The best new music of the week: Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!

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Mariah Carey
- #1 to Infinity
The title says it all. All 18 of Mariah’s number-one hits are included on this must-have collection, from 1990’s “Vision of Love” to her newest single, "Infinity.” No one’s had more chart-toppers than the woman whose mellifluous, five-octave voice has led to her being called “songbird supreme.” If there’s one Mariah Carey album to own, this is the one.

Jamie Foxx
- Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses
Musically, Foxx’s fifth full-length album runs the gamut from Michael Jackson-style jams like the Kid Ink-assisted “Baby’s in Love” to the boy-band influenced piano ballad “In Love by Now.” The Oscar-winning actor brings in some heavyweight guests on the romantically-themed album, including Pharrell Williams on the retro r&b number “Tease.”

Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect
Never one to do anything in half measures, the Killers’ frontman pulls out all the stops on his second solo album - 10 tracks steeped in ’80s-pop sounds, catchy melodies, snappy lyrics and choruses big enough to fill stadiums. Flowers has crafted a collection of undeniable pop hits, of which the infectious “Can’t Deny My Love” and the oh-so-dreamy “I Can Change” are just two.


It was, of course, Taylor Swift’s night. The 2015 Billboard Music Awards saw the “Shake It Off” singer take home the most trophies — eight in total, including Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist and Top Streaming Song. Swift also dominated the event by premiering her star-studded new video for “Bad Blood.” Seated next to her presumed boyfriend, Calvin Harris, she soaked up all the tributes and adoration and later thanked her legions of fans. Swift may have been the big winner, but there were plenty of glittery highlights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Taylor Swift accepting one of many awards. Photo: © Getty Images

Mariah Carey bridged past and present with a brilliant, octave-soaring “Vision of Love/Infinity” medley, while Ed Sheeran delivered a passionate, hologram-assisted performance of “Bloodstream.” Simple Minds got everyone misty-eyed with their classic “Don’t You Forget About Me” and commemorated the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club. Duets provided some of the evening’s most memorable moments. Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea teamed up for a TV debut of their “Pretty Girls” collaboration. The blonde pair certainly made an eye-catching couple, with the singer dressed in a partially sheer unitard and the rapper sporting a silver, space-age look. John Legend and Meghan Trainor generated some genuine chemistry — and more than a little heat — during their performance of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.”

Nicki Minaj's high-octane performance. Photo: © Getty Images

But the two artists who stole the spotlight were, not surprisingly, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West. The controversial stars performed amid fog and pyro flames, with Minaj winding, grinding and twerking her way through “Hey Mama,” backed by DJ David Guetta, and West cussing and stepping (when you could see him) through spark-filled and bleeped-out performances of “All Day” and “Black Skinhead.”


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