuring Jaden Smith)
Pray
All articles by Billboard

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