Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Rihanna Digs Kathy Griffin's Cover of 'S&M'
She may be bad, but she's perfectly good at it: Comedian Kathy Griffin was captured doing a karaoke version of Rihanna's smash, "S&M." It's kind of a blast to watch -- and even Rihanna thinks so, tweeting "Perfection!!!" along with a link to the YouTube clip. (@rihanna)
Video: Kathy Griffin's Karaoke Cover of Rihanna's "S&M"
Vanilla Ice Says Justin Bieber Will 'Be Forgotten,' Later Retracts
Vanilla Ice said that his kids love Justin Bieber, but questioned whether the teen popstar's fame would last. "His fans are all kids right now -- 13, 12 years old, whatever. They grow up, and they're in the 5th grade now... When they get into the 11th grade, people don't like the same music that they did in the 5th grade," said Vanilla Ice in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Then something else new will come along and he'll be forgotten and he can try to put all the pieces back together so it's going to be entertaining to watch." The "Ice Ice Baby" singer then tweeted a retraction to the remarks and clarified the HuffPost story. "I think he's talented. What you guys might have picked up on is that I was giving him advice -- when you're a child star, it's hard to figure out your purpose in life." (Huffington Post)
Spotify Gained 70,000 U.S. Subscribers in First Week: Sources
Spotify has approximately 70,000 paid Stateside subscribers after only one week in business, sources tell Billboard. It's hard to put these numbers into context, but it would also be hard to call that anything but positive news for Spotify. Spotify's VP of Marketing Angela Watts would not confirm, but told Billboard: "The launch of Spotify in the US has exceeded our expectations in both the response to invitations for the free service as well as subscriptions. We aren't going to discuss numbers at this stage but we are excited to be here and confident that Americans will love Spotify as much as they already do in Europe." Full story at Billboard.biz.
Feist Tweets Link to Mysterious Video, Rumors Fly of Possible Album Annoucement
Yesterday, indie darling Feist tweeted a YouTube link with the accompanying message, "a glimpse to come." The URL leads to a 36-second vignette titled "#1" and features a collection of mysterious black-and-white image with the music to match. Her website, listentofeist.com, displays twelve locked icons and only the first video, "#1" is unlocked and available to viewers. The third box is dated 7/25/11, hinting that within the next few days, fans should be receiving a few more clues that will hopefully clarify and lead to an exciting album-related announcement. Feist's last album, the critically acclaimed 'The Reminder,' was released in 2007. (@feist_music via Pitchfork)
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182, Staind: Alt-Rock Vets Return To the Charts
Three of the most accomplished bands in the almost 23-year history of Billboard's Alternative Songs chart storm the survey with first singles from long-awaited forthcoming albums. Red Hot Chili Peppers bow at No. 24 with "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie"; Blink-182 follows at No. 25 with "Up All Night"; and, Staind starts at No. 38 with "Not Again." Read the full story from Billboard's Chart Beat.
(Reporting by Bill Werde, Gary Trust, Sarah Maloy, Jon Blistein and Carly Wolkoff)