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Kesha just ended a five-year musical hiatus by releasing her new single, “Praying,” although the time in between her albums has been the complete opposite of uneventful.

Over that span, Kesha was constantly in the headlines. She entered and exited rehab for an eating disorder, performed live, served as a judge on a reality TV competition (remember ABC’s “Rising Star”?) collaborated with Zedd and most notably, sued producer Dr. Luke. Kesha alleged physical and emotional abuse along with employment discrimination; the producer countersued for breach of contract and defamation.

As the series of lawsuits between Luke (born Gottwald) and Kesha (nee Sebert) played out in court, the singer claimed that if the court wouldn’t allow her to break her contract with Kemosabe Records, she wouldn’t be able to release new material. The court disagreed and technically with her new single and announcement of a forthcoming album, the court was correct.

But it should be noted that in April, Sony severed ties with Gottwald, who is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records. Despite this, a representative for the producer issued a statement to Billboard following the song’s release that said there were no changes to Kesha’s contractual recording obligations.

“As legally required all along, the album was released with Dr. Luke’s approval by Kemosabe which is a joint venture label of Dr. Luke and Sony,” it claimed in part.

Just a few weeks ago, a defamation lawsuit in a Tennessee court that Gottwald levied against Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert was dismissed. A joint statement from both parties said Ms. Sebert “admits she has no firsthand personal knowledge of the events occurring on the night of the alleged rape.”

While the separate legal battle in New York continues, it will not hold up Kesha’s return. “Praying” is an earth-scorching ballad that according to the artist, channels her feelings of “severe hopelessness and depression.”

“This song is about me finding peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me,” she wrote on Lena Dunham’s website Lenny. “It’s about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.”

Ryan Lewis, who is best known for his work with rapper Macklemore, co-wrote the single. “Rainbow,” Kesha’s new LP, drops August 11.

From February 2017: GRAMMY Producer Of The Year nominee Ricky Reed talks about working in-studio with Kesha.

Miley Cyrus is back on the cover of “Billboard” and set to perform her new single “Malibu” for the first time next weekend on the 2017 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

If it seems like déjà vu, well that makes sense. Back in 2013 Cyrus used The BBMAs as a springboard to promote her return from a three-year music hiatus. On the red carpet she talked about the comeback and “We Can’t Stop,” which would be released later that month to much fanfare.

“I don’t ever label anything,” Cyrus told me outside of the MGM Grand Garden Arena that May, while standing alongside Renaissance man will.i.am. The duo collaborated on “Feelin’ Myself” and the uber-melodic “Fall Down.” “All my party jams are real s— too. It’s all what I really need to say.”

And she said quite a bit with her fourth studio album and first on RCA, “Bangerz.” From the aforementioned lead single to the smash-hit “Wrecking Ball” followed by the tour to support the LP, Cyrus demolished any remnants of the “Hannah Montana” era.

Now seems that the songstress is in a different place. A better place? Maybe – you’d have to ask her. She’s rumored to be back on with fiancé Liam Hemsworth. She shouldn’t be judged for her appearance but from the Billboard cover this much is obvious: the edginess is either changed or gone altogether.

As for “Malibu” – well it certainly sounds more “real s—“ than “party jam” – not that Cyrus makes a distinction.

There’s one big difference between Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards and every other music award show on television: the winners are a true reflection of not just what fans like, but what they actually consume and spend money on.

“Those charts are what make our award show,” Billboard’s co-director of charts, Keith Caulfield, told me this week. “That’s the beauty of it. This award show is truly based on your performance on the Billboard charts throughout the year.”

The BBMAs serve as an annual scoreboard of sorts for the music industry’s biggest names. We’ll find out where the stars rank Sunday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.

“Billboard gets to honor the most popular artists, albums and songs of the past year on a great TV show, and we get to have amazing performances and it’s a star-studded event,” Caulfield said. “I’m really looking forward to the show.”

The list of performers alone could make this year’s program one of the more memorable in recent memory. Britney Spears, receiving the Millennium Award, will perform a medley of her hits. Justin Bieber will do the same. Rihanna is slated to sing on the show, almost exactly 10 years to the date she scored her first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper. And Madonna will perform a tribute to the late Prince.

That doesn’t even scratch the surface: Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas and Tove Lo, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Pink and Ariana Grande are also set to take the stage inside the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

As for the awards, The Weeknd is a finalist in 16 categories, leading all artists. Bieber follows him with nods in 11 categories. Taylor Swift and Adele are each a finalist in eight categories. Perhaps taking a cue from Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video premiere at last year’s BBMAs, Adele will unveil her video for the single, “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” during the broadcast Sunday.

Appropriately, Swift holds the all-time high mark for wins at the show with 20. Adele has the record for most wins in one night with 12, which she scored back in 2012 off the success of “21.”

The Billboard Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions. Westwood One, the radio network owned by Cumulus Media, is once again an official partner of this year’s show. For the fourth consecutive year, I will broadcast from Las Vegas for the BBMAs. In addition to interviewing stars backstage Saturday and on the red carpet Sunday, we’ll have a full recap from Vegas on Monday evening.

Ketih Caulfield, Co-Director of Charts at Billboard, called the show to talk about the highly anticipated albums from One Direction and Justin Bieber. Caulfield told us who, according to industry forecasters, would end up with the number one album in the country for the week.
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Adele makes selling music and breaking records look as effortless as she does belting out notes.

“Hello,” the highly-anticipated single from the artist’s forthcoming album 25, sold 1.1 million copies in its first week out. This is the first time that a song has sold a million copies in a week. The record-setting sales figure also catapulted the track to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100.

The song’s music video also set a record, breaking Vevo’s 24-hour view high-mark with a staggering 27.7 million hits.

Grab the tissue box, because there is certainly more to come. The UK singer, nee Adele Adkins, is gearing up for a tour-de-force of promotion ahead of the new LP. She graces the new cover of Rolling Stone and will perform a special one-night-only show at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York on November 17. Tickets to the show will surely be hard to come by, but the world will get to experience it as a prime-time special on NBC in December.

Across the pond, Adele is also setting records and reportedly booking TV gigs for next year; a source told The Mirror that the “Someone Like You” songstress is confirmed to perform at the Brit Awards, akin to our Grammys, in February.
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While the facts and figures are impressive, few are probably surprised. Adele’s new album follows the massive success of 21, which sold 31 million copies globally and made the singer a household name. The sophomore LP was released almost five years ago; practically an eternity for her most rabid fans.

“My last record was a break-up record, and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record,” Adele said in a statement announcing the new release. “Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing. And I’m sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened.”

“Life” included vocal cord issues, a baby and certainly some well-deserved time off after a hectic stretch in which “downtime” consisted of working on a Bond theme that netted her both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Matter-of-fact, the last time Adele performed on TV was when she sang “Skyfall” at the Academy Awards.

But now the singer returns to our TV sets in just a few short weeks. Adele will serve as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” November 21. It’s the day after 25 hits shelves and the singer adds “making up for lost time” to the list of things she effortlessly does.

Jason Lipshutz, Deputy Editor of Digital at Fuse Media, stopped by to chat about Adele’s new music in the latest edition of “Weekend Scoop.” The UK singer will drop her highly anticipated album 25 on November 20.

While reporting for Billboard, Lipshutz broke the story that Adele would be releasing new music this year.

Monday night’s interview with Justin Bieber is creating headlines both in the States and abroad.

Everyone is talking about it for the same reason: during my chat with Bieber I mentioned 17 year-old Shawn Mendes. I find a few similarities in the two: both achieved success as teenagers, both are talented and good-looking singers who can play guitar and both are from Southern Ontario. Mendes scored a number one album this year and has a single climbing the Pop chart. The two apparently have a number of mutual friends and were even both up in the same Much Music Video Award category back in Canada.

But, now infamously, Bieber responded to an inquiry I made about the up-and-coming singer by asking, “Who’s Shawn Mendes?”

The media is having a field day with this one. Billboard, MTV News, VICE, USA Today, E! News, Entertainment Weekly and SPIN all covered it.

Then Mendes appeared Wednesday morning on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw. Audio of their exchange is below. The original interview hit 100,000 views in 24 hours.

And in a plot twist, last night Bieber began following Mendes on Twitter.

Billboard named Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s “Fancy” as the “Song Of The Summer.” Billboard.com Associate Editor Jason Lipshutz explained why on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Michael Jackson’s Bad is the only album in history to spawn five top hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Charts. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream sits at four.




If “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is number one this week (it just topped the pop chart), Katy will also join this exclusive club.

The Hot 100 highlights will be released Wednesday. “Friday” reached spot two last week.

Thought you might enjoy this, a clever mash-up of the 25 biggest songs in 2009 according to Billboard… definitely worth your time here.