POTW: Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey
Adam Levine poses beside his motorcycle on an open road. The Maroon 5 frontman tweeted the pic along with the word 'freedom,' on July 28.

INSIDER TIPS OF THE WEEK
August 24, 2012

The hot days of midsummer are winding down, but don't let that keep you from fresh insider music information. For the rest of beach season, Billboard.com is bringing you a weekly heads-up of music-related suggestions, tips, and key info you can't get anywhere else -- all designed to keep you in the know.

Adam Levine Dishes 'Dirt' On Wiz Khalifa Collaboration

At first, the addition of Wiz Khalifa to Maroon 5's "Payphone" seemed a little bizarre, and yet it works. The song has been standing strong on the charts for weeks, currently sitting at No. 7 on the Hot 100 and No. 6 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. "We wanted some other element that took it in a different direction," Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine tells Billboard, "and it just made sense to go with Wiz." The band was already a fan of the 24-year-old rapper, so getting him on the record was "a huge score," added Levine. "We all agreed the song needed to have a bit. . . it was a little clean, it needed to have a bit of dirt on it." With lyrics like "Switched the number to my phone / So you could never call it" and "Go and take that little piece of sh*t with you," Khalifa's verse added the grit that the otherwise "poppy pop song" lacked, said Levine.
3OH!3 Teases New Album "Omens"

Because 3OH!3's iconic symbol is, as the Colorado-made duo called it, an "all-seeing eye," a lot of people think they're in the Illuminati. They're not. . . probably. That is, unless you listen to their upcoming album, "Omens," in reverse. Sean Foreman joked, "If you listen to this album backwards, it's pretty eerie. (Dramatic pause.) It teaches you to make spicy Cheetos." Although the album most likely doesn't have any hidden messages, it does have songs that include a "power ballad about partying," Nathaniel Motte tells Billboard. The group's third studio album, due in December, also touts the already-released "You're Gonna Love This" and "Do or Die," the latter of which the band says goes back to their roots with "harder rap" and "edgier production" for the fans who've been with them since the beginning.

Megan & Liz Leaving YouTube Behind With New Album in 2013

Teen twins Megan and Liz got their start on YouTube, but are now ready to move beyond the social video platform. With a new single, upcoming album and a handful of tour dates, they're well on their way. "YouTube is a great place to grow up, but not a great place to live," Liz quipped while chatting with Billboard. Unlike most "YouTube stars," the 19-year-old duo strayed away from teaming up from other performers on the website, opting to post original songs alongside their popular covers. "We tried to tone down on the collaborations," Megan explained," so we're not just social media stars." Their current single, "Bad for Me," is featured in a Macy's commercial and helped them score the opening spot at the upcoming iHeartRadio festival. Their next single, Liz admitted, may not have been recorded yet. Working with Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls, Megan and Liz have written more than 50 songs, Liz estimated, with an additional four coming each week. Their debut album was originally planned for September, but will more likely drop next year.

By Sarah Maloy

Last Week's Tips: Jonas Bros. Are Back, Bieber Camp Goes K-Pop, 'Glee' Music

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