887K Whitney Houston Tracks Sold Through Sunday

"I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston's biggest hit, sold 195,000 downloads in the week ending Sunday, up from 3,000 copies the week before, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Presumably, most were sold after the singer's death Saturday afternoon (a sales window of one day).

"Always" appears for the first time ever on the digital songs chart at No. 6, according to Billboard, which also notes seven other Houston tunes that landed on the list.

Postmortem sales of the diva's other songs and albums also surged. She sold a total of 101,000 albums, up nearly 6,000% from a week earlier. The top seller was Whitney: The Greatest Hits, an 18-track set released in 2000. It sold 64,000 copies, 107 times the 600 copies sold the week prior, to re-enter Billboard at No. 6.

Consumers bought 887,000 digital tracks by Houston, more than in all the preceding weeks of 2012 and all of 2011 combined, Billboard reports. A higher tally is expected after sales from a full week (ending Feb. 19) are tabulated.

Why Didn't Skrillex Perform at Grammys?

While Skrillex was raking in the awards as DJ/producers David Guetta and Deadmau5 performed on a banner night for dance music, the wub-master's stage absence felt a little puzzling. According to Billboard, the Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites DJ revealed that although he was offered a performance, time constraints pressured him to turn it down.

"I'm leaving for tour tomorrow and there wasn't enough time for what I wanted to do, prepare," revealed Skrillex. "This wasn't enough time for me to where I felt it fit in right."

Last night was a huge one for Skrillex, as the 24 year-old walked away with three Grammys, including Best Electronic/Dance Album.

Read the full story on Billboard

Civil Wars' New Video Premieres Monday After Grammy Wins

A big week for The Civil Wars gets even bigger.

After snagging two Grammy awards on Sunday night for Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance, the duo (Joy Williams and John Paul White) performed part of their hit song "Barton Hollow" before introducing Taylor Swift. The video for their song with Swift, "Safe & Sound," which is featured on the Hunger Games soundtrack, premieres on MTV Monday at 7:54

Although The Civil Wars only performed 60 seconds of their song during Sunday's telecast, their album Barton Hollow has already skyrocketed back to No. 5 on iTunes, and as if that weren't enough, Williams announced backstage Sunday night that she and husband Nate Yetton are expecting their first child.

Watch a preview of the "Safe & Sound" video here.

Walk Off the Earth Signs to Columbia Records

Canadian indie band Walk Off the Earth posted a video covering Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” last month, and it has since been viewed on YouTube nearly 50 million times. The clip shows the band playing on a single guitar. One strums the guitar while the others tap and pluck along. Now the band — which has been together for nearly six years — has earned itself a record deal with Columbia Records, according to Mashable.

The captivating video caught the attention of Russell Crowe and Alyssa Milano, who tweeted the cover to their Twitter followers, and the band recently performed on Ellen. Even Gotye — the Belgian-Australian singer songwriter — has cheered on the band.

Gotye’s original version — uploaded to YouTube in July 2011 — is still beating out the cover with nearly 65 million views.

Read the full story on Mashable

Timbaland, Missy Elliott to Release New Solo Albums in June

Timbaland has revealed that both he and Missy Elliott will release new albums this June. In an interview with MTV, the producer claimed that he would put out the follow-up to his 2009 album Shock Value II this summer, and also said that Elliott would be releasing her first album since 2005's The Cookbook.

"Me and Missy are both coming with our albums at the same time," said Timbaland. "And it will be in June. Right now, we're preparing to get both our videos, our first singles, shot kinda at the same time. We want to do it as a movement and spontaneously."

Read the full story and watch the video from MTV

Viddy Scores $6M in Funding

According to AllThingsD.com, Viddy — which makes an iOS app that has attracted celebrity users like Snoop Dogg and Linkin Park, and limits video clips to 15 seconds — has now raised a $6 million Series A round led by Battery Ventures and including Greycroft Ventures and Qualcomm.

Viddy CEO Brett O’Brien says his company is stronger than the competition, for a few reasons: First, Viddy’s in-app editing effects — which include 99-cent premium promotions for content from partners like The Muppets and Linkin Park — help make compelling, shareable content. Second, the Venice, Calif.-based company is trying more of a public Twitter-like approach than a private social network, so the star users it recruits can bring in their fans. Third, Viddy seems to have already built a pretty significant audience — with a reported 40 million video views in January.

Read our full feature on Viddy from our October issue.

Train To Release 'California 37' Album in April

The pop-rock trio Train announced California 37 and April 17, 2012 as the title and release date of their sixth album on Tuesday (Feb. 7). The group, which scored a huge hit in 2010 with "Hey Soul Sister," has previewed their new album with first single "Drive By," which is current at No. 17 on the Adult Top 40 chart.

"We've had a lot of songs on the radio since the beginning of the band but never one that moved so quickly," frontman Pat Monahan told Billboard.com last month. "It's kind of strange how Triple A and hot AC and pop radio are all embracing 'Drive By' with this incredible enthusiasm. We're not used to that kind of thing."

Train recorded California 37 in San Francisco and Los Angeles with Butch Walker and Espionage, and Monahan says that a majority of the writing happened while the group was touring. "I didn't spend 3 months or 5 months writing, I just wrote throughout the course of the last 3 years," says Monahan. "We have 13 songs that we've recorded and I want to hear every single one of them over and over again."

Read the full story on Billboard

Bon Iver Announces Spring Tour Dates

Bon Iver may not be performing at the Grammys, but Billboard reports the indie-folk group will be performing for fans this spring. Fresh off their "Saturday Night Live" spot last week, Justin Vernon and co. have announced a short run of April tour dates surrounding Coachella. The eight-date tour kicks off April 12 in Las Vegas and finishes up at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 27, stopping throughout California and Arizona along the way.

The April U.S. run will follow the band's previously-announced tour through Australia and New Zealand in March.

The band's frontman, Justin Vernon, recently hinted that a collaboration with Alicia Keys could be on the horizon, though a follow-up to 2011's critically-acclaimed self-titled effort could be a year in the making.

Bon Iver spring tour dates:
April 12: Las Vegas, Nev. (The Joint)
April 14: Indio, Calif. (Coachella)
April 17: Davis, Calif. (Freeborn Hall @ UC Davis)
April 19: San Francisco, Calif. (Bill Graham Civic Auditorium)
April 21: Indio, Calif. (Coachella)
April 22: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Santa Barbara Bowl)
April 23: Tucson, Ariz. (AVA Amphitheater)
April 27: New Orleans, La. (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)
May 27: George, Wash. (Sasquatch Music Festival)

Counting Crows Want Fans to Hear New Album for Free

According to their website, the Counting Crows, who amicably left longtime label Geffen Records in 2009 to make music independently, will release their first full-length in four years -- titled Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) -- on April 10. But fans will get a first listen long before, when the Bay-area band streams the covers album in its entirety through Spotify and elsewhere online, including select radio stations.

"We don't want to keep it from people, I think we want to get it to people," frontman Adam Duritz told Billboard.com about the record, comprised of mostly obscure covers from Bob Dylan, Big Star, The Faces and more (full track-listing below).

"You can either try to treat the Internet like it is a big drain sucking your profit down the tubes, or you can realize it's also a conduit," he said. "There's got to be a better way than just bemoaning the loss."

The album represents Counting Crows' first effort in the Facebook/Twitter era, in which more powerhouse labels are passed up in favor of boutique management operations that help connect musicians directly with their fans. Beverly Hills-based independent label Collective Sounds will issue Underwater Sunshine digitally and on CD/vinyl.

Read the full story from Billboard

Track listing:

1. "Untitled (Love Song)" by The Romany Rye
2. "Start Again" by Teenage Fanclub
3. "Hospital" by Coby Brown
4. "Mercy" by Tender Mercies
5. "Meet On The Ledge" by Fairport Convention
6. "Like Teenage Gravity" by Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
7. "Amie" by Pure Prairie League
8. "Coming Around" by Travis
9. "Ooh La La" by The Faces
10. "All My Failures" by Dawes
11. "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons
12. "Four White Stallions" by Tender Mercies
13. "Jumping Jesus" by Sordid Humor
14. "You Ain't Going Nowhere" by Bob Dylan
15. "The Ballad of El Goodo" by Big Star

Facebook to Make Bono Richest Rock Star in the World

Bono's stake in Facebook is about to make him the richest rock star on the planet when the company floats on the stock exchange.

The U2 singer owns 1.5 percent of the shares in Facebook through his private equity firm, Elevation Partners. Under current valuations, when the social networking site floats on the stock exchange later this year, Bono's shares will be worth just under $1 billion (£630 million).

Bono's firm invested in Facebook in 2009, paying around $90 million (£56 million) for its shares.

The development means Bono could be worth, on paper at least, as much as $1.1 billion (£695 million), some $300 million (£189 million) richer than the current most-wealthy rock star, Sir Paul McCartney.

Read the full story at NME.com

Coldplay Add 'Mylo Xyloto' to Spotify

After selling over a million copies of last year's Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay have relented and handed their latest release over to Spotify. The band allowed iTunes to stream tracks from their fifth record to promote its October LP, but there was no sign of the album on any streaming sites — until this week. The band released their latest Mylo video for "Charlie Brown" on Friday.

Coldplay didn't explain their decision to avoid streaming sites, but a rep from their label issued a statement to CNET in October reading, "We always work with our artists and management on a case by case basis to deliver the best outcome for each release."

The Black Keys were more clear about their decision to keep their disc El Camino off streaming services. In an interview with VH1, the band said it's unfair both to artists receiving meager royalties and fans who shelled out cash for the album. "For a band that makes a living selling music, it's not at a point yet to be feasible for us," drummer Patrick Carney said.

They're not alone. Adele has also shunned streaming, along with U.K. music distributor STHoldings, who yanked more than 200 indie labels from the sites last November. Adele's blockbuster 21 is not available on Spotify; however, her smash single "Rolling in the Deep" does appear on the service.

Ingrid Michaelson Debuts at No. 5 on Charts

According to Billboard, singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson notches her best sales week and highest charting album ever as Human Again takes a bow at No. 5 with 40,000 units sold. Until this week, her best frame came when her last set, 2009's Everybody, bowed and peaked at No. 18 with 23,000 sold. The new album's current single "Ghost" rises from No. 22 to No. 21 on the Triple A airplay chart this week (viewable at billboard.biz/charts).

Adele continues her reign at No. 1, while Tim McGraw's Emotional Traffic debuts at No. 2. Kellie Pickler scores her third straight top 10 with 100 Proof and Christian singer Kari Jobe rounds out the top 10 with her sophomore release of Where I Find You.

For the full details on this week's charts, continue reading the Billboard story.

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