With anticipation high for 50 Cent's latest album and bootleg copies beginning to appear in major markets, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope has bumped up his sophomore album five days to an off-cycle Thursday, March 3 release.
50 Cent's "Candy Shop" featuring Olivia becomes the top single in the United States this week, ending Mario's nine-week reign on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Let Me Love You." The frontrunner of three tracks the rapper has in the top 10, "Candy Shop" is the 50 Cent's third Hot 100 No. 1 and the chart's greatest airplay gainer for the fourth week running.
Australian vocalist Natalie Imbruglia will release her third album, "Counting Down the Days," April 4 internationally via Sony/BMG's new Brightside imprint. According to a spokesperson for RCA, which issued Imbruglia's previous two albums here in North America, the set is not yet on the release schedule here.
Paul Westerberg will be the subject of a solo retrospective this spring via Rhino. According to the artist's official Web site, the 20-track set will feature two new songs, B-sides and rare tracks, Westerberg's soundtrack contributions and highlights from his post-Replacements releases. A host of Replacements reissues are also in the works for later this year.
After more than three years away, the Wallflowers are plotting a May 24 return with the Interscope set "Rebel, Sweetheart." The Jakob Dylan-led act's fifth album will be preceded in mid-March by the radio single "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere."
On the heels of taking the Grammy's album of the year honors, Ray Charles earns his first No. 1 album in more than four decades with his final studio set, "Genius Loves Company." The title rockets 15-1 on The Billboard 200, riding a 202% increase to sales of 224,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Well ahead of schedule, a jury was selected today (Feb. 23) to decide Michael Jackson's fate on charges that he molested a teenage boy at his Neverland Ranch. "We have a jury," Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville announced.