Quick Hits: Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Big Boi, Scott Weiland, Beck, Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
November 21, 2012

Rihanna's "Diamonds" has reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, giving the singer her 12th Hot 100 chart topper. Rihanna now ties Madonna and the Supremes for the fourth-most leaders in the chart's 54-year history. Only the Beatles (20), Mariah Carey (18) and Michael Jackson (13) have sent more titles to the top, according to Billboard.com. Rihanna also passes Carey as the female artist to reach 12 #1s the fastest. Rihanna's six-year, seven-month span between her first and 12th leaders bests Carey's seven-year, one-month, two-week stretch.

Alicia Keys will sit down for a Q&A session with a select group of SiriusXM listeners during SiriusXM's Town Hall with Alicia Keys, set to air live on Heart & Soul, channel 48, on Monday, November 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Moderated by Sway Calloway, the interview will feature the singer/songwriter answering questions about her career and her fifth studio album, Girl On Fire, due on November 27.

Kelly Clarkson just dropped her first Greatest Hits album, and she says that writing some new tracks for it may have put her on the path to her next record. Clarkson told Billboard that she recorded six new songs for Greatest Hits -- Chapter One, and "We've got three other ones we recorded for this album that are fantastic. There's one that actually sounds a little more for country radio or could be for pop; it's just kind of a really beautifully written singer-songwriter song. One sounds like David Bowie meets U2, and the other sounds like a 2012 version of En Vogue. They're all over the map, so we really don't know what we're gonna do with the next project." However, Clarkson plans to relax and take her time with the next effort. "We just finished Stronger and now we're doing the greatest hits, so we haven't talked about it much," she said of the next album. "Honestly, we've been going straight for a year, and I'm excited to have most of January off. But I'm a writer, so we've always got something going on that's, 'Oh, we can use that for the next project.' We kinda never stop in my camp with stuff like that, just because it's exciting for us."

Big Boi has revealed the tracklist for Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, due out on December 11. In addition to the guest stars that have already been revealed, like Kelly Rowland, A$AP Rocky and Phantogram, the album also will feature T.I., Ludacris, Kid Cudi, Cali punks Wavves and Little Dragon. The deluxe edition will add three extra tracks to the album, including one that features UGK and Big K.R.I.T.

Scott Weiland is gearing up for a busy 2013. He plans to record a new album with his solo band, and possibly reunite with Velvet Revolver too. "I am completely open to it, and I know there are other guys in the band that are completely open to it," Weiland told Rolling Stone about Velvet Revolver. "There have been some things that have stood in the way that aren't anything that have to do with the band – just other players, whether it be agents... But now we're sorting through things, and we want to start writing for some big film opportunities that have come our way, and try to set things up the way we set things up when we initially got together." He added, "I think it's the perfect time for Velvet Revolver to get back together. Slash has done some great things, and I look forward to the opportunity to seeing him on my left and seeing Duff McKagan – who, in my opinion, is without a doubt one of the greatest rock & roll and punk rock bass players of all time. And with Matt [Sorum] and Dave [Kushner] as well, who are just incredible musicians. I think that's exciting to look forward to. It's the old cliché, 'If the gods of rock want it to happen, then it will.'"

In an interview with Australia's triple j radioBeck confirmed that he's working on a new album. "
I started a record, largely recorded in 2008, so I'm trying to carve out some time from all the production work I'm doing to finish those songs before they become records from a lost era," he said. "It's going on a half decade at this point." In the meantime, Beck will release his album of sheet music, Beck Hansen's Song Reader, on December 7.

For fans who have seen the Led Zeppelin movie Celebration Day and still can't understand why the band didn't tour after that 2007 reunion concert, Jimmy Page says it came down to the fact that Robert Plant simply didn't want to do it. "He was busy. He was doing his Alison Krauss project," Page told Rolling Stone. "I wasn't fully aware it was going to be launched at the same time. So what do you do in a situation like that? I'd been working with the other two guys for the percentage of the rehearsals at the O2. We were connecting well. The weakness was that none of us sang."

Lenny Kravitz is set to portray Marvin Gaye in an upcoming biopic, according to the London Evening Standard. This would mark Kravtiz' first leading role as an actor. U.K. filmmaker Julian Temple is set the direct the biopic, which will focus on Gaye's recording of Midnight Love in Brussels, as well as his relationship with Belgian promoter Freddy Cousaert, who was instrumental in persuading the singer to return to the U.S. and launch a comeback. In other news, Kravitz also is set to perform during halftime of the Jets vs. Patriots game on Thanksgiving Night.

KCRW/Los Angeles deejay Jason Bentley reportedly said on his Morning Becomes Eclectic show that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will have a new album out in "springtime." Not much is known about the follow up to 2009's It's Blitz, but rumors have surfaced that it was being produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. However, Murphy shot down the news in an October interview with the Huffington Post. "I just did a little fun stuff," Murphy told them. "Nothing really big; I don't have time and they don't have time. I think they're done with their record now, I was just fussing around. I didn't make their album. They're just friends."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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