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Bill Lamb

Top 40 / Pop

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Ed Sheeran Heading Out On Arena Headlining Tour

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Ed Sheeran

On the heels of the release of his hot new single "Sing," Ed Sheeran has announced his first North American headlining arena tour. In the past he has typically performed solo onstage live, but his recent Saturday Night Live appearance included a full band. Ed Sheeran's "Sing" has already soared into the top 30 at mainstream pop radio and has been hanging out in the top 10 on the iTunes chart since its release. The song will receive a strong top 40 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 later this week. "Sing" is already #3 on the Canadian pop singles chart. His next album x is expected in stores June 23, 2014. Check out the concert dates below.

Concert Dates:

  • Aug. 22 - Seattle, WA (Wamu Theater)
  • Aug. 23 - Vancouver, BC (Ambleside Live)
  • Aug. 29 - Las Vegas, NV (The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan)
  • Aug. 30 - Las Vegas, NV (The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan)
  • Aug. 31 - Glendale, AZ (Jobing.com Arena)
  • Sept. 2 - Kansas City, MO (Sprint Center)
  • Sept. 4 - Cleveland, OH (Wolstein Center)
  • Sept. 8 - Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo Center)
  • Sept. 9 - Boston, MA (Xfinity Center)
  • Sept. 11 - Charlotte, NC (Time Warner Cable Arena)
  • Sept. 12 - Atlanta, GA (The Arena at Gwinnett Center)
  • Sept. 13 - Nashville, TN (Bridgestone Arena)
  • Sept. 15 - Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)
  • Sept. 16 - Chicago, IL (Allstate Arena)
  • Sept. 18 - Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)

Photo by Cindy Ord / Getty Images

Lana Del Rey's Single "West Coast" Soars In Sales

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Lana Del Rey - West Coast

It looks like Lana Del Rey's star is continuing to rise in the pop music mainstream. Her new single "West Coast" was released just yesterday, and it has already soared to #2 on the iTunes digital sales chart. It remains to be seen whether mainstream pop radio will jump on the "West Coast" bandwagon, but it is almost certain to have a strong opening at alternative radio. Lana Del Rey had two platinum certified top 25 pop hits last year with "Summertime Sadness" climbing all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Check out more details on the new song in the review of "West Coast."

Single cover courtesy Interscope

Dance Music Continues To Reign In This Week's UK Pop Music Charts

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Sigma - "Nobody To Love"

It's a ninth straight week of new number ones on the UK pop singles chart, and most of them have been dance records. This week the drum and bass duo soar to the top with "Nobody To Love," a song which originated as a bootleg remix of Kanye West's "Bound 2." Over on the album chart the Kaiser Chiefs continue to rule. Read more about these and other stories in this week's coverage of the UK pop music charts.

Single cover courtesy 3Beat

Ed Sheeran Storming the US Pop Charts With "Sing"

Thursday April 10, 2014
Ed Sheeran - Sing

Ed Sheeran's first US hit "The A Team" took many months to climb into the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, his latest is likely to accomplish the same feat in mere weeks. "Sing," the first single from Ed Sheeran's upcoming sophomore album x is exploding in both sales and pop radio airplay. Just three days after its initial release, the song is sitting comfortably in the top 5 on the iTunes digital sales chart and has already climbed inside the top 50 at mainstream pop radio. There is no doubt its rise is boosted by the presence of Pharrell Williams as producer. However, Ed Sheeran is one of the strongest young male singer-songwriters in pop music today. Read more in the review of his new smash hit single "Sing."

Single cover courtesy Atlantic

Frozen Steps Close To a Landmark In This Week's US Pop Music Charts

Thursday April 10, 2014
Soundtrack - Frozen

This week the movie soundtrack Frozen spends its ninth week on top of the US album chart. That leaves it one short of the all-time record for animated film soundtracks. The Lion King held on to the top spot for a record setting 10 weeks back in 1994. It spun off the two Elton John hit singles "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Circle Of Life." Read more about this and other top stories in this week's coverage of the US pop music charts.

Album cover courtesy Walt Disney

Frozen Is Longest Reigning #1 Album Since Adele's 21 In This Week's US Pop Music Charts

Thursday April 3, 2014
Soundtrack - Frozen

It is an eighth big week at the top of the album chart for Walt Disney's Frozen soundtrack. That makes it the longest reigning #1 hit album since Adele's massive hit 21 spent 24 weeks at the top. Meanwhile Pharrell Williams continues to rule pop singles. Read the details in this week's coverage of the US pop music charts.

Album cover courtesy Walt Disney

Janelle Monae Releases Cover Of David Bowie's "Heroes" To Celebrate Football

Wednesday April 2, 2014
Janelle Monae - "Heroes"

This is likely to make you smile. In continued celebration of football in a World Cup year, Pepsi is releasing a 90 second commercial today in 100 different countries featuring a new version of David Bowie's classic song "Heroes" recorded by Janelle Monae. The artist is shown singing the song on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her recording is also available for purchase via iTunes. The video includes appearances by a wide range of football, aka soccer, stars. The Pepsi video is interactive. Viewers simply keep their cursor hovering over the video and click when the small icon on the screen changes.

David Bowie's "Heroes" has become a contemporary pop classic. The tale of two lovers in the shadow of the Berlin Wall has grown into a soundtrack for everyday heroism. "Heroes" was played at the 2012 London Olympics when the UK's athletes entered the stadium. Janelle Monae is one of the most critically celebrated of contemporary recording artists. Her album The Electric Lady released last September was a top 5 hit.

Single cover courtesy Bad Boy

U2's The Joshua Tree and Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" Added To National Recording Registry

Wednesday April 2, 2014
U2 - The Joshua Tree

The Library Of Congress has announced 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry bringing the total number of preserved recordings to 400. The new selections are a diverse group including spoken word and comedy recordings in addition to pop landmarks. U2's landmark 1987 album The Joshua Tree is among the additions. Drawing on both American and Irish musical traditions, it is the collection credited with turning U2 into worldwide superstars. The album spent nine weeks at #1 on the US album chart and won the Grammy Award for Album Of the Year and included two #1 pop hit singles. Singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley's 1994 recording of Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" is now the second "youngest" recording in the registry. It has helped the song become a contemporary pop standard. Despite never reaching the Billboard Hot 100, Jeff Buckley's critically lauded recording has earned platinum status for digital sales. Other pop recordings added to the National Recording Registry this year include Isaac Hayes' Academy Award winning "Theme From Shaft" and Linda Ronstadt's starmaking 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel.

Pop Recordings Added:

  • 1960 - Everly Brothers - "Cathy's Clown"
  • 1969 - Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son"
  • 1971 - Isaac Hayes - "Theme From Shaft"
  • 1974 - Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like a Wheel
  • 1987 - U2 - The Joshua Tree
  • 1994 - Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"

Album cover courtesy Island Records

Dan Wilson Will Blow You Away With "A Song Can Be About Anything"

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Dan Wilson

Once in awhile songs stop you in your tracks. "A Song Can Be About Anything" by singer-songwriter Dan Wilson is one of those. Kicking off seeming like a children's record, the song is anything but child-like. It is a perfect example of outstanding songcraft. The song will be included on Dan Wilson's upcoming album Love Without Fear due in stores April 15, 2014.

Who is Dan Wilson? He is the lead vocalist of the rock band Semisonic and has been nominated for Grammy Awards twice for his songwriting and once for his production. He co-wrote the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready To Make Nice" and Adele's "Someone Like You" as well as writing Semisonic's stunning "Closing Time." Give yourself a treat, and check out Dan Wilson's newest song below.

Video still courtesy Dan Wilson

Pharrell Williams Joining The Voice For Season 7

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams, the hottest pop artist of the moment, is joining The Voice for season 7. He will be replacing Cee Lo Green. There is no official word yet on whether Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton will all be returning. Pharrell Williams made an appearance on the show in 2013 as a guest mentor for Usher and was very well received. Paul Telegedy of NBC Entertainment says of the news, "He has already made a considerable impact as a mentor, drawing on an impressive track record as both a producer and performer. It is a perfect fit for The Voice as we evolve and reach for new heights with this franchise. It feels like we are welcoming an existing family member home." On Twitter, Pharrell Williams said simply, "This is going to be so fun."

Pharrell Williams is enjoying a very impressive year so far. He won the Grammy Award for Producer Of the Year early in 2014. His hit single "Happy" has spent the last five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pharrell Williams' second solo album G I R L debuted at #2 on the album chart and has been in the top 10 for its first three weeks. He has also become somewhat of a fashion icon with his Vivienne Westwood designed hat worn to the Grammy Awards drawing headlines. Check out Pharrell Williams' best music below.

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Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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