1. Sam Smith's 'In the Lonely Hour' Hits 1 Million in U.S. Sales

    December 17, 2014 5:18 PM EST Sam Smith 's debut full-length album In the Lonely Hour has surpassed 1 million in U.S. sales, according to Nielsen Music. It's the third album to sell more than a million in 2014, and continues to be the year's biggest-selling debut album. The album -- released on Capitol…

  2. J. Cole Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

    December 17, 2014 4:34 PM EST J. Cole 's third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive , easily debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, marking the rapper's third consecutive chart-topper. He previously led the list with his debut effort, 2011's Cole World: The Sideline Story , and its follow-up, 2013's…

  3. Taylor Swift Leads Billboard Hot 100, Ed Sheeran Soars to Top 10

    December 17, 2014 2:20 PM EST Swift scores her longest career reign as 'Blank Space' rules for a fifth week, while Sheeran posts his best rank as 'Thinking Out Loud' leaps 24-6. Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week, granting the superstar her…

  4. Exclusive Premiere: Amy Speace Channels the Classics in 'Nothing Good Can Come From This'

    December 17, 2014 1:10 PM EST There's a romantic notion in people's minds of the songwriter as someone who gets struck suddenly by creative lighnting and boom : a song comes spilling out, fully formed and perfectly conceived from the get-go. It may happen like that occasionally, but songwriting is often hard…

  5. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: Read Round 3 in our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 17, 2014 11:30 AM EST Which 2014 smash is the critics' pick for pop song of the year? We made 64 hits battle it out, March Madness-style, to determine a winner! Welcome to BEST SONG BRACKET BATTLE 2014, Billboard.com's weeklong bracket-style tournament in which 64 of the year's biggest songs are…

  6. Op-Ed: How Mobile Finally Took Over the Music Industry in 2014

    December 16, 2014 3:55 PM EST With explosive growth in streaming, social media, artist apps and more, mobile finally took over the music industry. Like smart watches and cars that drive themselves, the celestial jukebox is no longer science fiction. Thanks to the supercomputers that 71 percent of Americans now keep in…

  7. Refurbished L.A. Forum Off to Strong Start in First Year Back in Action

    December 16, 2014 3:16 PM EST Irving Azoff's pet venue has its Southern California competition paying attention. The refurbished 18,000-seat Los Angeles Forum has yet to celebrate its first full year of operation, but it already is having an impact on Southern California’s live entertainment scene. Statistics…

  8. Exclusive: Dzeko & Torres Cram 62 Songs Into '2014 in 10 Minutes' Mix

    December 16, 2014 3:06 PM EST 'Tis the season for year-end retrospectives, but Dzeko & Torres have outdone themselves. For those looking to take a quick lap down memory lane, Tiësto 's protégés have stuffed a year's worth of major main stage tracks into one 10-minute mix. It has become a bit of a…

  9. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Needs to Venture Outside of Mainstream to Stay Relevant

    December 16, 2014 2:35 PM EST It's fitting that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2015 at midnight last night, because the list of new inductees is very sleepy. Next year, Green Day , Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues Band , Joan Jett and the…

  10. Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Weird Al – But Not Beyonce – Top Google's 'Year In Search'

    December 16, 2014 11:00 AM EST Google has unleashed its annual Year In Search results, and the music categories are popping with emerging artists and trendsetting newsmakers. Iggy Azalea makes several appearances, most notably the top spot on the trending music artists tally, beating Lorde , Sam Smith , Meghan Trainor…

  11. Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, Niall Horan and Olly Murs Just Won Christmas

    December 16, 2014 10:25 AM EST Everyone else can stop trying now. Thought you had the cutest idea for a Christmas card? Think again, because you were just bested by Demi Lovato , One Direction 's Niall Horan , Sam Smith and Olly Murs , who put on a four-person holiday knit to celebrate the season. The…

  12. Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan & More to Join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    December 16, 2014 2:00 AM EST The punk trio Green Day is the 48th act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining acts such as Nirvana , R.E.M. and the Clash as first-ballot honorees. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues…

  13. Chart Highlights: Taylor Swift, Avery Sunshine, Tim McGraw Notch New No. 1s

    December 15, 2014 5:05 PM EST Swift makes the quickest jump to No. 1 this year, Sunshine scores her first Adult R&B Songs leader and McGraw makes more history. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. Find out the top songs, Greatest Gainers and debuts on the surveys…

  14. The Average Age of the Rock Category Is How Old? Plus Other Surprising (and Not-So-Surprising) Grammy Nomination Stats

    December 15, 2014 4:01 PM EST Some obvious and (not-so-obvious) stats about this year's Grammy nominations.  Grammys 2015: See All the Coverage! This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard. News Harley Brown 1418619600 …

  15. Op-Ed: Why 2014 Was Pop's 'End of Men' Moment

    December 15, 2014 1:40 PM EST Pop music came to a ringing conclusion this year: Girls rule and boys drool. The lasting image will be Beyoncé posing defiantly in front of the word feminist at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Its comedic corollary was Drake , on the receiving end of history’s most emasculating lap dance, in…

  16. Sony Hack Reveals Destiny's Child Biopic, Spike Lee/Drake Film & More

    December 15, 2014 12:45 PM EST As it stands now, the Sony hack is already the most massive, embarrassing breach of security in the history of the entertainment industry. From behind-the-back insults to in-your-face insults to racist jokes about Obama, a slew of emails continue to come out that make no one look good.…

  17. BSBB Round 2: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 15, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Maps Maroon 5 DENISE WARNER: This isn’t even close. Years from now, Smith’s “Stay With Me” will be remembered as a career-making turn  — and “Maps” will be just another cookie-cutter Maroon 5 hit. My Vote…

  18. Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran Lead U.K. Sales Charts

    December 15, 2014 3:20 AM EST Artist-producer Mark Ronson has landed his first U.K. No. 1 single, after “Uptown Funk” (Columbia/Sony), featuring Bruno Mars , entered at the top Sunday (Dec. 14). Ed Sheeran’s   X  (Asylum/Warner Music) rose again for its tenth aggregate week at the album summit. Ronson’s collaboration…

  19. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  20. BSBB Round 2: Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, "This Is How We Roll" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules This Is How We Roll Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea JAMIESON COX: I live and work in a university town, and if “number of times heard while walking by a raging kegger” was an…

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