Stop The Presses!

Jan. 18-24: Backlash And Global Aid

Stop The Presses!

This week, we've learned one of life's most difficultlessons to digest. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you are shunned,doubted, or even worse, unable to sell even a measly 1,000 albums over thecourse of a week.

Oh dear HeidiMontag... Whoever is standing next to her, please let herrest her pretty, new little head on your shoulder. Wrap your arms around her. Tellher that it's going to be all right.

On the heels of revealing her extreme makeover that included some 10 procedures, the 23-year-old beauty alsoreleased her highly unanticipated album, appropriately titled "Superficial."

The good news is that the album was close to making the top40, but missed it by just one position. The bad news is that the reality dramaqueen's No. 41 debut is not on the top albums chart, Billboard 200, but on the HeatseekersAlbums chart. The Heatseekers chart comprises new artists who have never impactedthe top albums chart.

Despite spending nearly $2 million of her own money torecord "Superficial," the album only sold 658copies during its first week on sale.

Maybe Montag had a premonition that this album was going tank. It's plausible that her new look would giveher an opportunity to distance herself from the project and to start anew.

Hopefully, she'll interpret the lack of sales to meanthat people don't take her seriously as a recording artist, and she will makebetter investments in the future.

But Montag isn't the only reality diva to experiencebacklash this week. One of our faves, "Britain's Got Talent" runner-up Susan Boyle, whose debut "IDreamed A Dream," has sold 4 million copies, has been shunnedby the Brits, Britain's equivalent to the Grammys.

Though female artists Florence and the Machine, Pixie Lott,Lily Allen, and Lady Gaga are leading the nominations with three each, the Britscommittee did not see fit to include Boyle among the honorees.

But don't worry Ms. Boyle. It's just an award. You've madeyourself enough money to buy a house for each of your cats. Plus, I'm sure youhave plenty of nice young men lined up to make your acquaintance, among them,50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

It's hard to gauge what is really happening with Aerosmith. Lead singer Steven Tyler has not performed with the band since taking a bad fall at a concert last year. He is reportedly recovering from an addiction to painkillers.

As a result, the band is in the process of looking for anothersinger to step in during Tyler's absence,guitarist Joe Perry told Canada'sQMI Agency.

Perry suggests that the communication with Tyler could be improved. "It's kind of hardto get a straight answer about what's going on," Perry said about Tyler's rehabilitation,timeline, and interest in continuing to work with the group. "The last things [Tyler] said to the presswere that he wanted to work with the band and sing with the band, so we'llsee."

Perry said that he is ready to work with Tyleras soon as he is able, and adds that Tylercould be away for more than a year. Perry also explained that whenother members of the band were sick they always found temporary replacements.

Well, one thing is for sure, there may be tons of great singers, but there is only one Steven Tyler. We hope he gets well soon.

Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, is alsotaking some timeoff. While the reason for her break has not yet been confirmed, theremaining two members, sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, will bereleasing an albumas a duo in May.

Robison and Maguire are recording under a new name, CourtYard Hounds. Robison sings lead, and the record was recorded at Maguire's homestudio. Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers is expected to appear on the album.

The duo will perform at the South By Southwestmusic conference in March in Austin, Texas. According to CMT, Lloyd Maines, Natalie's father, said thatthe Dixie Chicks have not broken up.

Ironically, WyclefJean could talk temporary and permanent group lineup changes with all ofthe aforementioned, considering his own dealings as a member of the Fugees. But he's had heavierissues to battle with this week.

In wake of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti last week and all of itsdevastation, Wyclef has been front and center, an acting ambassador of sorts. Heused his Yele Foundation to collect donations via text messaging, and hisorganization has come under attack for his poor business handlings.

In a press conference on Monday and an appearance on the OprahWinfrey Show Thursday, Wyclef offered an emotionalplea for his efforts.

"I started the charity with my own funds," he explained."Have we made mistakes before? Yes. Did I ever use Yele money for personalbenefit? Absolutely not."

Despite the allegations, Wyclef must feel proud of what hehas done to increase awareness of the problems the country isfacing. He will join George Clooney and CNN's Anderson Cooper Friday as a co-hostfor Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief.

On the two-hour telethon that will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7p.m. CT on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT, an allstar list of musicians will perform. Wyclef, Bruce Springsteen, JenniferHudson, Mary J. Blige, Sting, Shakira, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and JustinTimberlake are among the performers.

Let's hope that the positive energy prompted by this effortwill make next week a bit more harmonious for the music world. Well, a littlenever hurts the business of music news. But a balance is always good. See younext week.



1) DownHill - Heidi Montag's "Superficial" debut album flops.

2) AnniversaryEdition - 'We Are The World' re-recording reportedly in the works.

3) ADream Deferred - Susan Boyle gets snubbed by Brit Awards.

4) ItTakes Two - Dixie Chicks sisters to record album as a duo.

5) Readyor Not - Wyclef Jean responds to allegations about his charity.

6) LifeAfter Idol - Simon Cowell, Sony sign new TV, music, film deal.

7) GivingBack - Simon Cowell to produce charity single for Haiti.

8) OnWith The Show - Aerosmith to hold auditions for replacement singer.

9) GuessWho's Back? - Norah Jones, Heart, Loretta Lynn join Lilith tour.

10) CaliforniaLove - Jay-Z slated to headline Coachella.


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