Beyonce changed the music business forever on December 13, 2013 when she dropped her self-titled fifth studio album at midnight with no prior warning. The surprise release turned out to be a stroke of marketing genius — helping the LP sell 600,000+ copies in its first three days of release. It not only cemented her status as a commercial and creative force but left the rest of the game scrambling. Was this the way forward or an unrepeatable stunt?
Harvard Business School of all places has taken it upon itself to answer that question (among others) in a new case study. The most interesting piece of academia to be published probably ever investigates: “what it took to pull off the ambitious and costly campaign, the prevailing market conditions, the structural and technical obstacles, as well as the many difficult decisions Beyonce and her management team confronted along the way.” More »
Jeremih scored his third top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this week with infectious hook-up anthem “Don’t Tell ‘Em”. Produced by DJ Mustard, the unstoppable club banger has been a party staple for months due to its sexy lyrics (who else referenced “Twitter pussy” this summer?) and arguably the catchiest hook of 2014. It’s now going to find an even bigger audience thanks to Pitbull.
Mr. Worldwide replaces YG on a new Spanglish edit of the song and it works surprisingly well. It’s not that Pit’s verse is better (both versions knock), his presence just transforms “Don’t Tell ‘Em” into a Latin party jam that will appeal to a completely different demographic. Expect to hear this in every nightclub in Miami from now until Christmas! Take a listen after the jump. More »
Pentatonix dropped their third EP, the appropriately-titled PTX, Vol. III, earlier this week and cemented their status as a pop powerhouse when it shot up the iTunes chart ahead of new releases by Jennifer Hudson, Lenny Kravitz and Lady Gaga. It features a selection of kooky covers but their version (with a little help from violinist Lindsey Stirling) of Stromae‘s global hit “Papaoutai” is arguably the best.
The band released the weird and wonderful video today (September 25) and it shows them in a completely new light. Pentatonix and Lindsey play dolls that come to life and perform for a lonely child. It’s an interesting spin on the Belgian singer/songwriter’s original visual and perfectly suits the offbeat song. Watch the creepy/amazing extravaganza up top. More »
Amber Rose shocked a lot people when she announced her separation from husband Wiz Khalifa yesterday (September 24). I mean, she had just released a twerk video in honor of the rapper landing his first number one album with Blacc Hollywood. And we all know that is the definition of true love! The reason for the couple’s divorce has now been made public — cheating.
The… media personality (what does Amber actually do?) jumped on Twitter to deny accusations that she strayed. “Please stop with the fake stories,” she tweeted. “I would never ever ever cheat on my husband in a million years I think u guys know this. The blond bombshell then spilled the true tea. “Unfortunately my now ex husband can’t say the same… I’m devastated and crushed but my main focus is Sebastian. Thank u for all the support in this difficult time.” See her tweets after the jump. More »
What is with pop artists releasing thoughtful, inspiring and moving videos today (September 25)? It’s so unexpected and so very welcome. Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles started the mini-trend with a mash of “True Colors” and “Brave”. Their video aims to raise cash for the fight against pediatric cancer, while OneRepublic‘s heartstring-pulling “I Lived” visual shines a light on cystic fibrosis.
Ryan Tedder and friends continue to release great singles from their enduring Native LP. The sixth cut is soaring pop/rock anthem “I Lived” (think of it as the uptempo alternative to Beyonce‘s “I Was Here”) and it gets an emotional video documenting the life of Bryan Warnecke — a teen with cystic fibrosis. It sounds heavy-going, and to a certain extent it is, but it’s even more uplifting. Watch above. More »
Since winning Australia X Factor in 2013, Dami Im quickly established herself as a pop diva to be reckoned with. She set the bar pretty high with folk-tinged dance experiment “Super Love” but took things to the next level with soaring pure-pop moment “Gladiator”. As expected, both songs feature on the South Korean-born singer’s new LP Heart Beats (due October 17).
While this is technically the 25-year-old’s third album (she self-released a collection of church hymns and put out a batch X Factor covers after winning), Heart Beats is essentially her debut. It will be interesting to see if Dami can break the talent show curse and continue to build her audience both at home and abroad. See the full tracklist after the jump. More »
Kendrick Lamar is reportedly attending a Prince album release event next week in Minneapolis, a source says to VIBE. With that in mind, fans started wondering whether these two artists have a collaboration in store.
Prince will release not one, but two albums on September 30: For solo effort ART OFFICIAL AGE, he teamed with songwriter Josh Welton for songs combining soul, funk and R&B, like power ballad “The Breakdown.” PLECTRUMELECTRUM has Prince backed by 3RDEYEGIRL, the funk-rock band that toured the UK with him earlier this year.
As Prince makes his landmark return to music, Lamar has been readying the anticipated follow-up to his 2012 debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city. More »
You’re going to want to have a tissue handy because this video is going to make you cry. TODAY personality Hoda Kotb invited Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles to mash up their signature songs “True Colors” and “Brave” to raise cash for the fight against pediatric cancer. The result is a beautifully understated pop-hybrid called “Truly Brave”.
The heartwarming/breaking video premiered today (September 25) and it finds the philanthropic divas singing in a studio. That footage is intercut with a bunch of adorable cancer patients from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia splashing paint around a sterile hospital room and generally having a great old time. Watch up top and donate money here. More »
Tegan And Sara‘s “I Was A Fool” gets a super-cool remix, courtesy of The Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish. The single, from the sister duo’s 2013 album Heartthrob, is transformed from a shimmering ballad into a thumping track best suited for an underground bar.
Inglish strips “I Was A Fool” from its Alt-Pop roots and adds a trap-inspired edge, making it the complete opposite of the original song’s dreamy quality. Get ready to hear this one in the clubs or at your next party; the heavy bass truly knocks!
Listen to Inglish’s take on “I Was A Fool” below. More »
Danity Kane has revealed the first song off its post-breakup album, DK3.
Produced by The Stereotypes (Justin Bieber, Danity Kane’s own “Damaged”), “Rhythm of Love” is a tidy dance pop track where the Making the Band-formed girl group (now a trio) plead to get lost in the moment. Fans first heard “Rhythm of Love” live during Danity Kane’s reunion tour last spring, and based on how it sounds, it’s easy to see why the group jumped up and down while performing it.
“Rhythm of Love” will open DK3, out October 27. Hear the studio version below. More »