1. Pioneering Rap Producer Larry Smith Has Died

    December 19, 2014 1:47 PM EST Sad news in the world of hip-hip -- one of rap music's pioneering producers, Larry Smith, has passed away  at the age of 63. Smith co-produced Run-D.M.C. 's incalculably influential first two albums ( Run-D.M.C. and King of Rock ) alongside Russell Simmons. Additionally, he…

  2. Shawn Mendes, Gwen Stefani and Meghan Trainor at the Z100 Jingle Ball: Real-Time Twitter Chart Rewind Ep. 29

    December 19, 2014 1:00 PM EST Welcome back to Billboard's weekly video show "Real-Time Rewind," which recaps the past week's hottest action on the new Billboard Real-Time Twitter Charts -- Trending 140 and Emerging Artists -- and the news that's driving the action. Joe Levy stops by Z100’s…

  3. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Sam Smith Brings 'Merry Little Christmas' to Chart for First Time

    December 19, 2014 12:15 PM EST Smith's version of the 70-year-old ballad makes its first Hot 100 appearance, joining carols by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. Plus, moves for Usher and Charli XCX. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week,…

  4. Paul McCartney Worked on a Song About Police Killings: 'I'm Not Giving Up On It'

    December 19, 2014 1:00 AM EST Sir Paul McCartney is 72, and only the wrinkles give his years away. Interviewed recently at his midtown Manhattan office suite, he seems as boyish and light-footed as he was on stage decades ago for The Ed Sullivan Show , his manner informal, his build slender and well suited for jeans and…

  5. Ardent Studios Founder John Fry Dies at 69

    December 18, 2014 10:30 PM EST John Fry , the producer and engineer who founded Memphis' famed Ardent Studios and the Ardent Records label, has died at the age of 69. It was Fry who once said that, "Your moods are affected by your surroundings. I think there is something that operates in Memphis...and at Ardent…

  6. 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale Song Debuts on Rock Chart

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST As the bloody motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy concluded its seven-season run Dec. 9 on FX, its swan song, "Come Join the Murder," debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart. The original track is credited to the show's house band, the Forest Rangers, and White…

  7. Taylor Swift No. 1 on Artist 100 Chart, J. Cole Debuts at No. 2

    December 18, 2014 2:32 PM EST Swift reigns for a ninth week, while Cole launches fueled by album sales. Taylor Swift remains atop the Billboard Artist 100 chart, logging a record-extending ninth week at No. 1, while J. Cole soars in at No. 2, powered by sales for his new album. The Artist 100 provides the first weekly…

  8. 'Maybe the Adrenaline Keeps Me Going': Landau Management's Barbara Carr on Working with Springsteen for 34 Years

    December 18, 2014 11:46 AM EST "Couldn't get along without you, Barb," Bruce Springsteen said of Barbara Carr when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 15 years ago. Any Springsteen fan worth their salt knows his longtime manager and former producer, Jon Landau . Less visible (by choice) is Carr,…

  9. 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…

  10. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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