Sidney Madden

After years in proverbial hip-hop purgatory, Lil Wayne has finally released his long-awaited album Tha Carter V, just after his 36th birthday.

CV, the fifth installment of Wayne's chart-topping, Grammy-winning series that started in 2004, nearly became a pop culture fable about the perils of music industry politics, following years of legal battles with his Cash Money Records boss and musical father figure, Birdman.

It might sound hard to believe, but being a Beatle doesn't necessarily assure chart-topping success — but never underestimate the pull of Paul McCartney.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died last week. In her wake, Franklin has left a musical legacy few other artists will ever touch — and, as expected, hits from the legendary R&B singer's catalog have shot back up the music charts following her death.

In a year when the nominees were more eclectic and adventurous, the safe bets prevailed at the 60th Grammy Awards.