Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Rihanna Reveals Album Cover for "Loud"
Rihanna has revealed the album cover artwork for her soon-to-be-released "Loud," unveiling it piece-by-piece on her official website. The image is a close-up shot of the singer's face framed with the same flaming red colored locks she sported at this years VMAs. "Loud" is scheduled to hit stores Nov. 16. The set's lead single, "Only Girl (In the World)," is currently at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Rihannanow.com)
Bruce Springsteen Crashes Engagement Photo
Bruce Springsteen unexpectedly joined a New Jersey couple's engagement photo when Ed Dwyer and Jennifer Smith stumbled upon the rocker on a beach in Manasquan on Sept. 20. Springsteen snapped the photo alongside the couple while sporting black sunglasses and a guitar on his lap. (APP.com)
First 'American Idol' Judges Photos Revealed
"American Idol" kicked off auditions earlier this week in New Jersey, and photos of the panel tweeted by executive producer Nigel Lythgoe reveal that longtime judge Randy Jackson has earned the coveted top seat of ex-judge Simon Cowell. Jennifer Lopez takes the middle seat of Paula Abdul, while Steven Tyler sits in Randy's former chair.(@dizzyfeet)
Jason Mraz to Release 'Life Is Good' Live EP
Jason Mraz has announced the release of a digital live EP, "Life Is Good," on Oct. 5. The EP will include performances of four new songs as well as "Coyotes," a track from his latest album, "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things," all recorded on various tour dates earlier this month. Mraz will also be premiering the songs on his website throughout the week.
Trent Reznor and HBO Team Up for 'Year Zero'
Trent Reznor and HBO are teaming up to create "Year Zero," a sci-fi series that Reznor has chronicled in his music. The series is still in beginning writing stages but is "very much alive and incubating," said Reznor in a statement on Monday. Daniel Knauf (HBO's "Carnivalé") will be serving as a writer for the series, which is also being produced by Lawrence Bender ("Pulp Fiction," "Inglourious Basterds") and Kevin Kelly Brown ("Roswell"). ( LA Times)
Lady Antebellum Miranda Lambert to Play CMA Awards
Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson were announced as the first round of performers for the 44th Annual Country Music Awards today (Sept. 29). "Country's Biggest Night" will be hosted by Braid Paisley and Carrie Underwood and airs live on ABC Nov. 10.
Cirque Du Soleil-Inspired Elvis Album Announced
"Viva Elvis - The Album," a new disc featuring Elvis Presley's vocals backed by new arrangements, will be released on Nov. 8. The album's instrumentation was inspired by the singer's Cirque Du Soleil show in Las Vegas. (NME)
(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz, Jillian Mapes and Megan Vick)