Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Justin Timberlake Song 'Take You Down' Leaks

Justin Timberlake has said over and over again that he's not set to record a new album. However, that hasn't stopped the pop star-turned-actor from hitting the studio for collaborations with other artists and doing some recording here and there for him. His latest musical serving to mollify his hungry fans is a track called "Take You Down," which leaked online Thursday (December 30).

"I've seen my magic/ What's your looks and your religion?/ And I want you to understand that I can make you feel better/ So it's me and you, my place, sexiness all day/ I'mma do whatever you like, if you cater to me all night, girl," he sings during the second poetry.

In addition to production credits, various Internet blogs have reported that "Take You Down" may in fact be a demo as opposed to one of the 29-year-old's own songs.

Timberlake recently spoke to the Los Angeles Times about fans who feel like the star has neglected his musical calling. "They're looking at me like, 'Why aren't you waiting with one path?' “he said. "They look at me like I'm ungrateful for my music career because I want to do film."

Until JT feels ready to hit the studio to record the follow-up to 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds, fans will have to make do with the singer's scarce musical ventures. His next offering may be a collaboration with Drake, who recently revealed, "I've always wanted to work with him, and it's in the works right now: Me and Justin Timberlake will probably have a song soon."

What do you think of "Take You Down"? Give us your review in the comments section below!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Billy Ray 'sad' about images of Miley smoking salvia

Miley Cyrus' father Billy Ray Cyrus has expressed his displeasure with her for being seen smoking a legal high.

The 'Achy Breaky Heart' hitmaker - who is currently divorcing wife Tish - took to twitter following the video of 18-year-old Miley smoking salvia from a bong.

He wrote: "Sorry guys. I had no idea. Just saw this stuff for the first time myself. I'm so sad. There is so much further than my control right now."

Anthony Adams - a former California State Assemblyman who previously tried to ban the drug in his state - believes salvia, which is legal in a number of U.S. states, can make people do "crazy" things and has annoying her for being irresponsible to her legions of young fans.

He said: "You do very crazy things. Miley is a star and young kids are going to imitate her behavior."

In the video taken of Miley smoking the drug, she is seen confusing a party guest for 'Last Song' co-star and ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth as well as sniggering uncontrollably.

She said: "OK, I'm about to lose it now. I'm having a little bit of a trip right now.

"Oh my God! He looks so much like him! He looks so much like Liam. Is that me tripping? He doesn't look like Liam at all? Dude, that looks just like Liam!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

American Ballet's 'Nutcracker' Opening

Just before Christmas, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, more than 100 American Ballet Theatre supporters are there a "family friendly" pre-show gala on opening night of the company's new production of "The Nutcracker." Notable guests included David Koch, Blaine Trump, Ana Gasteyer and Veronica Webb.

Many carried their children, who were well-dressed and well- behaved. They queued for a photo-op against a fake snowed-in forest with the production's adorable scene-stealer, the three-foot tall, skinny-limbed, pot-bellied mouse, played by 10-year old Raju Sawak.

No child complained of hunger, thanks to two food stations. One featured Russian-themed snacks like blinis, pierogies and chicken soup. The other: fudge, cheesecake popsicles, wrapped chocolates, and donuts. The actress Mary-Louise Parker stacked a dozen treats on a plate and brought them to her mother sitting on a nearby couch. "I mean, who doesn't like candy?" she asked. The actress had taken dance classes from the age of 4 to 17, but, she said, "I was not very good." She makes the Nutcracker an annual tradition for her two children, who were off coloring marionette.

With New York City Ballet running its own Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, who better to sift through the dissimilarities between productions than 10-year-old Sara Rose Shannon, who last year performed with NYCB and now appears in one of the irregular casts at BAM. "This one's a little more modern," she said.

"Did she tell you she's understudy for the mouse?" asked her mother, Jennifer. "And that little mouse has a very big role." When Sara Rose was then asked if she'd ever daydream about debilitating the dancer whose role she understudied, she very sweetly and firmly said no. Apparently, she hadn't seen "Black Swan."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Michael Jackson's Greatest Non-Musical Achievements

The news of Michael Jackson's death rocked the world on June 25, 2009. Since his death all of the major television networks have aired special honors highlighting his musical legacy. Those tributes are fitting for the man who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice and whose 1982 Thriller album still holds the title of all-time best selling record in the world. However, Michael Jackson also had many significant non-musical achievements that are rarely mentioned.

 The Michael Jackson Burn Center

 On January 27, 1984, Jackson suffered second degree burns on his scalp while filming a Pepsi commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. A pyrotechnics accident set his hair on fire in front of the auditorium full of fans who were there for a simulated concert. Jackson sued PepsiCo and settled out of court for $1.5 million. The settlement was donated to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California, where Jackson received treatment for his burns. Using the money donated by Jackson, Brotman was able to get the best available technology for treating burn victims. The burn ward at the hospital was later named the "Michael Jackson Burn Center" to honor Jackson and his generous contribution.

Received Award from President Reagan

Michael Jackson was invited to the White House on May 14, 1984, where he received an award for his support of drug and alcohol abuse charities, presented by President Ronald Reagan.


The 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by the Jacksons, introduced more than two million fans to Jackson's solo material. Following the tour, Jackson donated his $5 million share from the tour's profits to charity.

We Are the World, We Are the Children

 Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote the charity single "We Are the World" in 1985. Both artists were among the 39 musicians who recorded the song. The single was released around the world to and proceeds went to help the needy in Africa and the U.S. Almost 20 million copies of "We Are the World" were sold, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The project raised millions for famine relief.

Treated Underprivileged Children to Free Shows

During the Bad World Tour, Michael Jackson played to sold out crowds and smashed Guinness World records when 504,000 fans packed Wembley Stadium for each of the seven sold out shows and the tour grossed $125 million. During all of this, Jackson invited underprivileged children to the shows and donated to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.

100 Percent to Charity


 From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund.

 Honored by President George H. W. Bush

President George H. W. Bush commended Jackson for his achievements and presented him with the White House's special "Artist of the Decade" award in recognition of his musical influence during the 1980s.

Heal The World Foundation

Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's Neverland ranch to ride theme park rides the singer had built on the property. Heal the World also gave millions of dollars to help children around the world who were threatened by war and illnesses.

Dangerous Profits Go to Charity 


Jackson started the Dangerous World Tour on June 27, 1992 and completed it on November 11, 1993, after entertaining 3.5 million people at 67 concerts. All of the profits from the concerts were donated to the Heal the World Foundation.

Publicly Pleaded for More HIV/AIDS Research


When Ryan White, a hemophiliac teen from Indiana was kicked out of school in 1985 because he contracted HIV from a contaminated blood treatment, Jackson became one of his advocates. After White's death in 1990, Jackson pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala for more funding for HIV/AIDS charities and research.

Teamed with Luciano Pavarotti for Charity

Jackson and Pavarottii teamed up for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy in June 1999. The concert was focused on support of the non-profit organization Warchild. The artists raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo and also donated money to help the children of Guatemala.

Michael Jackson and Friends Benefit Concerts 


Also in June 1999, Jackson organized a series of benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. He recruited Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti for the Michael Jackson and Friends concerts. The proceeds were donated to the "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund", the Red Cross and UNESCO.

Guinness Record for Support of Charities


Jackson was listed in the 2000 book of Guinness World Records for his support more charities than any other entertainer or personality. Jackson supported 39 charities through cash donations and sponsorships.


Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, in 1988. The book took four years to write and detailed alleged abuse Jackson suffered as a child and his plastic surgeries. The book topped the New York Times best seller's list.

Support After 9/11

After the 9/11 attacks, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., which aired on October 21, 2001. Dozens of major artists performed at the concert and Jackson sang "What More Can I Give" as the finale.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sony launches music streaming overhaul

Sony has launched a music streaming overhaul in a bid to break Apple's supremacy of the online music business.

The Japanese company's “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is a cloud computing-based digital music service that does not engage downloading tracks like Apple's iTunes.

Instead, a subscription gives users access to a catalogue of about six million songs, which can streamed to Sony's Internet-connected devices like the PlayStation 3, personal computers and Bravia TVs. The service can be synchronized with a user's existing music files, including iTunes, Sony said.

The service began in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday and will be revolved out in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and the United States next year. - Sapa-AP

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Britney Spears Is A "Professional" In The Studio

A producer working with Britney Spears on her new album has admired the pop star.

Swedish hitmaker Shellback - who co-wrote her song 3 - has been collaborating with the Toxic singer on the follow-up to the Circus, and admits he's impressed by her devotion to her music.

"[Britney]'s actually damn professional," he revealed. "You read a lot on the internet that Britney is not singing and mimes, but she is actually damn professional.

"She's done it since she was 16. And just rhythmic way, she is f**king awesome!," he enthused. "And you do not have to go through and talk about the rhythms and stuff that you sometimes have to do. She's very easy in the studio."

Britney releases the album in March 2011. Other producers working on the record include Dr Luke, Max Martin, Rusko, Labrinth, Chase & Status and Fraser T Smith.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eminem - Universal Execs Challenge Eminem Royalties Suit

Universal Music bosses are taking a legal battle with EMINEM's former publishing company to the U.S. Supreme Court after losing an plea in a long-running dispute over royalties.

Last year (09), FBT Productions executives claimed Universal owed the Stan hitmaker $1.47 million (£980,000) in compensation because label heads had failed to pay the star for music downloads.

The case was heard in a California court in March 2009, when a judge dismissed FBT's argument and ruled in favour of Universal.

The publishing firm's owners plea the decision in September (10) and won after Central District of California court Judge Silverman reversed the previous ruling, declaring Universal bosses will have to pay FBT a substantial amount in compensation.

But Universal executives are refusing to let the matter lie and they have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the case again, reports CMU Daily.

Eminem is not directly involved in the legal battle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MJ’s estate to turn into music institute

New York: Late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s famous estate ‘Neverland Ranch’ may be turned into a haven for teenage musicians. Colony Capital, which owned the ranch before the pop singer’s untimely death, reportedly wants to turn the ranch into a music organization modelled after Juilliard, a music school in New York City, according to a website.

The plan is to teach writing and performing for many different types of music to teenagers. Since the pop star’s death, many interested parties have floated different ideas for Neverland Ranch.

"I think Michael’s history is world history and I think it would become the No. 1 attraction for the state parks if we could pull it off," a daily quoted California NAACP President Alice Huffman as telling The Sacremento Bee at that time.

Before the teens start flowing back into the ranch, Santa Barbara County reportedly has to approve the plan and Jackson’s estate must allow his name to be used to endorse the institute. "It’s an interesting idea. And we’d be open to it," said a rep for Jackson’s estate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Julianne Hough: My Music Video Was Too Hot for CMT

Country singer and actress Julianne Hough’s career may be on the go up, but some say she is too hot for television, at least in one video. The 22-year-old “Burlesque” star recently revealed that her video for her single “Is That So Wrong” was dubbed too steamy to air on Country Music.

The video features the sexy star playfully dancing in her apartment and removing articles of clothing. And it was that lack of clothing that she says got the video banned from the airwaves. At the “Acoustic Christmas Concert” in Baltimore Friday, Hough introduced the song by sharing the story.

“This next song – funny story. I shot a music video for it … and [CMT] kind of banned it,” the Washington Post quoted her as telling the crowd. “Apparently I was taking off too many clothes as I was dancing across my bedroom. But I don’t know – I kind of liked it.”

CMT’s press office is staying silent on the video, but when we searched for it on YouTube, VEVO and even Hough’s own website, it was nowhere to be found. The video appeared to be removed from embedded posts Friday morning as well.

Hough has been in the news nonstop recently, especially for her May-December romance with powerhouse media personality Ryan Seacrest.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Toronto’s Marian Cheney awarded music teacher of the year


Toronto citizen Marian Cheney has received the teacher of the year award from MusiCounts, a musical education charity.

For the past 20 years, Cheney has taught at Queen Victoria Public School in the Parkdale neighbourhood in Toronto's west end. Her policy is that children should be able to join band or choir regardless of musical aptitude or financial situation.

She's also credited with co-writing the school's current theme song. Hard-rockers Billy Talent presented Ms. Cheney with the award at an occasion on Thursday.

Ms. Cheney and her school each received $10,000, sponsored by the band.

“Having lived in the west end of Toronto ... this is extra special,” Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz said in a release. “Having teachers like Marian gives us all hope that the kids of tomorrow are in good hands.

“Our music class in high school [where we met 17 years ago] had a huge impact on the band as we got to meet like-minded people and start the creative process of learning our instruments.”
Said Ms. Cheney: “Music has the power to change lives.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google Music Streaming Plans Halted Because of Internal Politics

In a report by Business Insider, Google was close to buying subscription-based streaming music service Spotify or Rhapsody, but the deals were shelved because of internal politics. Three different groups were fighting for organize and ownership inside Google, and couldn't agree on an approach. Instead of a streaming service, Google is now looking to build a digital locker, which will store user-owned music and allow users to stream their own content to a device.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MTV Unveils Music Meter: A Hot 100 for the Social Media Age


Today, MTV launches its Music Meter, a new artist ranking service aimed at turn over traditional music charts. Rather than simply track CD sales (who buy those anymore?) and radio airplay, Music Meter ranks the top 100 artists bubbling up on a variety of non-traditional platforms.

By tracking an artist's social media buzz (tweets, blog posts, articles) and streams (YouTube, Vevo) in addition to purchase data, MTV's chart shows a more real-time representation of up-and-coming artists. It will revive daily. The chart is based on velocity rather than total popularity, so it will only show artists who are raising quickly not those who are sitting in the No. 1 spot.

"Let's not always have the big guys on top let's invite users to discover performers that they may not know they love yet," says Shannon Connolly, VP of Digital Music Strategy at MTV Networks. "We chose to strip out the most popular artists that you see dominating all lists so you won't see Gaga or Bieber."

Instead, users will find an eclectic mix of rising stars--those buzzing on the indie scene that has yet to go main stream. Each artist is featured in a widget-style box that provides news, tweets, videos and song previews and purchases via Rhapsody.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lady Gaga Wants To Be A Design Teacher

Anyone who’s ever sat through a college class knows it’s hard enough to pay attention without the added distraction of a professor who’s dressed like amazing from one of Tim Burton’s acid flashbacks.

In spite of, Lady Gaga has applied for a teaching job at New York University, and I say it’s about time. If more of my professors had lectured while hanging from the upper limit in full leather bondage gear, maybe I would’ve actually learned something in school.

Yesterday, a friend of Gaga’s exposed that the freaky singer is actively seeking a position at NYU’s Parsons School for Design. “She wants to use her fashion sense and avant garde art obsession to launch an academic career,” the friend told a UK newspaper.

“Nothing has been finalized yet, but she’d like to teach in the fashion design program. She thinks teaching would make people see she is much more than just a flamboyant pop star.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

B2ST displays dominance over Asian music fans through their first solo concert

Although they debuted only last year, B2ST was able to confirm their command of the Asian music market through their first-ever solo concert, held recently on December 12th.

B2ST opened their ‘Welcome to B2ST Airlines’ concert at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium, where fans from not only Korea, but also from Japan, China, Hong Kong and Thailand came together to form the 8,000-member audience for the event.

But that’s not all – according to a representative from their agency, Cube Entertainment, both Korean and overseas fans who were unable to grab a ticket stood outside the venue in the cold, listening to the music and waiting for the concert to end so that they may catch a glimpse of their idols’ faces as they walked out.

The representative stated, “The day before the concert (11th), 5-6 fans from Taiwan who were unable to buy a ticket came to the company building and asking if there was any way for them to purchase a ticket. These fans prepared themselves with blankets so that they could wait outside the venue in case somebody would come and say that they weren’t able to attend, and were consequently looking to sell their tickets.”

In the end, there were about 10 people who came to the venue trying to sell their ticket, and 5-6 of those tickets were bought by international fans. It wasn’t confirmed whether those fans were the same Taiwanese fans who came to the company building.

After the concert, B2ST headed off to a restaurant with their guest performers and fellow agency artists ( and 4minute) to celebrate the end of the concert. The fans somehow found out which restaurant they went to and waited outside once again just to see their faces. Around about 100 fans were still waiting, even past midnight.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Maroon 5 in red state

maroon 5Maroon 5 are coming to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in support of their new album, close to a decade after they first shot to renown.

Frontman Adam Levine initially captured the world's attention with the band's debut record Songs About Jane which featured hits Sunday Morning, She Will Be Loved and Harder to Breathe.

Since then, Maroon 5 have released It Won't Be Soon Before Long and won numerous Grammy, MTV Video Music and Billboard music awards.

Their third studio album is called Hands All Over and sees the band join forces with Nashville chart-toppers Lady Antebellum and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange.

Grammy award
-winning artist Sara Bareilles will join the band on tour, bringing with her impressive vocals, charming piano and guitar accompaniments and heartfelt lyrics.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sergiu Luca, violinist and Da Camera founder, dies

Sergiu Luca, a teacher, concert presenter and violin virtuoso known for his trend-setting performances on period instruments, died Monday night. He was 67 and had thrash about with bile-duct cancer since December 2009, though his health started to decline only in the past few months.

Luca made an indelible impression on the music landscape in Houston and the United States as the founder of Da Camera of Houston, a concert series pioneering in its approach to thematic programming. As a performer and recording artist, he is credited with being on the forefront of a movement dedicated to performing early music on instruments authentic to the time the works were composed.

Until his death, Luca was the Dorothy Richard Starling professor of violin at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and artistic director of Context, a chamber music concert series.
He was known for his big personality and varied interests. Luca was an avid collector of period instruments, a fine cook and wine connoisseur who had traveled much of the world as a performer.

"He was a Renaissance man in certain respects," said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. "What really fueled his artistry was his appetite for in-depth knowledge about a number of different things."

Luca was born in 1943 in Bucharest, Romania, and began playing the violin as a child. He made his debut with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel at age 9. He studied in England and Switzerland before moving to the United States to study with legendary Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

During his career, Luca performed with many of the world's leading orchestras and gave recitals internationally. He recorded works by composers including Bartók, Schumann, Schubert and William Bolcom. Luca had a long friendship and musical exchange with Bolcom.

His recording of the complete solo violin works by J.S. Bach was influential because he performed the pieces on a Baroque violin, which was considered revolutionary at the time.

"His recordings and performances back in the 1970s or so were sensational," said Brian Connelly, a co-founder of Context. "They immediately altered so many perceptions."

At the same time, Luca was an advocate of contemporary music.

"He was that kind of broad thinker," Yekovich said. "He was not … just a musician, but a great artist." In addition to his influence as a performer and teacher, Luca started multiple concert series in Oregon and Houston. In 1987, he founded Da Camera of Houston, an ambitious project aimed at bringing innovative thematic programs to the city. He was artistic director for six seasons.

"He was the vision behind Da Camera," said Sarah Loudermilk, Da Camera's current executive director.

In 1995, Luca and friends founded Context, an ensemble dedicated to performing on period instruments, often from his collection. Luca was a frequent performer with the group and last appeared on a program in October, Connelly said.

Luca was married to Susan Archibald, a pianist and accompanist at the Shepherd School. He is survived by Archibald and their daughter, Lily Luca. Arrangements are pending for a memorial service in Houston.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Music Gives Some People Chills

Psychologists say some people get chills often when listening to music, but for others that rarely happens. Researchers Emily Nusbaum and Paul Silvia of University of North Carolina at Greensboro questioned students about how often music gave them chills, goosebumps or made their hair stand on end, in an effort to understand personalities.

Open Personality Types get Chills from Music

The authors write, "Although most people report having music-induced chills sometimes, some people never have them and other people have them incessantly; this wide variability invites the attention of personality psychology." They add, "In short, who tends to get chills from music, and why?"

The study, titled "Shivers and Timbres: Personality and the Experience of Chills From Music", explored the possibility that it is the music itself that send chills down the spine, related to variations in tempo, loudness, expansion of frequency range and shifts in energy.
They researchers assessed other variables, including genre of music, daily listening engagement, exposure to the arts and whether individuals had learned to play an instrument.

The study authors note ...”people vary in what they like, yet everyone can love or hate music—but some people seem to never experience chills." The variability, they say can be "tremendous", leading them to the suspicion that getting chills in response to music has something to do with personality that has only been explored in a couple of studies.
What they found was that openness to new experiences was the best predictor of who is likely to react to music with chills. Individuals with an open personality also tended to listen to music more often and were more likely to play a musical instrument. The authors say it wasn’t because they listened to different kinds of music.

They say, “Findings like these are what the make the study of personality and music interesting—music is a human universal, but some people get a lot more out of it". The researchers also concluded, “...the wide variability in people’s chills experience—particularly the notable subset of people who never have them—suggests that individual differences deserve more attention.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

Underwood top winner at American Country Awards

When it comes to Las Vegas, Carrie Underwood is a certain bet.

Underwood won her second country music artist of the year award of 2010 in Sin City on Monday night. She earned it at the inaugural American Country Awards about eight months after she won the top honor at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April.

In both cases, fans determined the winner. And when it comes to fan support, Underwood has no match. Her fans vote early and often - a holdover from her time as "American Idol" champion - and she made sure to give a shoutout to her supporters after winning six awards.

Lady A won single of the year for the trio's breakthrough, "Need You Now," and artist of the year: duo or group. Brad Paisley was voted male artist of the year and Blake Shelton and host Trace Adkins won music video of the year.

The show was performance heavy and featured Rascal Flatts and Alan Jackson performing medleys of their hits after tributes, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan teaming up on "My Kinda Party," and Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner and The Band Perry playing recent hits.

Adkins opened the show by declining to wear a pair of "meat chaps" offered by the show's producers, a la Lady Gaga's meat dress, in a pre-taped comedy skit. He also appeared to skip the monologue.

"It's a live show," Adkins said. "What are they going to do? They can't fire me right in the middle of it, right?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bieber, Drake, Arcade Fire nab Grammy nomination

Canadian teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber has his first Grammy nomination, while compatriots Arcade Fire and Drake also nabbed high-profile nods for the annual music awards thump Wednesday.

Bieber and Drake will features off for best new artist, competing with Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons and Esperenza Spalding. It's one of four nominations for Drake, who's also up for best rap album.

And Arcade Fire is up for album of the year arguably the top prize to be handed out at the Feb. 13 show. The Montreal rockers will compete with four of the biggest acts of the past year: Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum and Katy Perry.

They were also nominated for best astound performance by a duo or group with vocals and best alternative music album. The nominations were announced Wednesday night during an hour-long special on CBS from Club Nokia in Los Angeles.