Billboard Bits: T.I. Releases a New Message from Prison, Justin Bieber Coming to Vanity Fair cover

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Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.

T.I. Releases New Message from Prison

Incarcerated rapper T.I. has released another somber message from prison, this time thanking everyone for picking up his new album, "No Mercy." "I can't say enough on how much I appreciate the support and all the positive feedback," says T.I. "I read so many tweets, letters, reviews and comments that spoke volumes to how much love was still out there and how much respect still exists for my art and my passion." "No Mercy" debuted at No. 4 on this week's Billboard 200. (T.I.'s Official Website)

Lil Wayne Has Drugs Named After Him

While some celebrities are honored by having a street or building named in their honor, Lil Wayne has had a bag of drugs named after him. Patrol officers in Newark, N.J. unveiled a confiscated bag of heroine labeled "Lil Wayne" for street branding purposes during a local news segment. Reporter Arthur Chen chimed in, "If your name ends up on one of these, it's like you made it." ( NY Mag)

Justin Bieber Coming to Vanity Fair Cover

Justin Bieber is set to be on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in either February or March of 2011. While there's been no official word on concept for the Bieber cover, it likely won't be as provocative as Lady Gaga's racy cover that was released last summer. ( FishbowlNY)

Diddy and Microsoft Team Up For Charity

Diddy and Microsoft have teamed up for "12 Days of Tag," a social media sponsorship campaign designed to help out the rapper's favorite charities and share exclusive content from his new album, "Last Train To Paris." The rapper's goal is to raise $50,000 in 12 days by holding charitable contests through the scanning of Microsoft Tags on a mobile device. (12 Days of Tag)

List of Eligible Oscar Songs Announced

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the list of 41 songs eligible to be nominated for the best original song Oscar today. Five of the songs, including Christina Aguilera's "Bound To You" from "Burlesque" and Mandy Moore's "I See The Light" from "Tangled," already picked up Golden Globe nods yesterday. Other notable songs on the list include John Legend's "Shine" from "Waiting for 'Superman'" and Justin Bieber's "Karate Kid" theme, "Never Say Never." ( The Hollywood Reporter)

LCD Soundsystem's Murphy Turned Down Arcade Fire, Spoon

LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy recently said that he has had to turn down opportunities to work with high-profile indie acts due to his commitment to his band. "Twice, I couldn't make an Arcade Fire record. I couldn't make a Spoon record. I couldn't work with John Cale or Devo," said Murphy, who had a top 10 debut with LCD Soundsystem's "This is Happening" this year. "The plan was for this band to be part of my life, then it started to be the whole of my life." (Spin via Pitchfork)

(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz, Walter Frazier and Megan Vick)


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