Story By: G. H. HARDING
Adam Lambert And Brian May

THE GLAMBERT FACTOR --- 2014 was a good year for Queen and Adam Lambert! In addition to their world tour, the band – featuring original Queen songs and band members with former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert in Freddie Mercury’s place – recently won Band of the Year by the Classic Rock Roll of Honor Awards.

And now, The X Factor’s executive [producer Dermot O’Leary has confirmed that Queen and Adam Lambert will be performing on the upcoming season of the popular televised talent show.

The Factor has also confirmed Take That, Nicole Scherzinger, Ella Henderson, and Olly Murs for this season… bu,t it’s probably safe to say that Adam’s Glamberts are most excited about Adam’s upcoming appearance.

SWIFT MESS --- We've been asked numerous times this week about the Taylor Swift and Spotify brouhaha and have this to say: Swift’s initial comments about her actions and Spotify made it appear as if the service has paid NO monies to artist, when in fact they have paid out over 2 billion dollars in royalties to artists, collecting services and other associated persons.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended the streaming service, calling it the fastest-growing source of new revenues for the music industry.

“We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time,” he wrote in a blog post on Spotify’s site.

“Lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist,” he added. “As I said, we've already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem.”

One reason that musicians don't see as much money as they could is that music middlemen — namely record labels and publishers – often take a big portion of the royalties paid by streaming services such as Spotify.

Spotify said 70 percent of its revenues goes to music rights holders. But it also says that money breaks down to payments of 7/10 of a penny for artists every time their song is heard.

Spotify said if Swift kept her music on the service, she would be on track to make $6 million. But for most artists, the payments aren't enough to make a living.

Swift said last week: “I'm not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

Some industry investors and analysts say Spotify is not the problem. Rather, it’s middlemen like the labels.

Major music labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Group all have minority stakes in Spotify, part of a bet that subscription-based listening is the future.

In the blog post, Ek said Spotify gained 2.5 million subscribers in the last 6 months bringing its total paying customers to 12.5 million out of their 50 million total users.

Ek also argues that Spotify is the industry’s best shot at turning around a habit of getting music for free. He said 80 percent of paying subscribers — mostly young users — started out as users of its free service.

“The majority of these paying users are under the age of 27, fans who grew up with piracy and never expected to pay for music,” Ek said.

Says industry-vet, pr-man David Salidor, “Most of the music buying audience today knows nothing other than downloading; I think the question of it being a good thing or bad thing is long over. This is how the puzzle works now and the labels and artists have got to learn to work within the new paradigm. I've always felt these alternative platform just increase the playing field. Again, for a new artist or writer, you couldn't ask for more.”

My prediction: Swift will relent and come around.

MURRAY'S VINCENT SCORES --- Sony has released the original motion-picture soundtrack and the original score by Theodore Shapiro from the movie St. Vincent. A comedy drama, St. Vincent stars Academy Award nominees Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts.

The song soundtrack album includes classics from the 1960’s and 1970’s, such as Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm” from his classic 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Jeff Tweedy provides two songs: the funky “Everybody Hides” and the laid-back “Why, Why, Why.”

In between comes a contrasting classic, the straight-hitting vocals of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.” This was the band’s first and biggest hit, a single from the album Surrealistic Pillow in 1967.

Fitting the quirky, bad behavior of Bill Murray’s character, the soundtrack continues with “Stripper Pole” by Nyzzy Nyce, a high-pitched number with a fast beat, and two songs with country-music influence: “One Toke Over The Line” by Brewer & Shipley and the laid-back “Hard to Find” by JD & The Straight Shot.

Among the big names on the compilation is The National, performing “Start a War” with a beautifully twangy guitar accompaniment to Matt Berninger’s deep voice. A Russian electro-pop number is followed by Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm.”

Sony will also release an album with the original score soundtrack by Theodore Shapiro. He made his name composing soundtracks for some of the biggest comedy movie hits of recent years: The Devil Wears Prada, Tropic Thunder, Marley & Me, Along Came Polly, You, Me and Dupree, Did You Hear About the Morgans? – and, most recently The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on which he cooperated with indie-folk singer-songwriter José Gonzáles.

PISCOPO SPILLS --- Ever wonder what ever happen to comedian Joe Piscopo? The now 63-year-old Piscopo is rolling along these days as a morning show host on AM 970′s The Answer (aka WNYM). He seems a perfect fit for the job, and with this new media success comes an ability to look back very honestly at some of his personal missteps, as he revealed recently:

His Bad Choices, he said, include “Silly things like running off with the babysitter” — that would be his son’s sitter, Kimberly Driscoll, 18, whom he eventually married and divorced — and bulking up so much, he once did a cover shoot for Muscle & Fitness magazine in 1990.

Piscopo says his ripped phase was an extreme reaction to a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. “No drugs. Never steroids,” he said. “I am not a drug guy but the rumors were warranted.”

He said he now wonders, “What was I thinking? … Oh my God, that was stupid… You don’t do muscles and comedy — they don’t mix.”

“All I ever wanted to do was bit parts on Broadway. I have more than achieved any goal that I aspired to. And now I am in the No. 1 market, anchoring the morning show,” Piscopo said.

“I am embracing it, I am inspired by it, I love what I am doing.”

Piscopo’s career soared with SNL (1984), stalled in Hollywood (Johnny Dangerously) impressed on Broadway (Grease) and took some bizarre turns (Celebrity Wife Swap).

He was happily performing at casinos and clubs around the country, he said, when his pal Dr. Rock Positano, the foot doctor to the stars, suggested he consider getting into radio.

Piscopo, who studied broadcasting in college, began visiting a midtown studio to hone his skills when Curtis Sliwa abruptly left AM 970 last winter.

After a meeting and essentially a one-day tryout, The Answer had its answer for filling a crucial hole in its lineup.

He’s good.

CLOSING NOTES --- Ella Henderson's "Mirror Man" remains one of the best songs I've heard this year. Check it out ...

Talking about morning radio, CBS FM's Scott Shannon played a track from ABC (remember them?) the other day. 2004's "When Smokey Sings." Brilliant Scott! What a great band ...

Monday's Rockers On Broadway will feature performances by Courtney Reed (Aladdin); Megan Hilty (Smash); Titus Burgess (Little Mermaid); Mitchell Jarvis (Rock Of Ages); and Jarrod Spector (Beautiful) ...

With all the talk about new cover of David Hershkovits' Paper magazine; with Kim Kardasian on the cover in a rather revealing pose, Glee's Naya Rivera's comment was the best "I normally don't. But...you're someones mother..."