AC/DC’s ‘Power Up’ Is Thundering to Big First-Week U.K. Sales

AC/DC is all charged-up for another U.K. chart title.

The Aussie rock legends lead the midweek albums chart with Power Up (Columbia), their first LP in six years.

At this stage, it’s no contest. AC/DC’s 17th album is outselling the rest of the Top 5 combined, and is on track to become the year’s fastest-selling album. With 47,000 chart sales, look for Power Up to eclipse the year’s best, set last week (54,905 combined sales) by compatriot Kylie Minogue’s Disco (BMG), which dips 1-4.

AC/DC already have three U.K. No. 1 albums. That figure that should lift to four when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published late Friday (Nov. 20).

Reunited pop-rock outfit McFly spread their wings with Young Dumb Thrills (BMG), their first new album in a decade. It opens at No. 2 on the Official U.K. Chart Update, and is poised to be the band’s sixth U.K. Top 10 title.

British pop artist Paloma Faith starts at No. 3 on the midweek tally with Infinite Things (RCA), her fifth studio album, while Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli could snag a 12th Top 10 album with Believe (Decca), at No. 4.

Another classical artist, Andre Rieu, is eyeing the Top 10. The Dutch conductor’s Jolly Holiday (Decca) is at No. 6, and could become his 11th U.K. Top 10 album.

English pop artist Sophie Ellis-Bextor is on track for her highest-charting album in six years with Songs from the Kitchen Disco (Cooking Vinyl), new at No. 7 on the midweek chart, while the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s reimagining of Johnny Cash works, Johnny Cash And The RPO (Legacy Recordings), is new at No. 9.

Meanwhile, there’s no change in the leadership position on the Official U.K. Singles Chart Update, as the all-star BBC Children In Need cover of Oasis’ “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” (Decca) stays on track for the crown.

The next highest debut is shaping to be Billie Eilish’s “Therefore I Am” (Interscope). It’s new at No. 3 on the sales blast.

Kelly Clarkson Faced the Toughest Choice Following Epic Battle on ‘The Voice’: Watch

When you grab your moment on national TV, and your task is to cover Celine Dion, bring your A-game. Nothing else will cut it.

Fortunately, it was all As for Team Kelly’s Marisa Corvo and Ryan Gallagher, as they tackled Celine’s epic “I Surrender” Monday night (Nov. 16) during The Voice battles.

Kelly Clarkson spoke for everyone when she hollered, screamed out “oh my gawd,” and told her fellow coaches, “That was a big song, y’all.”

It certainly was.

Blake Shelton paid tribute to Ryan’s powerful voice, but bowed to Marisa’s almighty gift. She “absolutely took over the room here,” he admitted. And she “destroyed the place.”

John Legend said Corvo “delivered” on the stage, and Gwen Stefani noted the Irvine, California-based hopeful entered the contest with this “huge personality and passion and ready to have her moment, it was hard to ignore that.”

Kelly struggled to make her choice. Indeed, it was the toughest decision she’s had to make on the NBC show. “This is my hardest battle,” she admitted, “you’re both very gifted.” In the end she went with Corvo.

That wasn’t the end for Gallagher, the classically trained vocalist with the booming voice. He got the “save.” Check it out below.

Maluma Soars to New Hot 100 High With ‘Hawái,’ Thanks to The Weeknd Remix

Maluma bounds to his highest rank on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as “Hawái,” newly remixed with The Weeknd, surges from No. 60 to No. 12.

Maluma, from Colombia, earns his first top 40 Hot 100 hit as a lead artist and second overall, after his featured turn, with Swae Lee, on XXXTentacion and Lil Pump’s “Arms Around You,” which reached No. 28 in November 2018.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Nov. 21) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Nov. 17).

“Hawái” (with all versions combined for chart calculations) surges largely on the strength of streaming activity, as it vaulted by 123% to 17.6 million streams in the week ending Nov. 12, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, following the Nov. 5 release of its remix with The Weeknd. The increase nets the song, which previously hit No. 55 in October, top Streaming Gainer honors on the Hot 100.

The Weeknd, from Canada, receives Hot 100 billing on “Hawái” for the first time as activity for its remix outpaced that of the original in the tracking week. He adds his 33rd top 40 Hot 100 hit, with his former No. 1 (his fifth), “Blinding Lights,” placing in the top 10 for a record-tying 39th week.

“Hawái” concurrently re-enters the all-genre Streaming Songs chart at a new No. 7 high, marking Maluma’s first top 10 on the tally, and The Weeknd’s 20th.

On the Hot Latin Songs chart, which uses the same methodology as the Hot 100, “Hawái” holds at No. 2 after nine total weeks at No. 1. The track returns for a third week atop Latin Digital Song Sales, up 112% to 4,000 sold, and ranks at No. 2 on Latin Streaming Songs and Latin Airplay, after topping both tallies.

Gwen Stefani Can’t Choose Between Her ‘Magical’ Teenage Contestants on ‘The Voice’

When The Voice contestants Carter Rubin, 14, and Larriah Jackson, 15, went face-to-face for the knockout rounds on Monday night (Nov. 16), they blew their coach Gwen Stefani away with their perfectly harmonious rendition of Meghan Trainor and John Legend’s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.”

“I’m gonna quit now,” she joked after the jaw-dropping performance, knowing that she eventually had to choose one of the contestants to send home.

“Every second that goes by I keep changing my mind. Larriah was a one-chair turn, and then we get into rehearsals and Larriah blows us away,” she began thinking out loud. “You have already lived a whole life at 15 years old and Julia [Michaels] saw that in you, that you were singing from your heart. Carter, you have this incredible voice that you can do all this stuff with, and you’re just getting started. To watch you perform the way you did, you just had a lot more confidence in your body language.”

After a lengthy pause to decide between her “magical” young contestants, Stefani ended up choosing Rubin. “Ultimately, Carter has more of a unique sound to his voice and a unique gift being so young and a male,” she explained.

But she couldn’t give Larriah up just yet, pressing her “save” button as the 15-year-old walked off stage. “Since rehearsals I have not stopped thinking about you,” the pop singer said. “You have so much to give to the world, I just feel it!”

Watch the full performance below.

Barack Obama Suggests Rap Music Contributed to Donald Trump’s Support Among Black Men

Ahead of the Nov. 17 release of his memoir, A Promised Land, Barack Obama chatted with The Atlantic about the 2020 election and the state of American politics, among other topics.

While discussing populism in the country’s political fabric, the former President brought up Trump’s increase in support among Black male voters, implying that the luxurious nature of rap music could be a factor. “People are writing about the fact that Trump increased his support among Black men [in the 2020 presidential election], and the occasional rapper who supported Trump,” he told the publication.

“I have to remind myself that if you listen to rap music, it’s all about the bling, the women, the money,” he continued. “A lot of rap videos are using the same measures of what it means to be successful as Donald Trump is. Everything is gold-plated. That insinuates itself and seeps into the culture.”

Election polls saw an estimated 20% of Black men voted for Trump this year, two percentage points higher than the 18% who voted for him in 2016.

Obama released his Promised Land-themed playlist on Monday (Nov. 16), which featured a number of rap songs including “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, and “My 1st Song” by Jay-Z.

Read the full interview here.

Bell Biv DeVoe & Nelly to Bring Throwback Hip-Hop to American Music Awards

Bell Biv DeVoe and Nelly will each perform a medley of hits from their multiplatinum debut albums on the American Music Awards. The three-hour show is set for Sunday on ABC. The announcement was made on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars on Monday (Nov. 16), where Nelly is a semifinalist on season 29 of the hit show.

Bell Biv DeVoe will perform a medley of its first two singles, “Poison” and “Do Me!” Both songs reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. Both were featured on the trio’s album, Poison, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The album was at the forefront of the new jack swing movement that combined elements of traditional soul and R&B with hip-hop.

Bell Biv DeVoe, which consists of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe, first appeared on the AMAs in 1991 performing yet another hit from their debut album, “B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?” The trio has won three AMA trophies.

Nelly is set to perform three songs from his blockbuster 2000 album, Country Grammar: “Hot S**t (Country Grammar),” “E.I.” and “Ride Wit Me.” All three songs made the top 15 on the Hot 100. Country Grammar topped the Billboard 200 for five weeks and has been certified diamond by the RIAA. Like BBD, Nelly is a three-time AMA winner.

These bookings show the influence of the surprise hit Verzuz, which has demonstrated the degree of fan interest in vintage R&B and hip-hop.

Two current hip-hop superstars, Lil Baby and Megan Thee Stallion, will also appear on the show. The number of rap/hip-hop categories on the AMAs jumped from three to four this year, reflecting the music’s sustained popularity. (The number of Latin categories surged from one to four, reflecting that genre’s explosive growth in recent years.)

Taraji P. Henson will host the AMAs, which will be broadcast live from The Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles for the 14th consecutive year.

The talent lineup also includes the previously announced Bad Bunny with Jhay Cortez, BTS, Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, Katy Perry and Shawn Mendes.

The AMAs bill themselves as the world’s largest fan-voted awards show. The show is seen in more than 200 countries and territories.

Nominations are based on key fan interactions, including streaming, album and digital song sales, radio airplay and social activity. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners MRC Data and Next Big Sound, and reflect the time period of Sept. 27, 2019, through Sept. 24, 2020. The winners are determined entirely by fans.

The 2020 American Music Awards is produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC Entertainment, the same company that owns Billboard. Amy Thurlow, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Larry Klein is producer.

Follow the AMAs on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube), online at theamas.com and ABC.com, and join the conversation by using the show’s official hashtag, #AMAs.

Taylor Swift Fans React to Latest Sale of Her Masters (& Get Hyped Up for Re-Recorded Songs)

Ownership of Taylor Swift’s first six albums has changed hands for the second time in 17 months. But she’s speaking out on re-recording those projects, and the Swifties can’t wait to hear them.

Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings purchased Big Machine Label Group and therefore acquired Swift’s old master recordings just north of $300 million in June 2019. Variety reported today (Nov. 16) that Ithaca sold her masters to an unnamed investment group.

She confirmed the sale was completed by Shamrock Holdings in a letter posted Monday that promised her devoted fans some good news in the near future. “I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” the 30-year-old pop superstar wrote. “I have plenty of surprises in store. I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can’t wait for you to hear what I’ve been dreaming up.”

Sara Bareilles spoke out on Twitter against Braun’s big pay day, writing, “I will never not fee like this is just f—ing robbery. Greed is a virus too and it’s everywhere. F— that. @taylorswift13 sending you love.”

The Swifties also swarmed their fearless leader with love and unbounded excitement about hearing what newer versions of her older material will sound like, as “WE LOVE YOU TAYLOR” immediately began trending on Twitter following her public missive. Fans can’t wait for “All Too Well” from her 2012 album Red, “Long Live” and “Mean” from her 2010 album Speak Now, and plenty of her other hits.

They also appreciated the slight nod to her 2014 Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Shake It Off” at the end of her letter. when she interpolated the lyrics in the last line: “I love you guys and I’m just gonna keep cruising, as they say.”

Check out the latest fan reactions about Swift’s re-recording process below.