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Jeff Giles

A professional pop culture junkie for more than 25 years, Jeff Giles regularly surfaces in a number of far-flung locations on the Web.
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Will Scotty McCreery’s ‘Clear as Day’ Top the Charts?

Scotty McCreery is poised to claim the Number One spot when his first full-length effort 'Clear as Day' makes its debut on the charts next week. But will he actually pull it off?

It's been nearly a decade since 'American Idol' was able to turn all its ratings mojo into a Number One album debut for one of its contestants. The last one was Ruben Studdard, whose 'Thankful' bowed at the top of the charts way back in December 2003.

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Category: Country, Hot AC
Miranda Lambert
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Miranda Lambert Streams ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ from Her Upcoming Album, ‘Four the Record’

Miranda Lambert's latest single 'Baggage Claim' may not be finished climbing the country charts yet, but she isn't waiting to give fans another taste of her upcoming album 'Four the Record.'

Through a unique partnership with the makers of the popular iPhone app Hipstamatic, Lambert has debuted the full-length final version of 'Mama's Broken Heart' -- the album track that, as she told concert audiences a few weeks ago, she hopes will follow 'Baggage Claim' into heavy rotation on radio playlists. 

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Category: Country
Kelly Clarkson
Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images
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Kelly Clarkson Leaks New Track, ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)’ [AUDIO]

Kelly Clarkson, who's seen several tracks from her upcoming album leak well before their release date, decided to take matters into her own hands this week.

Clarkson took to Twitter and gave her followers an unexpected treat: a free download of the title track from her upcoming album, 'Stronger.' 

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Category: AC, Hot AC
Willow Smith, Nicki Minaj
Pool / Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Willow Smith Enlists Nicki Minaj for Her New Single, ‘Fireball’ [AUDIO]

Willow's back for her next attempt at achieving 'Whip My Hair'-level success, but this time she's brought along hip-hop princess Nicki Minaj to up her game.

Both stars trade rap verses on the recently released 'Fireball,' where the 10-year-old multimedia magnate kicks things off by asking "Um, hello? Can we get this party started?"

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Category: Hot AC, Rhythmic
Rihanna
Ian Gavan, Getty Images
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Rihanna Sets Chart Record with Her New Single, ‘We Found Love’ [AUDIO]

Rihanna's latest release 'We Found Love' leaped from 16th to ninth on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, giving the pop princess her 20th Top 10 single on the chart.

If you're thinking that it seems like she compiled all those hits awfully quickly, you're right; in fact, with 'We Found Love,' Rihanna has become the fastest solo artist ever to accomplish this feat. 

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Category: Hot AC, Rhythmic
Tim McGraw, Clint Eastwood
Frazer Harrison / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
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Will Tim McGraw Star in Clint Eastwood’s ‘A Star Is Born’? [VIDEO]

Clint Eastwood isn't exactly known for romances, either as an actor or as a director, so when word surfaced that he was planning to helm a remake of 'A Star Is Born' with Tim McGraw as a possible star, people naturally wanted to know more. We've heard plenty of the rumors as well, including the reported involvement (and subsequent un-involvement) of Beyoncé Knowles and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Little has been made official, however, so you can hardly blame the hosts of NBC's 'Today' for trying to pry the scoop from McGraw during an interview.

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Category: Country
Brad and Kimberly Paisley
Image courtesy of Sesame Workshop
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Brad Paisley Helps ‘Sesame Street’ Fight Childhood Hunger [VIDEO]

Brad Paisley visited more than 30 cities on his 2011 world tour and he’s gearing up to hit the road next year for a string of dates with Scotty McCreery, but he couldn’t say no when he was recently asked to do an extra bit of traveling – to Sesame Street.

He and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams Paisley, appeared as part of an upcoming prime time special dedicated to helping fight childhood hunger. 

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Category: Country
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
Isaac Brekken, Getty Images
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Taylor Swift Reveals New Album Will Feature Lots of ‘Sad’ Songs

The New Yorker doesn't usually devote much space to young artists or current trends, but they made an exception for Taylor Swift in their most recent issue, giving a full profile of the artist that, as they point out, has sold more albums in the last five years than any other musician.

Swift was characteristically frank in the article, offering her thoughts on life and love as a 21-year-old superstar and offering a few hints of what fans can expect to hear from her next album, due in 2012. 

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Category: AC, Country, Hot AC
Ricky Martin
Bennett Raglin, Getty Images
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Is the Honduran Government Banning Ricky Martin Because He’s Gay?

You'd hardly expect an artist responsible for frothy pop songs such as 'Livin' La Vida Loca,' 'Shake Your Bon-Bon' and 'She Bangs' to be at the center of a political controversy, but that's apparently exactly where Ricky Martin is these days.

Rumor has it that an upcoming Martin gig in Honduras may be canceled -- not to mention the star's visa is in jeopardy -- because government officials disapprove of the singer's sexual orientation. 

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Category: AC, Hot AC, Rhythmic
Garbage
Louise Wilson, Getty Images
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Garbage Plans New Double Album for 2012

After an extended hiatus, '90s alterna-pop hitmakers Garbage are planning to return in 2012 with new music -- a bunch of it, in fact.

The band is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on what will be their fifth studio album, and first since 2005's 'Bleed Like Me.' The 12-song collection, planned for a spring release, will reportedly include a bonus disc of 12 B-side tracks. 

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Category: Hot AC, Rock

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