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Published: Monday, 7/18/2011

Weird Al says record biz getting tougher

BY MESFIN FEKADU
ASSOCIATED PRESS
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has won three Grammy Awards. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has won three Grammy Awards.
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NEW YORK -- Since 1983, "Weird Al" Yankovic has released 13 albums, with six of them going platinum and four reaching gold status. It's a pretty good batting average for any artist, and an especially great one for a comedian-musician.

Yankovic says he used to think all of his albums would sell well, until now.

"Back in the '90s I was getting kind of cocky. I was just assuming that every album that I put out would go gold at least and now it's a huge goal for anybody to reach that level," he said.

"People just aren't buying albums the way they used to."

His latest release, "Alpocalypse," debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart last month, selling about 44,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"It's still a huge thrill for me to make the Top 10 because that's all relative … but sales-wise, it's not what it used to be," Yankovic said.

The album's lead single is a parody of Lady Gaga's No. 1 hit "Born This Way." Yankovic says getting his version -- called "Perform This Way" -- out to the public wasn't any easy process. First, Lady Gaga's management wouldn't allow it, but once the pop star heard Yankovic's cover, she approved his sample.

"It was a little depressing actually," Yankovic said about waiting to hear back from Lady Gaga. "[I thought] I was never going to be able to release my Lady Gaga parody officially and that my album was postponed indefinitely."

The new disc from the 51-year-old also features covers of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA," Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me," and "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B and Bruno Mars.

The three-time Grammy-winner says though getting approval from Lady Gaga's team was tough, he usually hasn't struggled to get clearances in the past.

"Most artists look at the Weird Al parody as an homage and that's certainly the way it's intended," he said. "You get your platinum album, you get your Grammy, and then you get your Weird Al parody. It's part of the package."



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