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ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Kanye West this week landed in a very familiar place: on top of the Billboard charts. West's polarizing but critically acclaimed sixth album, “Yeezus,” took the No. 1 spot after it moved 327,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album's sales were the highest for a rap album since 2011, when Drake moved 631,000 units of “Take Care.” ESSENTIAL TRACK: Kanye West's 'Yeezus' chopped and screwed Though releases from the provocative rapper have long dominated the charts -- only his 2004 debut, “The College Dropout,” failed to bow at No. 1 -- “Yeezus” fell well short of West's 2010 release “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which moved 496,000 copies out the gate.
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SPORTS
June 26, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers' campaign to keep free-agent center Dwight Howard continued Wednesday with two public pleas for Howard to stay. The first, a billboard at Staples Center, features a photo of the center with the words, " Stay. #stayD12. " Another variation of the theme has been erected in Hollywood.   If you're walking Hollywood Blvd. looking down at the stars, don't miss the one above you. #STAYD12 pic.twitter.com/iI5DIWSb1R - Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 26, 2013 Howard will officially become a free agent on July 1. The Houston Rockets may be the Lakers' greatest competition for Howard but the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and a number of other NBA franchises are also expected to make a pitch.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Jay-Z may have sold a million copies of his upcoming album to Samsung, but those sales won't count on the influential Billboard 200 chart, which ranks album sales, the magazine said. Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director, said in a letter posted Friday that Jay-Z had approached the chart giant to include the Samsung deal in its sales ranking, but Billboard declined, because it only counts sales of albums when people actually buy them. “The ever-visionary Jay-Z pulled the nifty coup of getting paid as if he had a platinum album before one fan bought a single copy,” Werde said . “But in the context of this promotion, nothing is actually for sale.” PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times Werde explained that the chart's threshold for a sale is $3.49, and if Samsung were to sell the album at that price to customers, then it would count.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
It's full of doomy imagery and gloomy guitars, but Black Sabbath's latest album has hardly scared off listeners: "13" debuted this week atop the Billboard 200 album chart with sales of 155,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The record is the hugely influential heavy-metal band's first No. 1 in a career that stretches back to 1969, when frontman Ozzy Osbourne formed Black Sabbath in Birmingham, England, with guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Singer Miguel is insisting that producers did not warn him against jumping during his Billboard Music Awards performance, a maneuver that appears to have seriously injured an audience member. The "Adorn" singer leaped over the audience to another part of the stage during his award show performance May 19, but he missed the landing and ended up falling into the audience, allegedly kicking a fan in the back of the head and slamming her head against the stage. Producers recently said that they had warned him against the leap; however, the singer's camp is refuting those statements.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
"Modern Vampires of the City," the adventurous new album by New York's Vampire Weekend, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, reflecting sales of 134,000 copies, more than the band has sold before in a single week. Recorded partly in L.A. with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, the disc is Vampire Weekend's second chart-topper following "Contra," which bowed with 124,000 copies sold in 2010. It's also, as Billboard noted , the first indie-label release to hit the top spot this year.
NEWS
May 20, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Taylor Swift rocked a sparkly blue mini dress by Muhair Zurad, with cutouts across her shoulder blades, when she accepted eight awards, including artist of the year, at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday. She also wore Jimmy Choo "Suki" platform sandals, according to a news release. PHOTOS: Billboard Music Awards arrivals Giant European retailer H&M has signed a pledge to improve worker conditions in Bangladesh, even though it has not been linked to the factory collapse in that country in April.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
LAS VEGAS -- On the Billboard stage, there's not much room for surprises, at least not where the awards are concerned. This is a ceremony dictated by radio, sales, streaming and fan voting. So it should be expected that Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber would reign heavily over Sunday's telecast. And they did. Swift walked away with an impressive eight trophies (she was up for 11) and delivered a showstopping performance, and Bieber hit the stage twice in between collecting a handful of awards, including top male artist.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Justin Bieber was booed big time at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The "Beauty and the Beat" singer took the stage Sunday to accept the first-ever Milestone Award, presented to him for being the first 19-year-old with five No. 1 singles on the Billboard 200. He beat out the night's big winner, Taylor Swift, for the fan honor, as well as Bruno Mars, who went home empty-handed. Bieber had already been on stage twice to perform his "Take You" and "#thatPOWER" with will.i.am, as young audience members let out yelps and screams.
OPINION
May 19, 2013
Re "Billboard firms play big role," May 16 The big billboard companies are at it again. These major uglifiers of Los Angeles are demanding the right to install new digital billboards. Presumably to help them with their suit against the city, they have financed hundreds of billboards for candidates running for mayor, city controller and City Council. Thanks to The Times, we know now that if you want an uglier city, vote for those faces that appear on donated billboards. Emil Lawton Sherman Oaks This article will certainly help me decide which candidates to vote for Tuesday.
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