Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
The Strokes Starting 'Angles' Follow-Up in April
"Angles," the first Strokes album in five years, was just released on Tuesday, but the band is already preparing to record its follow-up. "We were just talking about when we would get back together and start writing for the next album," bassist Nikolai Fraiture told XFM. "It should be soon. April, mid-April." (NME)
Rihanna Taps J. Cole for Summer Tour
Rihanna announced on Twitter that rapper J. Cole will hit the road with her this summer in North America as the opener on her Loud tour. The trek kicks off on June 4. ( Rap Radar)
Warped Tour Lineup Leaks
The Vans Warped Tour will holds its tour-announcement press conference and kick-off party tonight at the new House Of Vans in Brooklyn, but some of the drama of that event was taken away when a few fans got an unplanned sneek peak at a YouTube announcement of the bill and spread it out into cyberspace. The acts that were revealed include A Day To Remember, The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Against Me, Attack Attack, 3Oh!3, and Gym Class Heroes, joining the other 86 bands previously announced. (Full story at Billboard.biz)
"American Idol" Wins Thursday Ratings
"American Idol" -- featuring the judge's dramatic save of Casey Abrams -- was Thursday's No. 1 show. "Idol's" top 11 results show averaged a 6.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 22.4 million viewers overall. That was 9 percent bump in the demo week-to-week and 6 percent in total viewers. ( THR)
Big Boi Working with Little Dragon on New Album
Big Boi has announced on Twitter that he has tapped Little Dragon to contribute new music to his follow-up to "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty." In other news, Little Dragon's next album, "Ritual Union," is out July 5 on Peace Frog/EMI.
The Weeknd Release First Mixtape, "House of Balloons"
After self-releasing the mysterious single "What You Need," buzzworthy Canadian collective the Weeknd issued "House of Balloons," their first official mixtape, earlier this week. It offers a mix of R&B, pop and haunting electronica. (Official Website)
(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz and Ray Waddell)