Finalists for the Billboard Music Awards 2011
Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Touring Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Digital Media Artist, Top Pop Artist, Top Pop Album, Top Streaming Song (Video), Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Song (2x), Top Dance/Electronic Album (3x)

Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.

Lady Gaga to Guest Star on 'The Simpsons'
Lady Gaga will guest star on the 'Simpsons' during the long-running show's 23rd season. Gaga will play herself in the aptly titled episode "Lisa Goes Gaga" and joins an ever-growing list of musicians who've stopped by Springfield, including Katy Perry, 50 Cent, Mick Jagger and even the Baha Men (seriously, just check out the full list) "I would say this is one of the coolest things I've ever done," Gaga told Entertainment Weekly. "My dad's probably going to do 80 backflips when the episode comes out." The Little Monsters may be doing a few backflips, themselves when the episode airs in the spring. (Entertainment Weekly)

Tom Waits Preps New Record, Announces Lead Single
Think the concept of "private online listening parties" is pretty silly? So does venerable cookie-monster growling songwriter Tom Waits. Today he released a hilarious video promoting "Bad as Me," due Oct. 25th on Anti- Records. The title track (and lead single) is available on iTunes, along with an album pre-order and deluxe edition with three additional songs. (TwentyFourBit)

Brandy Signs With RCA and Chameleon Records, To Release LP Next Year
After a three-year hiatus, '90s R&B singer Brandy is back and planning to release a sixth album sometime next year. She recently inked a deal with RCA Records and producer Breyon Prescott's Chameleon Records. Her last album, "Human" debuted in 2008. (MTV)

Rick Ross Meets Hall-Of-Famer Dan Marino At The Dolphins Game
King-sized Miami rapper/former college football player Rick Ross spent last Friday night socializing at Miami's Sun Life Stadium, taking in a Miami Dolphins preseason game with Maybach Music comrades Meek Mill and Wale. In true Mafioso fashion, Ross had a camera crew capture the evening's events, which included a meeting with Hall of Fame Dolphins' quarterback/"Ace Ventura" star Dan Marino. Ross' forthcoming record, "God Forgives, I Don't," is currently slated for a late 2011 release. (Nah Right)

(Reporting by Sarah Maloy, Alec Bojalad and Chris Payne)

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