Most Pirated Artists of 2013: Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk

rihanna-2013I imagine that there’s a certain feeling of flattery in being named one of the most illegally downloaded artists of the year. Musicmetric, which analyzes data from Bit Torrent, has revealed that at over five million downloads each, Bruno Mars and Rihanna earned the top spots in this category, while Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, and Flo Rida rounded out the top five. Also in the top 10 were Kanye West, Jay Z, Eminem, Drake, and Pitbull. 

Gregory Mead of Musicmetric reminds readers that the analytics “don’t condone piracy,” but rather help artists plan around where their fans are, in order to optimize tours ” similar to what Iron Maiden has started doing. Musicmetric also measures social media success, and found Taylor Swift to be the winner, with an added 29.5 million new followers in 2013, with Katy Perry close behind at an added 29.2 million new followers.

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Lorde, The Beatles, Lady Gaga Contribute To Philippines Relief Album

What do The Beatles, Lorde, Cher, and Lady Gaga all have in common? No, this isn’t a bad joke. In fact, it’s pretty cool. The iconic superstars will be just some of the mega-acts contributing to a new relief album for Typhoon Haiyan. Coming in at a whopping 39 tracks, Songs for the Philippines is available on iTunes, with all proceeds being donated to the Philippine Red Cross. View the track list below and donate here. (more…)

Flo Rida Debuts "Can't Believe It" Featuring Pitbull

The work week may just be beginning, but that doesn’t mean the good vibes from the weekend need to be put away just yet.

Hitting the net just after midnight on July 28, “Can’t Believe It” is a club-ready jam from pop heavyweight Flo Rida. The song features Pitbull and focuses on the unbelievable beauty of girls found on the dance floor and beyond. It’s not as much about storytelling as it is setting a mood for good times, and after hearing “Can’t Believe It” three times this morning, it’s hard to imagine anyone making it through with a straight face. Kick back, turn it up, and click through the link below to stream “Can’t Believe It” in full.

Flo Rida has reportedly been working on a new album, but at this time no details regarding its release have been confirmed. “Can’t Believe It” is sure to make the cut though, so comment below and let us know your thoughts on the track. (more…)

Pitbull Releases "Open Letter" Freestyle

Less than a week after Jay-Z returned to music with his “Open Letter,” Pitbull returns to our headlines with a message of his own.

Any time a big beat finds its way into hip hop, you can rest assured an immeasurable number of freestyles will find their way online in the weeks that follow. That said, if the artist behind the original is particularly huge (ie Kanye, Jay-Z, Kendrick), most blogs will hold off on running any freestyles until something truly great crops up. Such is the case with this post, and the one who had the confidence to tackle Jay-Z’s latest is none other than Pitbull.

Moving away from the talk of a luxury lifestyle and hangs with Obama, Pitbull’s “Open Letter” focus on his rise from the streets of Cuba, including mentions of Bay of Pigs, Operación Pedro Pan, and Fidel Castro. You can stream the track below.

Don’t get it twisted, Pitbull meant no offense by delivering his version of Jay-Z’s controversial track. In fact, if you listen closely you’ll hear Pitbull mention (and agree on some things) with Jay during the second verse. (more…)

Clinton Sparks: The OurStage Interview

Clinton Sparks is blowing up. From producing Lady Gaga, Pitbull, and so many more, to being lowered via helicopter into his own Awesome Party at The Palms in Las Vegas (and pretty much everything in between), the man has arrived. He’s a 360 degree personality, making it happen for other artists and for himself, starting in earnest with his September 2012 single Watch You.

Now he’s got a new video and a third edition of his My Awesome Mixtape, and dozens of new projects on the horizon. He came into our studio last week to talk about how he got to where he is, how music became his life, what’s next for him, and what advice he has for aspiring artists. Here is part one of our two-part interview “ look for part two on Monday. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for a chance to win a copy of My Awesome Mixtape 3.

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Black Veil Brides Featured On 'Now That's What I Call Music 45'

Everyone’s favorite radio friendly compilation is back, and in a surprising twist of events the makers of Now That’s What I Call Music have featured Black Veil Brides‘ “In The End” on their 45th installment. Appearing as a “Now What’s Next” bonus track, Black Veil Brides finds a home among other bonus artists, Born Cages, Walk The Moon, and Capital Cities.

Although it’s a shocker to see the band included on a track list that also features acts like Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, One Direction, and Ne-Yo, it’s refreshing to see Now That’s What I Call Music delving a bit more into the unknown. At least, the unknown of many regular Now listeners.

Check out the full track list after the jump, and keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with Black Veil Brides by following us on Twitter!