...In April, Billy Corgan announced that Smashing Pumpkins will reunite and begin recording a new album... Rihanna released her sophomore disc, Unfaithful, featuring the single S.O.S., which includes a sample of Soft Cell's Tainted Love... and Cee-Lo and DangerMouse's collaboration, Gnarls Barkley took the U.S. by storm, as their hit single Crazy stormed the charts and took off as one of 2006's most popular tunes.

Bands that released new albums include: The Flaming Lips, Daft Punk, Gorillaz, Blue October, Lacuna Coil, Lamb Of God, Pink, Queensryche, The Vines, Eagles Of Death Metal, Queen, Toby Keith, LL Cool J, The Zutons, Built To Spill, NOFX, Erasure, Drive By Truckers, Secret Machines, Goo Goo Dolls, Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Taking Back Sunday, Tiesto, and Godsmack.

Madonna's controversial "Confessions Tour" begins, supporting her latest album Confessions on a Dance Floor, and features the Material Girl propped up on a crucifix singing her hit Live To Tell. The move sparked lots of outrage from religious groups, and NBC decided not to air the footage from her concert special in November.

McPheever came to a halt when American Idol announced it's fifth champion, Taylor Hicks, was voted winner over Katharine McPhee. Hicks joins the hit show's past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Carrie Underwood. His album was released in December.

Also, Tool returned with their fourth album, 10000 Days... The Red Hot Chili Peppers top the charts in 26 countries with their double-album Stadium Arcadium... Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale welcomed a son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, to the world.

New albums came from: Snow Patrol, Thursday, Ministry, Mobb Deep, Pearl Jam, Jewel, Wolfmother, Nick Lachey, The Isley Brothers, Paul Simon, The New Cars, The Stills, Neil Young, The Raconteurs, Hoobastank, Cam'ron, Christina Milian, Pet Shop Boys, Candlebox, Def Leppard, Angels And Airwaves, The Wreckers, Yo Gotti, and the Dixie Chicks.

In June, Shakira's Hips Don't Lie broke D4L's record of 175,000 downloads in its first week of release as it was downloaded 266,500 times. It also became the most played pop song in U.S. radio history, with 9,657 plays in one week... Nelly Furtado returned with her third album, Loose; the first single made "promiscuous" the number one word looked up on Google in 2006. The album was produced mainly by Timbaland, resulting in a new look and a new direction for the singer... Keane returned with their Brit-pop sophomore album, Under the Iron Sea... and opera legend Luciano Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

New albums, June '06: Thalia, AFI, Yung Joc, Ice Cube, Donavon Frankenreiter, Elvis Costello And Allen Toussaint, Psapp, The Hush Sound, The Bouncing Souls, Cheap Trick, Busta Rhymes, Sonic Youth, Live, Three Days Grace, Shadows Fall, The Replacements, Guster, Ras Kass, Underoath, Puffy Ami Yumi, Dashboard Confessional, Billy Talent, and Nouvelle Vague...

Starpulse.com's This Year In Music:
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4