| UMG's CEO LUCIAN GRAINGE ON GIVING UP PARLOPHONE, THE 'PROPAGANDA WAR.' FOR REGULATORY APPROVAL: After a whirlwind Friday in which Universal Music finally received the regulatory approval it had long sought from the E.U. and FTC, Billboard spoke with UMG CEO Lucian Grainge. In this candid interview the jubilant CEO discussed the battle for regulatory approval and being on the "receiving end of a propaganda war"; growing EMI's Capitol and Virgin labels and regrets on having to give up Parlophone.
| BROOKLYN'S NEW BARCLAYS CENTER OPENS FRIDAY: WILL IT GIVE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN A RUN FOR ITS MONEY? Brooklyn's new Barclays Center, with a capacity of 19,000 for concerts, opens this Friday Sept. 28 with the first of eight sold-out performances by Jay-Z, who grew up in the Marcy Houses, a public housing project three miles from the arena site. So how will the new venue impact New York City's "World's Most Famous Arena" Madison Square Garden located just a few miles across the river and the venue's first real competition the arena circuit?
GREEN DAY'S BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG SEEKING SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AFTER IHEARTRADIO MELTDOWN: Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong is headed to treatment for substance abuse. Sunday's announcement by the band's rep comes a day after the 40-year-old frontman had a meltdown onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Friday. As Green Day was wrapping up its performance during the all-star, two-day concert, Armstrong profanely complained that the band's time was being cut short, screaming "I'm not Justin Bieber, you motherf*ckers! You gotta be f*ckin' joking. I got one minute, one minute left. Now I got nothing left. Let me show you what one minute f*cking means."
MEGAUPLOAD READIES FOR COMEBACK: With 50 million visitors per day at its peak, Megaupload was one of the largest websites on the Internet. Then in January of this year the U.S. Government destroyed Megaupload and had its founder Kim Dotcom arrested. Now, in a series of Tweets, Dotcom says Megaupload's return of the file-hosting site appears to be near. "Quick update on the new Mega: Code 90% done. Servers on the way. Lawyers, partners and investors are ready," he wrote in one of a series of tweets.
PSY'S 'GANGNAM STYLE' TOPS LMFAO FOR MOST 'LIKED' VIDEO ON YOUTUBE: The South Korean phenom has surpassed LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" with his "Gangnam Style," securing the Guinness World Record for most liked video on YouTube. As of press time, "Gangnam Style" had a whopping 2,282,049 likes on the site merely three months after its July 15 release. PSY also surpasses Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" for the honor, though "Baby" still holds the record for most watched video of all time.
NEW CONGRESSIONAL BILLS SEEK INTERNET RADIO ROYALTY PARITY: U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced versions of Internet Radio Fairness Act on Friday to address the high royalties paid by some digital radio platforms. The bills are an attempt to change how royalties are negotiated. Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio will pay SoundExchange 8% of its revenue for performance royalties in 2012; while in contrast, Pandora paid nearly 63.9% in the six-month period ending July 31, 2012. Artist coalitions and broadcaster associations are squaring off in a battle for what they think is equitable.
KILLERS, CARLY RAE JEPSEN AIMING FOR TOP 10 ON NEXT WEEK'S BILLBOARD 200 ALBUMS CHART: Pop superstar P!nk is likely on course for her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Kanye West-presented compilation from G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer, is likely to bow in the No. 2 slot. Meanwhile, the Killers will see its latest set, Battle Born, possibly start in the No. 3 slot with around 110,000.
PUSSY RIOT CONFERENCE AT NYU: The case of Pussy Riot's imprisonment in Russia over a public performance against President Vladimir Putin has made its way to the Ivory Tower. New York University's Vanderbilt Hall was packed with activists and law students Friday afternoon, as the defense team of imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot spoke through an interpreter about the absurdity and the importance of the case they're arguing in Moscow. The lawyers -- Nikolai Polozov, Mark Feygin, and Violetta Volkova -- staunchly proclaimed the innocence of their clients. Near the end of the discussion, Pyotr Verzilov, 26, husband of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, arrived sporting skinny jeans and was affable in his perfect English. That same day at New York's Ace Hotel, Yoko Ono presented the LennonOno Grant for Peace to Verzilov and his 4-year-old daughter, who accepted on behalf of Pussy Riot.
TRENT REZNOR SIGNS WITH COLUMBIA FOR 'HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS' RELEASES: Trent Reznor's latest project will release a new EP through a major label. The former Nine Inch Nails frontman's new group, How to Destroy Angels, announced that it will be releasing its second EP on Nov. 13, entitled An Omen. He also wrote that the title, as well as the group's "next series of releases," would be made available in partnership with Columbia Records. "Complete independent releasing has its great points but also comes with shortcomings," the artist, who self-released his last album, noted in a Facebook post.