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Sarah Solvay who still attends high school is a pop rock artist based in New York City. She cites Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Who, and Madonna as influences.  Our favorite tracks are All She Could Be and Gone and Hearts Collide.

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Donnie Ienner former Sony Music chief sat down with Billboard and discusses his early days in the music business.

Ienner looking back: This was pre-CD and if you want to talk about a depressed business, this ’80, ‘81, it was terrible. I mean it was really bad. The economy was in the dumps, this was pre-CD, again, the whole Atari thing was exploding. There were very similar nuances of today’s world, and so we ended up having to shut down Millennium, at the time. (Billboard)

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  • Although, American Idol suffered a slight rating slip, down just under 10%, it still dominated the evening by a long shot. Also, The press is beginning to swarm around the new Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, she gets her first stab by The New York Post.
  • Are videogamers getting tired of playing rockstars? “Rock Band 2” and “Guitar Hero: World Tour” have sold well below expectations, trailing their 2007 editions by significant margins. Maybe it’s time for the tweens to invest in real guitars as the payoff could by much higher. (Variety)
  • What are music fans watching on YouTube? Urban crossover and mainstream pop song garner the biggest views according to BigChampagne. For instance, Britney Spears’ Womanizer (4 million) and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face (3.35 million) held the top views for the week ending January 4th. (Digital Music News)
  • Once again, Taylor Swift has dominated the chart with her new album Fearless, selling 71,527 copies. Now that Taylor has official star power, expect to see her make TV appearances. To illustrate, Swift will guest star in an upcoming episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple intends to take a medical leave. “During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought,” says Jobs. Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, will take over Jobs’ responsibilities while he is on leave. (Breitbart)
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The Times Square Virgin Megastore will close down in April. The future of the store has been in question since August 2007 when Virgin Entertainment Group was aquired by two real estate companies.

“The decision to close the store appears related to real estate and the value connected to the location. That executive was quoted as saying that Virgin pays only $54 per square-foot when the market rent in the area is about $700 a square foot.”  (Billboard)

New Yorkers can still shop at Virgin in the Union Square location, but the status of that store is also in question.

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Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” debuted on New York’s Z100 yesterday. Clarkson attempted to take full creative control on her last record “My December” but clearly decided to turn back to her pop roots. Her new track which can be heard here was written and produced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin who also wrote Clarkson’s mega hit “Since U Been Gone” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”.  The official release date for the single was set for January 19th but was added earlier to coincide with the latest premiere of American Idol.  Clarkson’s vocal range and performances continue to seperate her from the rest of the pack.

Check out this clip with Clive Davis, Dr. Luke, and oddly enough, Bill Maher. Clive Davis says he knows a hit when he hears it. Dr. Luke says he will craft a song and tailor it to a specific artist while Bill Maher says pop songs don’t make good poetry.

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