1. Charlie Haden, Veteran Jazz Bassist, Dead at 76

    July 11, 2014 5:30 PM EDT Charlie Haden, one of the most influential bass players of his generation, has died after a prolonged illness, according to his family and his record label, ECM. Charles Edward Haden was born in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1937 and was raised in Springfield, MO. The youngest of four kids,…

  2. 'Rising Star': Kesha on Not Swearing on Live TV or 'Shitting on People's Dreams'

    June 30, 2014 6:53 PM EDT Ludacris reveals why rappers have less of a chance of success on the ABC show, and Brad Paisley advises upcoming hopefuls to go with a hot Disney track. Of the three "Rising Star" experts, Kesha seems much more constrained in her commentary in comparison to Ludacris and Brad Paisley…

  3. Is Big Smo For Real? A Q&A With the Self-Proclaimed 'Hick Ross'

    June 27, 2014 3:46 PM EDT Meet the country-rap "hick-hopper" with an A&E show and a record deal. A&E’s latest reality star? A country rapper named Big Smo. Real name John Smith, the 39-year-old Unionville, Tenn., native falls somewhere between Colt Ford and Bubba Sparxxx. Smo’s self-titled series,…

  4. The Sun Sets On ‘Californication’: David Duchovny Discusses the Show’s Rock n’ Roll Connection (Q&A)

    June 27, 2014 12:59 PM EDT This Sunday night (June 29th at 9:30p ET/PT), after seven memorable seasons, Hank Moody and his very distinctive ‘Californication’ crew will say farewell. When the credits come up on that last episode of the popular Showtime series, it will also mark the end of one of the most authentically…

  5. Jean Shepard Reflects on Her Life 'Down Through The Years'

    June 26, 2014 3:00 PM EDT Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard is in a reflective mood these days, and much of that stems from releasing her long-awaited autobiography, "Down Through The Years." She admitted to Billboard that it has been a work in progress – for a while. “I’ve been working on it…

  6. Chicago, 'Now': Exclusive Song & Video Premiere

    June 17, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Chicago singer, keyboardist and co-founder Robert Lamm says that sticking the word "Now" at the front of "Chicago XXXVI's" title is no insignificant detail. And ahead of the album, due next month, Billboard exclusively premieres not only the title track but also its…

  7. Tom Hiddleston To Play Hank Williams in Biopic

    June 13, 2014 3:48 AM EDT Setting aside his villainous persona as "The Avengers’" Loki, Tom Hiddleston will play country western singer Hank Williams in Marc Abraham’s "I Saw the Light," which will chronicle the performer’s rise to fame and fame’s ultimately tragic effects. Abraham is directing…

  8. Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith Lead U.K. Sales Charts

    June 09, 2014 4:41 AM EDT Ed Sheeran has scored his first U.K. No. 1 single, debuting at the top of the new chart published by the Official Charts Company on Sunday (June 8) with “Sing” (Asylum/Warner Music). Sam Smith started a second week at the album chart summit with “In The Lonely Hour” (Capitol/Universal) as…

  9. Joe Nichols Gets 'Awkward' at CMA Week Event

    June 06, 2014 1:25 PM EDT The 2014 CMA Music Festival is off and running, with many artists already having held their annual fan club parties. For Red Bow recording artist Joe Nichols, the day marked an opportunity to get up close and personal with over 300 of his fans with a party at Nashville's The Listening…

  10. Jack White, 'Lazaretto': Track-By-Track Review

    June 03, 2014 1:15 PM EDT That rattle and clang can only mean one thing: Jack White 's comin' 'round the mountain, pushing his trusty rusty shopping cart of American musical artifacts and curiosities. This time, he's peddling his second solo album, "Lazaretto," the latest in a long line…

  11. Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood Soar Onto Hot Country Songs In Top Five

    May 29, 2014 11:40 AM EDT The divas blast onto the chart following their performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Plus, moves for Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann and Jake Worthington As previously reported , Brantley Gilbert scores his first No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as his third studio album,…

  12. Josh Thompson Breakup Inspires Snarling Party Single, 'Wanted Me Gone'

    May 26, 2014 11:00 AM EDT "Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work." Painter Chuck Close's creative philosophy suggests Josh Thompson and the team around him must be a bunch of pros, because they were able to build a grinding, energetic single, "Wanted Me Gone,…

  13. Ask Billboard: How 'Good' Is Michael Jackson?!

    May 18, 2014 9:05 AM EDT The King of Pop - ahead of what's sure to be a highlight of the Billboard Music Awards - is back and adding to his legacy on Billboard charts As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first…

  14. Martina McBride Dazzles with Hits, R&B Standards During Carnival Cruise Concert Series

    May 17, 2014 11:50 AM EDT “How lucky are we that we get to be here together?” Martina McBride asked the sold-out crowd on board the Carnival Ecstasy this week, where she was performing the first of two shows in Cozumel, Mexico, as part of the cruise line’s new Carnival Live concert series. “This has been a new…

  15. Holly Williams Pregnant with First Child

    May 15, 2014 3:35 AM EDT Americana songstress Holly Williams and her husband Chris Coleman are expecting their first child this fall. "We are so ecstatic to have this little miracle coming,” comments Williams, who is the granddaughter of Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Jr, in a statement.   Holly Williams…

  16. Jimmy Page To Re-Release 'Photographic Autobiography'

    May 09, 2014 5:26 AM EDT Jimmy Page will see his official autography, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, a photographic essay he personally created to tell his story for the first time, hit major bookstores in October after being published as a limited edition in 2010. It will retail at $60, but is currently available via pre…

  17. Hunter Hayes Leads Country's Youth Revolution, Without a Pickup Truck or Beer in Sight

    May 06, 2014 1:28 PM EDT With new album "Storyline," 22-year-old prodigy Hunter Hayes is leading country's youth revolution -- without a pickup truck or beer can in sight. Strolling into a trendy eatery in Las Vegas, Hunter Hayes, casually clad in jeans and a gray T-shirt, is teeming with the youthful…

  18. Hank Cochran, Mac Wiseman, Ronnie Milsap Named Country Hall Inductees

    April 22, 2014 1:56 PM EDT The Country Music Hall of Fame announced the names of their 2014 class on Tuesday morning (Apr. 22), and the inductees reflect the diversity of the format's rich and varied history – with one of the format's all-time biggest artists who mined country with pop and R&B, a…

  19. Lost Radio Program Featuring Hank Williams Found

    April 17, 2014 7:24 PM EDT Previously unreleased recordings of country music legend Hank Williams performing songs on a 1950 radio show will be released next month for download and on vinyl. Charlie McCoy Honors Hank Williams on 'Lonesome Whistle' "The Garden Spot Programs, 1950" features 24 songs…

  20. Ask Billboard: Hits That Have Out-Charted The Songs They Sample

    April 15, 2014 11:05 AM EDT Your knowledgeable responses about hit songs with samples, from Eminem to the 'Macarena.' Plus, John Legend has added class to the Hot 100 As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first…

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