Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Justin Bieber’s Vanity Fair Cover Lowest Seller in 12 Years
Justin Bieber may have more than 10 million Twitter followers, and a hit with his documentary “Never Say Never” — but that doesn’t translate into newsstand sales for the magazine covers he graces. The February Vanity Fair that featured the 17-year-old covered in lipstick kisses is on track to become the worst selling issue in 12 years, Women’s Wear Daily reports. ( THR)
Linkin Park to Play Secret Show for Japan Relief Efforts
Linkin Park will support Japan tsunami relief efforts by playing a private concert at a secret location in the Los Angeles area. Every supporter who raises at least $500 will be invited with a guest to the concert; B’z, the best-selling Japanese artist, will also perform at the show. Visit Music For Relief’s official site for more info.
Cee Lo Green to Judge U.K. version of ‘The Voice’?
After acting as a judge for the successful U.S version of the Dutch hit “The Voice,” Cee Lo Green will reportedly be moving along to another adaptation of the show, this time set in the U.K. Cee-Lo will also appear in the second season of the American version along with season one judges Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton. ( Metro Online)
Sting Cancels Kazakh Show over Worker Dispute
Sting has canceled a concert in the Kazakh capital Astana scheduled for Monday after human rights group Amnesty International informed the former Police frontman about what it described as a “crackdown” on oil workers there. Several thousand workers at UzenMunaiGas, a unit of London-listed oil producer KazMunaiGas Exploration Production, went on strike on May 26, saying their salaries had been cut and their lawyer imprisoned on false charges. Sting, criticized for performing in 2009 in Uzbekistan which is widely regarded as one of the most repressive countries to emerge from the Soviet Union, described the treatment of the Kazakh workers as “unacceptable.” ( Reuters)
Cults To Recruit Freddie Gibbs and Lil B for Hip-Hop Mix Tape
One month after releasing their self-titled debut, indie-pop duo Cults have announced an upcoming hip-hop project. “We’re working on a hip-hop mixtape of the album,” guitarist Brian Oblivion said. “Like, changing all the songs up and getting up and coming rappers, guys like Freddie Gibbs and Lil B and stuff. That’s gonna be really exciting.” ( Vulture)
Pitchfork Music Festival Launches Paris Fest
Pitchfork Music Festival, held in Chicago since 2006, has found a second home across the pond. The festival is adding a two day Paris edition in October, in collaboration with French agency SUPER! Pitchfork Music Festival Paris will be held at La Grande Halle de la Villette, October 28-29. Bon Iver will headline, with frontman Justin Vernon selecting several artists on the festival’s lineup. The 5,000-capacity venue will host DJs and more than 20 bands, including: Jens Lekman, Wild Beasts, Cut Copy, Kathleen Edwards and Pantha du Prince. ( Pitchfork)