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Today’s Music News: U2 hop into bed together for tour publicity photo

courtesy U2

If you thought U2‘s Songs of Innocence album cover was awkward, wait until you see their new tour publicity photo (above). At least they’re wearing more clothes than Fleetwood Mac did when they got under the covers for a 1977 Rolling Stone shoot.

The Grammys have announced nominations in a few categories; the rest of the 83 categories will be announced later today. Among the categories announced was record of the year; nominations went to Iggy Azalea/Charli XCX (“Fancy”), Sia (“Chandelier”), Sam Smith (“Stay With Me”), Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”), and Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”). Nominees for best rock song are Jack White (“Lazaretto”), Ryan Adams (“Gimme Something Good”), the Black Keys (“Fever”), Beck (“Blue Moon”), and Paramore (“Ain’t It Fun”). (Twitter.com/TheGrammys)

As an antitrust lawsuit against Apple proceeds, in court the plaintiffs alleged that Apple deliberately forced users to delete music purchased from other retailers by compelling users to restore their devices to factory settings when such tracks were detected. Apple attributes that behavior to a security vulnerability, not deliberate action on their part. (Billboard)

American music sales numbers for Black Friday are in, and—unsurprisingly—they aren’t good. Surging vinyl sales, with numbers up 50% from last year, only partially offset tumbling CD and digital sales—so overall, Thanksgiving-week album sales were down 15% from last year. (Billboard)

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd—who just pleaded not-guilty to charges of drug possession and threatening to kill—is back in New Zealand court, this time after being arrested in a fight involving a man expected to be a witness in Rudd’s trial. The fight also involved Rudd’s own bodyguard, who Rudd reportedly attacked after the bodyguard attempted to intervene. (Billboard) Meanwhile, details of the earlier charges against Rudd have been revealed: prosecutors are reportedly alleging that Rudd threatened via phone to kill a man described as “a contractor” and the man’s ten-year-old daughter. (Rolling Stone)

Billboard analyzed the top holiday songs sold digitally over the past decade, and Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” proved to be the top seller. (In related news, Carey’s performance of her hit song live at Rockefeller Center Wednesday night is earning mixed reviews from fans.) Other findings: over a third of top-selling holiday tracks feature the sound of sleigh bells; and though a fifth mention religious behavior like prayer, in most of those cases the singers are praying for a year-end love connection.

Axl Rose is not dead, despite a widely-circulated hoax story. “If I’m dead,” the singer wryly tweeted, “do I still have to pay taxes?” (Billboard)

Cher, still recuperating from an illness that forced her to cancel the remainder of her tour, is using her time to voice some strong opinions on Twitter. Among her targets: Iowa pig farmers, who she says torture pregnant pigs in small gestation crates. In the same tweet, she criticized New Jersey governor Chris Christie as a “despicable bully” for reasons seemingly unrelated to pig farming.

In other Cher-related news, Jennifer Lawrence has eclipsed Cher as the most recent Oscar-winning actor to land a hit on the American charts: Cher’s 1999 “Believe” has been succeeded by “The Hanging Tree,” a song from The Hunger Games—Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. (Consequence of Sound)

A monogrammed (“BR”) carriage gifted by Dolly Parton is among the personal effects being auctioned off by Burt Reynolds. Among the items up for sale: Reynolds’s personal Rolodex. (Vocativ)