But one diva who was somewhat surprisingly shut out was onetime Grammy sweetheart Whitney Houston.Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner), veterans who reinvented their careers by collaborating with other musicians (Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Robert Plant), or artists who struggled with their demons and made great music as a result (Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse), such rising-from-ashes back stories usually strongly resonate with industry voters. In this regard, Whitney Houston's "comeback" album I Look To You--released after the singer's long hiatus, divorce from Bobby Brown, and infamous battles with drugs--seemed a shoo-in for multiple nominations. Kanye West's shutout in all of the major categories. While he did receive seven nominations, they were all in the Rap category, while his previous three albums (The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation) had all been up for Album Of The Year. His latest, 808s & Heartbreak, despite being a huge hit that garnered much critical praise (and certainly had a weepy comeback story behind it, since much of it was inspired by Kanye's mother's death), did not get an Album Of The Year nod. Additionally, its biggest track, "Heartless" (which was even popularly covered by both Kris Allen and the Fray), received no nominations at all. Jamie Foxx's "Blame It," Pitbull's "Hotel Room Service," 50 Cent's "Baby By Me," and the New Boyz' "You're A Jerk." Mario's "Break Up" had the dubious honor of being #1. Not quite sure why Drake's love song "Best I Ever Had" was at #6 on that list, but the panel also came up with a list of approved "healthy relationship" songs that included Michael Franti's "Say Hey," Keri Hilson's "Knock You Down," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent," and the Black Eyed Peas' "Meet Me Halfway." All-American boy Justin Bieber's "One Time" topped that positive list.
FYI, it's unclear what the panel thinks of Kanye's "Heartless" and "Love Lockdown" or Whitney's "Million Dollar Bill."Adam Lambert nowadays? Back on the subject of awards shows, the fallout from the notorious American Music Awards performance by Lady Gaga's pal Adam continued this week. Although his album For Your Entertainment made a strong debut on the Billboard chart this week at #3, indicating that the controversy didn't hurt his sales (and in fact may have helped), ABC, the network that aired the AMAs, seemed mighty unimpressed. After cancelling the American Idol runner-up's Good Morning America appearance last week, this week ABC also pulled the plug on two more Adam performances: His Jimmy Kimmel Show concert, scheduled for December 17, and Ryan Seacrest's New Year's Rockin' Eve special on December 31. Adam tweeted the disappointing news himself, urging fans not to blame ABC and saying that the cancellations were due to "FCC heat." (Adam's fellow Idol Allison Iraheta, whose album Just Like You came out this week, will play the Kimmel concert on December 17 instead.) If the old adage that any publicity is good publicity is true, then For Your Entertainment stands to have a great second sales week. But we shall see. Susan Boyle. Her debut, I Dreamed A Dream, debuted at #1 this week with sales of 701,000, the biggest one-week sales total for all of 2009 (beating the '09 record of 608,000 first-week units sold of Eminem's Relapse back in May). Susan set other records as well. She racked up the biggest first-week sales tally in Nielsen/SoundScan history for a debut album by a female artist (besting Ashanti's 2002 record); she had the biggest one-week sales tally for an album by a female artist since Alicia Keys' As I Am debuted with sales of 742,000 in 2007; and she had the highest album sales tally for a British artist since Coldplay's Viva La Vida last year. (Her album also debuted at #1 in the U.K.) In fact, only one debut album has EVER sold more copies in its first week: Snoop Dogg's first album Doggystyle, which had first-week sales of 803,000 back in 1993.
Guess Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert are living proof that sometimes coming in second isn't always such a bad thing.
And on that positive note, thus concludes another week in music news. See you next Friday, when we'll be back for your edutainment.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:
1) Whitney & Kanye Get No Grammy Love - But Beyonce, Taylor, and Gaga lead the nominations.
2) Susan Sales Reach Boyling Point - Her album makes one of the biggest debuts in chart history.
3) ABC Not Easy As 1-2-3 For Lambert - The network cancels two more Adam performances.
4) Street Fighting Man - Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood is arrested for brawling with his girlfriend in a London street.
5) Is "Bad Romance" Bad For You? - One panel says the Gaga song and other hits are unhealthy.
6) Simpsons Sinking? - Joe Simpson insists that his daughters Jessica and Ashlee aren't "failures."
7) Indie Olympics - Broken Social Scene, Iron & Wine, Ron Sexsmith, and other indie Canadians will honor Neil Young at the Winter Olympics next year.
8) Heidi Montag Aims For Critics - She addresses her haters in her new song "Superficial."
9) John Mellencamp Asks Fans To Butt In - He vows he'll finally quit smoking if his Facebook group reaches 1 million members.
10) Lisa Loeb Becomes A Mom - The bespectacled songstress welcomes her first child.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Whitney Houston