| LIL WAYNE PASSES AN ALL-TIME ELVIS PRESLEY HOT 100 MARK: Lil Wayne has just topped Elvis Presley's mark for the most Hot 100 appearances among solo acts. As he debuts as a featured artist (with Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa) on Game's aptly titled "Celebration" at No. 82, the superstar rapper rewrites the mark for the most Hot 100 chart visits. Presley, however, maintains a wide lead for the most entries among all artists as a lead solo act.
| MUMFORD & SONS' BABEL ON TRACK TO SELL A WHOPPING 600,000 COPIES IN FIRST WEEK: Mumford & Sons is heading for a massive week. The British folk-rock quartet's new album Babel is on course to sell as much as 600,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Sept. 30 -- so say industry sources. The set, released Tuesday (Sept. 25), will easily debut atop the Billboard 200 next week, giving the band its first chart-topper.
NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER APOLOGIZES TO KIM DOTCOM: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologized to Kim Dotcom after a report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security found that the government illegally monitored the Megaupload founder. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out surveillance on Dotcom, but did not check out his residency status, instead relying on incorrect information supplied by the police. "Of course I apologize to Mr Dotcom," the PM said, "and I apologize to New Zealanders."
IS LYOR COHEN STARTING HIS OWN MANAGEMENT FIRM? The New York Daily News is reporting that Lyor Cohen, the not-for-long CEO of Recorded Music at Warner Music Group, has "been secretly developing a talent management company for the past two years while working at Warner," according to a source. A second source said that, "He's working to bridge the gap between label and management." Add this to the speculation that sees the 52-year old music exec working at UMG, Sony, Capitol or part of an investors group to buy UMG-EMI divestments.
New York Daily News 
INDIES OBJECT TO UMG SELLING CO-OP TO PIAS: Universal Music is about to sell Cooperative Music to PIAS according to a clutch of independent labels who have written to protest the move. Labels petitioning the sale of Co-op, which runs a team of label managers and marketing teams around the world, include Heavenly Recordings, Kemado, City Slang, Lucky Number Music and Kitsune who claim the sale was made without considering other bids and will result in a less competitive market. (Sound familiar?)
ANDY WILLIAMS CHART LEGACY: 42 HOT 100 HITS, 4 ADULT CONTEMPORARY NO. 1's: Crooner Andy Williams, famous for his signature song "Moon River," died Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Missouri following a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 84. The crooner scored 42 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 ( and its predecessor, the Best Sellers in Stores chart). Many of his biggest hits were pure pop songs written by top 40 songwriters like Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, and Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe.
L.A. BILLIONAIRE AND GUGGENHEIM PLANNING AEG BID: Reuters reports that L.A, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has joined forces with financial services firm Guggenheim Partners (which co-owns Prometheus Global Media, owner of Billboard) to make a bid for Anschutz Entertainment Group, the sports and real estate company, according to three sources with knowledge of the deal. AEG is the second largest concert promotions company and its assets include the Staples Center in Los Angeles and more than 120 sports or entertainment venues around the world.
GEORGE STRAIT'S NEXT TOUR TO BE HIS LAST 'STRUCTURED' OUTING: 'THE ROAD WARRIOR DAYS ARE OVER': George Strait is leaving the concert trail. The iconic country star announced plans for his last formal tour, the Cowboy Rides Away Tour, during a press conference Wednesday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
JOIN BILLBOARD TWITTTER CHAT TODAY AT 3:00 PM ET: Join Billboard's first Twitter chat as editorial director Bill Werde ( @bwerde ) leads a discussion with director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo ( @silpiet ) and associate director of charts Keith Caulfield ( @keith_caulfield ) on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 3pm ET on Twitter. We'll talk about what's burning up the charts today and what artists and titles we can expect to heat up an always-busy fourth quarter of music. . . and of course, take your questions. Want to participate? Tweet your questions for Bill, Silvio and Keith to @Billboard  in advance of the chat by using #BillboardChat in your tweets. We'll also be taking live questions during the chat.