• Is it really almost that time again? You know it is. Every year here at auspOp, we take a look at each of the entries for the Eurovision Song Contest in our ‘Countdown To Eurovision’ series. And with time ticking down to this year’s event in Stockholm, our Countdown To Eurovision series will kick off this Tuesday!
• Hot on the heels of her Australian visit, pop queen Madonna has retained the record as the highest-grossing touring solo artist in Billboard Boxscore history, selling more than US$1.3 billion worth of tickets throughout her career. She’s third on the list of the highest grossing acts, eclipsed only by The Rolling Stones and U2. The DVD release of the ‘Rebel Heart’ tour, filmed in Sydney last week, should happen later this year.
• New music is on the way from New Zealand pop duo Broods. The siblings (Georgia and Caleb Nott) made the announcement on their socials during the week that a new single entitled ‘Free’ would be released this Friday, April 01. Stay tuned for further updates later this week.
• Two of your disco era favourites are coming together on a national tour. Hot Chocolate and The Real Thing will descend upon Australian shores in October this year for shows across the country, performing all the hits that made them famous; ‘So You Win Again’, ‘Every 1’s A Winner’, ‘You Sexy Thing’ (Hot Chocolate), ‘You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing’, ‘Can You Feel The Force’, ‘You To Me Are Everything’ (The Real Thing). Tickets for all ten shows are on sale now.
• Aussie outfit Moving Pictures are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of their debut album ‘Days Of Innocence’ by heading out on an East Coast tour in May. We’re being promised “added surprises” in the seven date adventure, which kicks off with a show at Belmont 16s in Newcastle on May 06. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.
• UK outfit Cast will tour Australia for the first time in May. They’ll be rolling out their catalogue of hits including ‘Alright’, ‘Walkaway’, ‘All Change’ and ‘Promised Land’ for audiences in all five main capital cities. Tickets are now on sale.
• US rapper Common will tour Australia at the beginning of May. The hip hop dynamo will kick proceedings off with a show at Melbourne’s Trak Live on May 06, before paying visits to Brisbane and Adelaide, then wrapping things up with a show at the Enmore in Sydney on May 09. Talib Kweli is special guest on all shows, tickets for which are on sale from Thursday March 31.
• Homegrown hip hop star Dylan Joel has announced his ‘Still Sippin’ Australian tour; his second ever headline tour. He’ll kick things off on May 28 with an appearance at the Big Pineapple Festival on the Sunshine Coast before popping across to the Prince Of Wales in Bunbury, down to Perth for a show at Amplifier, across to Adelaide on June 04 and then to Canberra, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne. Get your tickets now.
• A$AP Ferg will release his new album ‘Always Strive And Prosper’ in the middle of next month. The US performer’s sophomore album follows on from his 2013 debut ‘Trap Lord’, a top ten success in his homeland. “This album is by far the best work I’ve created and showcases my versatility and taste in the music that I love,” Ferg said in a statement. “The mission for this album is for my fans to get a deeper look into my life; to know my origin, my family and the obstacles I’ve faced while growing up. More importantly, I want to encourage people to always strive and prosper because if an inner city kid from Harlem, NY can make it then they can as well.”
• Mike Posner retains his No.1 heading on the UK singles chart this week with ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’, ahead of Lukas Graham’s former No.1 ‘7 Years’. Fifth Harmony and Zara Larsson swap places in positions three and four, before a massive jump from Sigala’s latest single ‘Say You Do’, featuring Imani and DJ Fresh, which is up from No.46 to No.5. Sia hits the top ten with her song originally destined for Rihanna, ‘Cheap Thrills’ (No.16 to No.8) and, ahead of the release of his debut solo album, Zayn’s ‘Pillowtalk’ edges back into the top ten (up two places from No.12).
• Three debuts on the UK top ten albums chart this week, but none of them touches Adele, who’s in the No.1 position for a third week on the fly with ’25’. Manchester outfit James is the best of the bunch this week; the band’s latest album ‘Girl At The End Of The World’ premiering in the No.2 position, with Justin Bieber and Jess Glynne right behind them. Iggy Pop claims the No.5 spot on debut with ‘Post Pop Depression’, while Underworld’s latest, ‘Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future’, debuts at No.10. Both Primal Scream and Gwen Stefani miss out on top ten berths on debut with their respective new long players, premiering at Nos.12 and 14 respectively.
• No change at the top again on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in the US, with Rihanna and Drake making it five weeks on the fly with ‘Work’. Justin Bieber’s still shining at No.2 with ‘Love Yourself’, but Danish outfit Lukas Graham are on the move with their Aussie No.1 smash ‘7 Years’; it’s up from No.5 to No.3 at the expense of Twenty One Pilots and Flo Rida, who both lose one. Ariana Grande scores herself a bit debut at No.10 with ‘Dangerous Woman’, while Fifth Harmony are now just a few places away from a top ten berth with their latest single ‘Work From Home’.
• Kendrick Lamar was ‘Untitled. Unmastered.’ Unchallenged. on last week’s Billboard 200 Albums chart, but his latest project slides four places to No.5 this week, allowing Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ to leapfrog Adele into the No.1 position for Easter. The week’s highest debut is No.6 from Killswitch Engage (‘Incarnate’), but Flatbush Zombies also score a top ten berth on debut with ‘3001: A Laced Odyssey’ (No.10).
• And it may be Easter Saturday, but we’ll be here slaving away over a hot keyboard throughout the day today putting together your weekly wrap of all things chart from an Australian perspective. It’s Chart Watch. And it’s live from 6pm on the East Coast.
THURSDAY MARCH 31 : Common (Nationally)