SoundScan’s 2015 Half-Year Report: Taylor Wins, Strong Streaming Growth Fails to Stop Album Decline

Accountant

No doubt remains that it is the year of streaming — the format has come to dominate music consumption in the U.S.

In the first half of 2015 streaming nearly doubled in popularity over last year, generating 135.2 billion streams, up from 70.3 billion streams in the same period last year. (Some of this growth can be attributed to improved data capture, according to Nielsen Music.)

Audio-only listening generated 58.6 billion streams, versus 33.7 billion last year, an increase of 74.2 percent. Audio’s growth was topped by video streams, which accounted for 76.6 billion view-listens, an increase of 109.2 percent from the 36.6 billion streams counted in 2014.

Taylor Swift is ruling the year so far, with 1989 the best-selling album of the first half of 2015 (not to mention topping 2014, too). Last year, 1989 grabbed the top spot with 3.66 million units moved. The album has scanned 1.33 million units so far this year, followed by Drake‘s If You’re Reading This… with 965,000 units. In vinyl sales Swift also reigned, selling 34,000 units. A combined tally of album sales, track downloads and streams leaves Swift, yet again, atop the mountain, totaling 2.011 million album and album equivalent units.

Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” featuring Bruno Mars is this year’s top-selling single so far, scanning 4.9 million units. Drake’s If You’re Reading This… takes the lead on digital album sales, moving (or transferring, if you prefer) 895,000.

Universal Music Group has improved on its industry lead in market share within album plus track equivalent albums (TEA), growing to 39.2 percent of the total market in the first half of the year.

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Jordin Sparks is back with ‘Right Here Right Now’ Video

Jordin Sparks premiered her new music video for latest single Right Here Right Now in a big way. The 25-year-old singer debuted the video in New York City’s Time Square.

Shot in the desert, Sparks brought a bunch of dancing hotties.

Watch below.

NPR’s All Songs Rewind: The Legacy Of The ’90s

Pearl Jam (top left), Missy Elliott (top right), the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind (bottom right), PJ Harvey (bottom left), Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (center).

This retrospective charts the birth of grunge, the commercial rise of hip-hop, a batch of gutsy female songwriters and a few goofy one-hit wonders we’d mostly forgotten about. This episode is also Ann Powers’ debut as a member of NPR Music, and she and Stephen Thompson join Bob and Robin to take a look back at the decade of flannel and spice.

Click here to listen to the show

Rewind: The ’90s Are Back, Or Whatever…

Cover for Nevermind

Smells Like Teen Spirit

  • Artist: Nirvana
  • from: Nevermind

BuzzFeed’s 57 Songs You Need In Your Life This Month

Astralwerks / Capitol Records

1. Janet Jackson is calm, cool, and collected on comeback single “No Sleeep.”

2. “We Try But We Don’t Fit In,” a dreamy, lo-fi anthem for kids on the sidelines from Jackson Phillips (aka Day Wave).

3. American Idol alum Adam Lambert chases “The Original High” on this clubby, house-inflected track.

4. Beck ditches folk for funk on “Dreams.”

5. Real-life couple Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill get romantic on “All Eyes On You (ft. Chris Brown).”

6. Raury transitions from folk singer to MC and back again on the rousing “Devil’s Whisper.”

7. Selena Gomez gets sexy with A$AP Rocky on “Good For You,” her first post-Disney single.

   

SelenaGomezVEVO

8. Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy gets boastful on “You Don’t Know.”

9. Newcomer Ivy Levan gets a boost from Sting on “Killing You,” a sinister, bass-driven ode to toxic relationships.

10. Soul-funk singer-songwriter Seven Davis Jr. gets political on “Fighters.”

11. Darwin Deez picks up where he left off two years ago with the irresistibly disagreeable “Kill Your Attitude.”

12. The murky, genre-bending “Hero” from up-and-coming rap collective BROCKHAMPTON.

13. Demi Lovato’s banger of a comeback single, “Cool For The Summer.”

14. Synth-pop trio Years & Years mourn the end of a relationship on the ghostly “Foundation.”

    

Pitchfork / Via youtube.com

15. DeJ Loaf’s bawdy, affectionate “Shawty (ft. Young Thug).”

16. “Outta My Mind,” a sinister bit of blues-rock from The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach’s side project, The Arcs.

17. Carly Rae Jepsen’s crisp kiss-off, “Emotion.”

18. Alt-R&B lothario The Weeknd goes full Michael Jackson on the Max Martin-assisted “Can’t Feel My Face.”

19. Samantha Urbani’s soaring, reggae-tinged “U Know I Know.”

20. Owl City’s cheerful ’90s kid anthem “Unbelievable (ft. Hanson).”

21. Soul goddess Lianne La Havas’ airy, amorous “What You Don’t Do.”

  

Lianne La Havas

22. Ashley Monroe’s sinister murder ballad of a break-up song,”I Buried Your Love Alive.”

23. Tori Kelly revisits the themes of JLO’s “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” on the bold and brassy “Expensive (ft. Daye Jack).”

24. Kiiara bids her lover a glitchy good-bye on “Gold.”

25. Phoebe Ryan just wants to be friends with benefits (nothing more, nothing less) on the shimmery “Homie.”

26. “Dance On Me,” a slinky, dancefloor-friendly cut from D.C.-born “future bounce” rapper GoldLink.

27. Teen star Austin Mahone is all grown-up on the synth-y, suggestive “Dirty Work.”

28. Puff Daddy and Pharrell’s darkly hypnotic party jam, “Finna Get Loose.”

  

BET

29. “Them Changes,” a funky Flying Lotus collaboration from Los Angeles-based musician Thundercat.

30. Brooklyn rockers Highly Suspect’s sneering, seething “Mom.”

31. The Game and Drake vow to keep it 8 more than 92 on “100.”

32. JJ’s sweet, shimmery shoegazer, “Truce.”

33. “Empty Bottle,” a grunge-pop throwback from ’90s rockers Veruca Salt.

34. Favored Nations’ loose, disco-inspired love song, “Always.”

35. Swedish pop upstart Tove Lo celebrates doomed relationships on the euphoric “Timebomb.”

ToveLoVEVO

ToveLoVEVO

36. LEISURE’s sticky, languid “Hot Love.”

37. The Chainsmokers’ “Roses (ft. Rozes),” a surprisingly delicate EDM anthem.

38. San Diego native Andra Day proves her diva bonafides on the stripped-down “Rise Up.”

39. Danish pop star SHERPA’s sad, soaring “In Your Blood.”

40. Lera Lynn’s menacing True Detective track, “The Only Thing Worth Fighting For.”

41. The boys of MKTO make their type clear on the infectious “Bad Girls.”

42. Mysterious Chicago rapper(s) Goodbye Tomorrow’s hard-hitting “Pray 2 God.”

Goodbye Tomorrow

Goodbye Tomorrow

Goodbye Tomorrow

43. Kate Boy’s relentlessly upbeat “Midnight Sun.”

44. Motown-inspired soul singer Leon Bridges’ “Smooth Sailin’” is just that.

45. Beach Baby’s hazy, dream-like “U R.”

46. The lush sensitivity of demo taped’s “Not Enough.”

47. Los Angeles-based rapper A.Chal’s woozy “ROUND WHIPPIN.”

48. “Hold Me Down,” a defiant, synth-heavy fight song from ascendant pop force Ashley Frangipane (aka Halsey).

49. Foxes’ advocates for dancing through the tears on “Body Talk.”

FoxesVEVO

FoxesVEVO

50. Melanie Martinez continues to perfect her creepy-cute pop sound on the Leslie Gore-sampling “Pity Party.”

51. “Golden,” a breezily confident track from London-based neo-soul singer Nao.

52. Instagram sensation Niykee Heaton’s genuinely seductive “Say Yeah.”

53. Indie pop star Wrabel has a case of the dancefloor sads on “I Want You.”

54. After short stints on the Disney Channel and ABC Family, Katelyn Tarver is back with “Nobody Like You,” an appealingly laid-back bit of bubblegum.

55. Bay Area rapper Bobby Brackins’ parties hard with Iamsu! and Jonn Harton “Mob With the Squad.”

56. “Money Trees Deuce,” Jay Rock’s introspective sequel to his 2012 Kendrick Lamar collaboration, “Money Trees.”

57. Former Das Racist member Heems’ wobbly, heartbroken “Damn Girl.”

    

HeemsVEVO

Follow our Songs You Need In Your Life This Month playlist on Spotify!

Happy Birthday Lindsay Lohan — A Look at Her Best Musical Moments

For the past few years, Lindsay Lohan has been known more for her court room appearance rather than her acting or singing career.

Today, Lohan celebrates her 29th birthday and our birthday wish for her is to get back to what she does best!

“Rumors”

“Over”

“Confessions of A Broken Heart”

“A Beautiful Life”

“Edge of Seventeen”

“Drama Queen (That Girl)”

“Ultimate”

“First”

41 Pop-Punk Albums All 2000s Kids Loved

Originally posted on BuzzFeed

1. Blink-182 – Enema of the State (1999)

Blink-182 – Enema of the State (1999)

MCA

Though released a year before the 00s got officially underway, this album had arguably the biggest impact on pop-punk for the decade to come. It inspired a generations of poop joke-obsessed middle schoolers to buy their first guitar, learn how to play “All the Small Things,” and invent their own versions of guitarist’s Tom DeLonge’s trademark warble.

Choice Track: “What’s My Age Again”

2. Fenix TX – Fenix TX (1999)

Fenix TX – Fenix TX (1999)

Drive-Thru/MCA

Fenix TX got their break into the mainstream by getting their single “All My Fault” prominently featured on the soundtrack for the MTV movie Jailbreak. It probably helped that their biggest fan, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, went so far as to appear in the music video for the single to ensure the band got every ounce of his ringing endorsement. (Hoppus even managed them for a short time.)

Choice Track: “All My Fault”

3. Saves the Day – Through Being Cool (1999)

Saves the Day – Through Being Cool (1999)

Equal Vision

Heavily influenced by fellow New Jersey band Lifetime, Saves the Day released an instant pop-punk classic at the end of 1999. 16 years later, Through Being Coolstands the test of time.

Choice Track: “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots”

4. New Found Glory – New Found Glory (2000)

New Found Glory – New Found Glory (2000)

Drive-Thru

Self-proclaimed “easy-core” band New Found glory burst onto the pop-punk scene in a big way with their self-titled second full-length. The huge success of this album combined with Fenix TX’s momentum propelled the bands’ label, Drive-Thru Records, to the top of the pop-punk ladder for the better part of the 2000s. It also won NFG an opening spot on Blink-182’s massive 2001 tour supporting Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.

Choice Track: “Hit or Miss.”

5. MxPx – The Ever Passing Moment (2000)

MxPx – The Ever Passing Moment (2000)

A&M

The biggest commercial breakthrough for Washington-based pop-punk trio MxPx,The Ever Passing Moment showcased the band’s most radio-friendly songs to date. The album also featured production from Jerry Finn, who had previously produced or mixed albums from Blink-182, Green Day, and a host of other huge pop-punk bands.

Choice Track: “Responsibility”

6. SR-71 – Now You See Inside (2000)

SR-71 – Now You See Inside (2000)

RCA

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, SR-71 blew up when this album’s lead single “Right Now” was featured in the Dude, Where’s My Car? trailer. It’s weird to that that both that movie and this song are 15 years old.

Choice Track: “Right Now”

7. Sum 41 – All Killer, No Filler (2001)

Sum 41 – All Killer, No Filler (2001)

Island

It was a little metal, a little hip-hop, but undeniably held together by trademark pop-punk snottiness. All Killer, No Filler launched Canadian band Sum 41 into heavy rotation on MTV, and the suddenly every knew the rap part to “Fat Lip” by heart.

Choice Track: “In Too Deep”

8. Rufio – Perhaps, I Suppose… (2001)

Rufio – Perhaps, I Suppose... (2001)

The Militia Group

Naming themselves after the hands-down best character in Hook, Rufio had a lot to live up to. On their 2001 debut, they did more than that, introducing a generation of pop-punk fans to Rufio’s trademark brand of what became known as “speed emo.”

Choice Track: “Still”

9. Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary (2001)

Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary (2001)

Vagrant

From Here to Infirmary was Alkaline Trio’s most poppy, mainstream album released at this point in their career. While it rubbed some longtime fans the wrong way, it introduced a generation of new fans to Alkaline Trio and singer-songwriter Matt Skiba’s knack for writing big, memorable hooks.

Choice Track: “Armageddon”

10. American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi (2001)

American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi (2001)

Island

American Hi-Fi showed up during a period of time when every teen sex comedy required its soundtrack to be comprised of 70% pop-punk. It’s for this reason that almost every song from this album sounds strangely familiar.

Choice Track: “Flavor of the Weak”

11. Sugarcult – “Start Static” (2001)

Sugarcult – "Start Static" (2001)

Rumbo Records

Despite the fact that it’s like single “Bouncing Off the Walls” was basically just about doing a ton of cocaine, Start Static got a ton of radio play. Four of the songs on the album also appeared in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, because of course they did.

Choice Track: “Stuck in America”

12. Mest – Destination Unknown (2001)

Mest – Destination Unknown (2001)

Maverick

First off, what is up with this band’s hair? Second, though the hip-hop styling of “Cadillac” seem pretty out of place, remember that Young MC helped produce this album. Super weird, right?

Choice Track: “Drawing Board”

13. Brand New – Your Favorite Weapon (2001)

Brand New – Your Favorite Weapon (2001)

Triple Crown

Before integrating emo, prog, metal, and alt-rock into their later releases, Brand New was just a pop-punk band from Long Island. And even though they stopped doing it after Your Favorite Weapon, their full-length debut, the dudes could write a mean pop-punk song.

Choice Track: “Logan to Government Center”

14. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (2001)

Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (2001)

DreamWorks

Emo stalwarts Jimmy Eat World took a leap into the mainstream with this 2001 release. With tracks like “The Middle,” it’s no surprise that the mainstream pop-punk world welcomed them with open arms.

Choice Track: “Sweetness”

15. Simple Plan – No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls(2001)

Simple Plan – No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls (2001)

Lava/Atlantic

Simple Plan’s blend of catchy hooks and potty humor shot them near the top of the pop-punk game with their debut album, which included the word “balls” in it. They were yet another band who got the all-important Blink-182 seal of approval when Mark Hoppus sang two lines in their first single, “I’d Do Anything.”

Choice Track: “Addicted”

16. Good Charlotte – The Young and the Hopeless(2002)

Good Charlotte – The Young and the Hopeless (2002)

Epic/Daylight

Kids these days would probably not believe you if you told them that for a few years, Good Charlotte was one of the biggest bands in the world somehow. They would definitely not believe you if you told them that high school kids used to write “SELF MADE” on their knuckles in tribute to this band. What a weird time it was.

Choice Track: “The Anthem”

17. Millencolin – Home From Home (2002)

Millencolin – Home From Home (2002)

Epitaph

I didn’t want to put a bunch of Epitaph bands on this list, because it causes a long and boring debate over where the divide is between pop-punk and straight punk. No one wants that conversation. In any case, Millencolin’s Home From Home has some great pop-punk songs on it.

Choice Track: “Fingers Crossed”

18. The Starting Line – Say It Like You Mean It (2002)

The Starting Line – Say It Like You Mean It (2002)

Drive-Thru

So pop it barely even qualifies as pop-punk, The Starting Line’s debut LP was chock-full of breakup anthems and songs about unrequited love. It was totally appropriate then that the music video for “Best of Me” paid homage to the Peter Gabriel part from Say Anything.

Choice Track: “Leaving”

19. Allister – Last Stop Suburbia (2002)

Allister – Last Stop Suburbia (2002)

Drive-Thru

Another all-star on Drive-Thru Records’ once peerless lineup, Allister accurately captured the joy and frustrations of being a teenager on their second album. Last Stop Suburbia could be simultaneously world-weary (“Overrated”) and nostalgic (“Somewhere On Fullerton”) at the same time.

Choice Track: “Stuck”

20. Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie (2002)

Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie (2002)

Epitaph

Motion City taught a generation that a Moog synthesizer, when played just so, could be the perfect pop-punk instrument. MCS would later achieve even bigger success with their 2005 follow-up Commit This to Memory.

Choice Track: “My Favorite Accident”

21. Midtown – Living Well is the Best Revenge (2002)

Midtown – Living Well is the Best Revenge (2002)

Drive-Thru

Before singer Gabe Saporta became much better known for his project Cobra Starship, he fronted a pretty great pop-punk band. Living Well is the Best Revengewas Midtown’s peak, before a really intense falling out with Drive-Thru made the internet all like :-O.

Choice Track: “A Faulty Foundation”

22. Home Grown – Kings of Pop (2002)

Home Grown – Kings of Pop (2002)

Drive-Thru

It seemed like Drive-Thru couldn’t miss in 2002. Even Home Grown, a band that had been around since 1994 with middling success, got a relatively huge fan response to their third album, Kings of Pop. Those were the days…

Choice Track: “Give it Up”

23. The All-American Rejects – The All-American Rejects (2002)

The All-American Rejects – The All-American Rejects (2002)

Doghouse

Propelled by debut single “Swing, Swing,” The All-American Rejects quickly found themselves on MTV, playing Warped Tour and getting their songs prominently featured on The O.C.. They call that the Pop-Punk Trifecta.

Choice Song: Swing, Swing

24. Something Corporate – Leaving Through the Window (2002)

Something Corporate – Leaving Through the Window (2002)

Drive-Thru/MCA

2002 was one hell of a year for Drive-Thru. Something Corporate’s debut album was an instant classic, launching the band into the Warped Tour stratosphere and beyond. It also featured the beloved anti-bully anthem “If You C Jordan,” which solidified their high school fan base.

Choice Track: “Hurricane”

25. Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue (2003)

Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue (2003)

Capitol

Is there anything more pop-punk than adding an electric violin to your band? Ocean Avenue spawned some massive hits for Yellowcard including the ballad “Only One,” which invaded school dances around the country for a while.

Choice Track: “Ocean Avenue”

26. The Ataris – “So Long, Astoria” (2003)

The Ataris – "So Long, Astoria" (2003)

Columbia

Though they had been around since the mid-90s, The Ataris didn’t have their breakthrough into the mainstream until their 2003 major label release. Even more weird: The album’s biggest single was a cover of Don Henley’s 1984 single “Boys of Summer.”

Choice Track: “In This Diary”

27. Coheed and Cambria: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003)

Coheed and Cambria: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003)

Columbia/Equal Vision

Coheed’s third LP was also the third installment of The Armory Wars, a nerdy, complicated science-fiction story that the band’s music is apparently about. But you didn’t need to know anything about that to know that “A Favor House Atlantic” and “Blood Red Summer” were near-perfect pop jams.

Choice Track: “A Favor House Atlantic”

28. AFI – Sing the Sorrow (2003)

AFI – Sing the Sorrow (2003)

DreamWorks

After spending more than a decade as a straight-up punk band, AFI released a pop album for their first major label debut. As you might expect, this pissed a bunch of longtime fans off, that’s the price you pay for frequent MTV exposure and a ton of new fans.

Choice Track: “The Leaving Song Pt. II”

29. Less Than Jake – Anthem (2003)

Less Than Jake – Anthem (2003)

Sire

Ska punks Less Than Jake released a ridiculous catchy and sweet pop-punk album in 2003 with Anthem. On top of featuring a music video starring Alexis Bledel for “She’s Going to Break Soon,” the band reworked their older track “Look What Happened” to make it shorter and more explosive.

Choice Track “Look What Happened”

30. The Movielife – Forty Hour Train Back to Penn(2003)

The Movielife – Forty Hour Train Back to Penn (2003)

Drive-Thru

Before this album, The Movielife stylistically fit the pop-punk moniker easily. For this release, they added a tinge of hardcore to create a one of the angrier sounding records of this era.

Choice Track: “Face or Kneecaps”

31. Say Anything – …is a Real Boy (2004)

Say Anything – ...is a Real Boy (2004)

Doghouse

No band had lyrics catchier, more instantly memorable, or more anthemic than Say Anything did on this album. Who else could make a song about escaping the Holocaust sound so sexy?

Choice Track: “Alive With the Glory of Love”

32. Head Automatica – Decadence (2004)

Head Automatica – Decadence (2004)

Warner Bros.

It was a legitimate shock when Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo launched Head Automatic, a dance-punk band that sounded nothing like his old project. While hardcore purists never forgave him, Head Automatica stood on its own, launching Palumbo into pop stardom for a short period.

Choice Track: “Beating Heart Baby”

33. Green Day – American Idiot (2004)

Green Day – American Idiot (2004)

Reprise

After Green Day’s lackluster (*cough* boring *cough*) 2000 album Warning, it seemed as though the once proud kings of pop-punk were doomed to slowly fade into obscurity. Then American Idiot came out of nowhere and vaulted them back on top of the game.

Choice Track: “Holiday”

34. My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)

My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)

Reprise

Along with AFI, My Chemical Romance is credited with bringing a goth, Hot Topic-tinged aesthetic into the pop-punk realm of the mid-2000s. Unforgivable.

Choice Track: “Helena”

35. Fall Out Boy – From Under The Cork Tree (2005)

Fall Out Boy – From Under The Cork Tree (2005)

Island

The follow-up to their respected and fairly popular 2003 debut Take This to Your Grave, From Under The Cork Tree unexpectedly pushed Fall Out Boy to the forefront of pop-punk and, surprisingly, pop-rock as a whole. 10 years later, they’re one of the only bands on this list still able to dominate the charts.

Choice Track: “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”

36. Panic! at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)

Panic! at the Disco – A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005)

Fueled by Ramen

As Blink-182 did before them, Fall Out Boy began strongly endorsing likeminded bands once they began their reign atop the pop-punk throne. Panic! at the Disco was the first, and in the wake of the decline of Drive-Thru Records, label Fueled By Ramen became THE place for pop-punk bands during the second half of the 2000s.

Choice Track: “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off”

37. The Academy Is… – Almost Here (2005)

The Academy Is... – Almost Here (2005)

Fueled By Ramen

Another FBR band, Almost Here helped usher in a new era of pop-punk less focused on whiny, nasally vocals and more concerned with traditional musical chops. Frontman William Beckett could sing with the best of them.

Choice Track: “Slow Down”

38. Cartel – Chroma (2005)

Cartel – Chroma (2005)

The Militia Group

You know what’s weird? Cartel just went on a 10 year anniversary tour for this record. If that doesn’t remind you of your looming mortality, what will?

Choice Track: “Honestly”

39. Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (2006)

Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (2006)

Drive-Thru

One of Drive-Thru’s last releases, Hellogoodbye’s debut LP cracked the top 15 on the Billboard album charts and catapulted the band into major headlining tours.

Choice Track: “All of Your Love”

40. Hit the Lights – This is a Stick Up… Don’t Make it a Murder (2006)

Hit the Lights – This is a Stick Up... Don't Make it a Murder (2006)

Triple Crown

Basically every song on this album could have been its lead single. Every track on Hit the Lights’ first full-length is a lesson in how to make polished, shiny pop.

Choice Track: “The Call Out (You Are the Dishes)”

41. Paramore – Riot! (2007)

Paramore – Riot! (2007)

Fueled by Ramen

One of the last bands spawned from the 2000s pop-punk bubble, Paramore’s Riot!made them and singer Hayley Williams household names. Obviously, Paramore is one of the few bands on this list still going very strong (if not stronger) today.

Choice Track: “Misery Business”

Enjoy joy this pop-punk playlist while the cold hands of nostalgia choke you unmercifully.

Rihanna Drops Killer Video for “Bitch Better Have My Money”

Rihanna dropped her brand-new music video for “Bitch Better Have My Money” at midnight on Thursday … and it is CRAZY/AMAZING.

Directed by Rihanna and Megaforce, the video tells a story of how RiRi kidnapped a wealthy woman and held her hostage.

Before she dropped the video, Rihanna got fans hyped by posting  on Instagram. In one, she revealed the premise was all her idea. “Ya girl got director skillz!!! The concept for this piece came to me 8 months ago!!! So you can imagine how anxious I am right now!!!”

90 Years In The Making: Q&A With the Grand Ole Opry’s Radio Show Runner Pete Fisher

Originally posted on Billboard.com written by 
Phyllis Stark

Lady Antebellum

Come Nov. 28, the Grand Ole Opry will celebrate 90 years on the air at WSM-AM Nashville.

Pete Fisher has been the show’s vp/GM for 16 years — his anniversary was June 28 — and in that time, the Opry has expanded from two nights a week to additional shows on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the season.

The challenge, of course, in an era of great technological change is to ensure that the show does not become a historical artifact. Thus, in addition to bringing in new members who are making current hits — such as Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town,Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts — the Opry is taking steps to put a new face on the brand. The ABC-TV drama Nashville has helped. Trace Adkins inaugurated an Opry circle throwdown, a marketing effort that brings a little Opry magic to a remote location.

Also new is Opry 9.0: Discoveries From the Circle, a new-artist series that will present live Opry performances from three acts per release. The first volume, featuring Chase Bryant, JT Hodges and Drake White, arrives June 30.

Fisher discussed the Opry’s unique past and hopeful future in a recent interview.

A 90th birthday is really interesting. How do you celebrate something that old — or that established — and have it not seem like it’s dated?

I’ve been in this job 16 years now, and I remember uttering the words, “Legacy can be an anchor or an asset.” I think one of the real testaments to the team here at the Opry is that we celebrate legacy, but we strive for relevance each and every day. We love celebrating the rich history of the Opry and country music, but equally we love finding ways to grow the Opry’s value composition to the music industry and thereby growing a value proposition to the fans that come and see the Opry or listen to us.

In terms of the value to the artists, the weekends are the best time for them to hit the road and maximize their earnings. How do you make it attractive so somebody like Carrie Underwood or Brad Paisley will make the Opry part of their ongoing plans?

It’s really a variety of things. We especially try to develop deeper relationships for the artists who share kind of a common set of values with the Opry, and Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban — those are examples of artists that really share the core values of the Opry. So, there’s that emotional connection. But we also recognize that we can’t live on charity alone, or emotion alone, and so over the past 16 years we have focused on things like improving the production values of the show and creating an environment backstage that meets the needs of a real diverse community of performers. Our programming philosophy for the show is quite broad-based, and I think that broad base serves to celebrate the legacy, but also drive the relevance of the Opry. It’s new stars, superstars  and legends sharing the same stage, presenting music from yesterday, today and tomorrow to the future. We have over 2,000 artist slots that we book in a given year, so we’re able to take chances and have a healthy offering of debuts throughout the course of the year.

What do you define as Opry core values?

I would say honoring tradition, celebrating legacy, respecting elders, certainly values that make America what it is — patriotic values, and in differing ways, values of faith: God, family, country, so to speak. It’s perpetuating a legacy, being involved in something bigger than our own careers.

In addition to being the Opry’s 90th anniversary, this is the fifth anniversary of the Cumberland River flooding the Opry House. It’s impressive that the Opry has in some ways turned what was a really horrible tragedy into an opportunity to build the brand. Was any of that intentional?

We can talk about another core value, and that is resiliency. The Opry throughout its history has had various challenges to overcome, and the flood was probably one of the most significant, but I think it really showed the strong connection that the artists and the employees and the fans have for the Opry … I think that everybody on our team was resolved to overcome this and bring the Opry back stronger than ever. We’re certainly enjoying that silver lining, so to speak, with a very beautiful [renovated] backstage [area], probably the finest of any venue in the world in terms of accommodations.

Your boss, Steve Buchanan, is executive producer of the Nashville TV show. What kind of impact has that had on the Opry?

We sought out a hit television series to help grow the Opry as a business. We recognized that if demand for the destination of Nashville grew, that could really help transform the business, and it really has. We have seen transformational attendance growth, starting with the first episode. More people started coming to Nashville, and then the ripple effect of the Nashville show has been tremendous when you think about the cast of performers who have graced the Opry stage. It’s really helped shine a spotlight on country music as well and shown that there’s a little bit of country music in everybody.

I’m not sure that the show’s characters have the type of values that you necessarily would want in the real, live Opry.

I think what you see are characters who are human, who make mistakes, and most of the time they come back with some sort of resolution or reconciliation about that … There are many artists in the country format who have similar stories. And there’s nothing like dialing up the drama a little bit to keep the audience engaged, too. I think it does a remarkable job of representing the industry side. I really commend Callie Khouri and the writers, who really have hit a stride this year. A fourth season has been the reward.

Will a new Opry member be welcomed between now and the official 90th birthday?

I honestly do not know. It’s really interesting how the next member candidate kind of shapes up. The right people at the right time have come to meet the Opry. One thing that doesn’t change is we continue to reach out to the new artists in the community and nurture that relationship, and as their career grows, we hope that they grow even closer to the Opry, [but we recognize] how demanding that can be with all that an artist has to do to sustain their career. I remember back with Brad Paisley or Carrie making their debut on the Opry, or Taylor Swift even, and seeing them all fill stadiums now, so it’s fun to see that maturation of careers and to know the Opry’s played a part of it.

Demi Lovato’s Summer Scorcher is Finally Out — “Cool for the Summer”

Demi Lovato just released her new song “Cool for Summer” today.  The jam is a new sound for Lovato.  It is definitely more mature and WE LOVE IT!

Demi spoke to MTV news recently and stated, “For this album, I’m making music that feels right to me. This time around, I was able to explore different sounds, and hone in on something that I’m really proud of. I’m inspired by something every day so those experiences will definitely be reflected on my next album.”

The song will appear on Demi’s yet to be titled fifth album, and if the rest of the songs are as catchy as this we’re in for a treat.