1. Elvis Presley's 'Blue Christmas' Backup Singer Millie Kirkham Dies at 91

    December 17, 2014 11:43 AM EST Millie Kirkham -- a backup singer for Elvis Presley who featured on numerous vintage rock and country songs from the '50s to the '80s -- has passed away at age 91 . Kirkham died on Sunday in Nashville after complications from a stroke she suffered last week. Kirkham lent her high…

  2. The Clash's 'London Calling' at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    December 13, 2014 2:30 PM EST Any punk band worth its leather and studs can do dystopian, apocalyptic angst. The world is always ending, and after garbage men and plumbers, angry young guitar players have some of the best job security around. The trick is to rage in your own unique way. On the opening title track of its…

  3. Taylor Swift & Christmas Crooners Rule Artist 100

    December 11, 2014 2:44 PM EST Swift reigns for an eighth week while a sleighful of artists with holiday hits soar. Taylor Swift and Christmas have long been a perfect fit (as the yuletide devotee grew up on a Christmas tree farm). On this week's Billboard Artist 100 chart, Swift and the season also pair up, as she…

  4. The 10 Best Country Albums of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST We're shining the spotlight on the best albums to come from Nashville during the past year representing the many branches of the country tree. (And see our list of the 10 best country songs here .)  Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here! 10. Sara Evans - Slow Me…

  5. Joe Perry Christmas Video Premiere: Watch 'Run Run Rudolph,' with Guitar from Johnny Depp

    December 11, 2014 11:53 AM EST There was a time we might have expected an Aerosmith Christmas celebration to involve tossing Santa from the sleigh and stealing all the presents.  But Joe Perry says that he's long wanted to record some holiday songs with the group. Watch the video for his rendition of Chuck Berry &…

  6. Joan Rivers & 5 More Posthumous Grammy Award Nominees

    December 05, 2014 4:09 PM EST At the 57th annual Grammy Awards , late comedy legend Joan Rivers will be up for just her second Grammy ever, following her 1984 Best Comedy Album nomination for What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? This time, she'll compete for Best Spoken Word Album with her Diary of a Mad Diva .…

  7. José Feliciano Reflects on 44 Years of 'Feliz Navidad'

    December 05, 2014 12:50 PM EST The bilingual evergreen rises again while Feliciano plays seasonal shows and plans a new holiday album. It’s December, which means it’s a busy month for the man who taught the world to say Merry Christmas in Spanish. “Every year, it becomes bigger and bigger,” says José Feliciano , who will…

  8. This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1987, Belinda Carlisle's 'Place' Was at No. 1

    December 01, 2014 8:05 AM EST The solo Go-Go reigned at last with the pop gem 'Heaven Is a Place on Earth.' Plus, remembering key chart feats for Rihanna, Elvis Presley and Pearl Jam. Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history Dec. 1, 2012 A…

  9. Christmas in the Country: Five Essential Albums

    November 28, 2014 2:00 PM EST This week in The 615, we have taken a look at some of the holiday's top new Christmas albums in country. To close out our kick-off of the holidays, let's look back at five of the format's essential discs of the season. These are the albums that are a must for your collection,…

  10. Taylor Swift or One Direction: Who's No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100?

    November 27, 2014 9:05 AM EST The superstars staged a close battle for the summit this week. In a tight race for the top, Taylor Swift narrowly bests One Direction for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Artist 100 chart. The Artist 100 provides the first weekly ranking dedicated to measuring artist activity across…

  11. Revisionist History, Part 5: Bon Jovi's 'Prayer' Answered, 'Caroline' Is Sweeter Than 'Sugar'

    November 26, 2014 10:11 AM EST As we get closer to Billboard 's year-end charts for 2014, we present yet another look at how the chart champs of past years might differ based on more recent measures of popularity. We call it "Revisionist History," and here's how it works: Using a formula giving near…

  12. Album Review: Rick Ross Puts Quantity Over Quality With 'Hood Billionaire,' His Second LP of 2014

    November 25, 2014 11:46 AM EST Rick Ross is at an impasse. The Miami rapper, 38, is still one of hip-hop's most commercially successful acts, with five No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 . But on Hood Billionaire , Ross' second LP this year, he's clinging to an increasingly charmless drug-kingpin kabuki act…

  13. This Monty Python Song Is Played at More British Funerals Than Any Religious Tune

    November 25, 2014 11:39 AM EST Oh, those Brits and their irreverent sense of humor. According to The Telegraph , the most popular song to be played at British funerals is not a somber, traditional tune, but a comedy tune from national treasures Monty Python . “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life,” the lighthearted…

  14. John Stamos Lights Up Elvis Presley's Graceland

    November 22, 2014 12:25 PM EST Sporting Elvis Presley -like sideburns, actor John Stamos helped flip the switch Friday (Nov. 21) on the colorful display of holiday lights adorning Graceland, Presley's home-turned-museum in Memphis. Elvis Presley History Celebrated at Tennessee's Bone Appetit Benefit An avid fan…

  15. Trisha Yearwood on 'Prizefighter' Album: 'It Feels Like a Long Time Coming'

    November 17, 2014 3:56 PM EST Today marks the release of Prizefighter: Hit After Hit, the new release from Trisha Yearwood . It's her first musical project since 2007's Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, and she's happy the wait is finally over. "It feels like a long time coming. There's a…

  16. The Case for Adam Lambert as New 'American Idol' Mentor

    November 12, 2014 3:59 PM EST Who should replace Randy Jackson next year? The season 8 runner-up. American Idol fans probably never imagined a day when Randy Jackson would no longer be "in it to win it," but so it seems for season 14 of the Fox show, the first that won't feature the former judge-turned…

  17. One Direction’s 10 Biggest Billboard Hits

    November 11, 2014 1:40 PM EST From "What Makes You Beautiful" to new single "Steal My Girl," check out 1D's biggest Hot 100 hits to date. One Direction has become one of the defining pop groups of the first half of the 2010s partially because the U.K. boy band is also one of the most…

  18. Drake & Frank Sinatra, Kanye West & Nina Simone and More Dream Duets

    November 03, 2014 3:05 PM EST Barry Manilow 's new album, titled Dream Duets , is built around an interesting and possibly creepy premise: the singer duets with famous dead singers. This type of thing has happened before -- sort of. Justin Timberlake 's duet with Michael Jackson , "Love Never Felt So Good…

  19. Joel Whitburn, Chart Historian: On Books, Music & the 'Weekly Thrill' of Billboard (Exclusive Q&A)

    November 01, 2014 10:05 AM EDT For nearly a half-century, Whitburn and his company, Record Research, have joined Billboard as the most prominent trackers of the hits. Certain names are synonymous with Billboard charts. Elvis. The Beatles. Elton. Madonna. Mariah. More recently, Rihanna, Gaga, Adele, Katy and Taylor. …

  20. Rewinding the Charts: 45 Years Ago, Elvis Presley Ruled the Hot 100 for the Last Time

    November 01, 2014 9:05 AM EDT After a fruitful recording session in Memphis, the King of Rock & Roll notched his seventh No. 1 on the chart on Nov. 1, 1969 with 'Suspicious Minds.' In the wake of the success of Elvis Presley's December 1968 NBC TV special, Elvis – often referred to as the '68…

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