1. Op-Ed: Steve Wariner on Why Dottie West Should Be a Country Music Hall of Fame Member

    December 21, 2014 12:30 PM EST Over the past year, The 615 has offered opinions concerning who the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame should be. In July, we made our case for Don Rich, the longtime sideman for Buck Owens , in the Instrumentalist category. Just a few weeks ago, we told of the great…

  2. Wynonna Picks Her 5 Essential Christmas Songs

    December 19, 2014 9:24 PM EST Wynonna says that her A Simpler Christmas Tour has been quite an emotional roller coaster. "It's basically a tragic comedy," she tells Billboard . "I get to talk about very some intensely personal deep and sentimental family stuff from growing up in Appalachia. We didn&…

  3. Shaquille O'Neal Proposes to Nicki Minaj During Freestyle

    December 19, 2014 3:30 PM EST Nicki Minaj appeared on Inside The NBA yesterday for what Kenny Smith called, "the TNT Cypher." Smith, Shaquille O'Neal , and Grant Hill all took turns rapping light-heartedly -- Ernie Johnson mostly chose not to rhyme -- before Minaj ended up with the mic. Watch below. Grant…

  4. 'Salad Days,' Comprehensive Doc on Washington, D.C.'s Hardcore Scene, Gets a Hometown Premiere

    December 19, 2014 1:08 PM EST A long-awaited documentary on the influential 80s D.C. hardcore scene Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. , makes its hometown premiere tonight (Dec. 19) at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center  in Silver Spring, MD. The first of the four-sold out screenings this weekend…

  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. T.G. Sheppard on the Evolution of Music, Tricking Elvis & More

    December 18, 2014 6:45 PM EST It was four decades ago that T.G. Sheppard began his initial ascent up the Billboard country charts with "Devil in the Bottle." The song helped the singer transition from a successful career as a record promoter for RCA into his own musical career. All these years later, the…

  7. The Country Music Industry in 2014: Garth's Return, Taylor's Exit

    December 18, 2014 2:49 PM EST With country music at a peak in popularity, the comings and goings in the format seemed more crucial than ever. And there were plenty -- Garth Brooks came back, George Strait decided it was time to go, two guys from a different era came out, and a few stars chose to go out. On the road. In…

  8. Carrie Underwood, 'Voice' Winner Craig Wayne Boyd Debut on Country Charts

    December 18, 2014 12:25 PM EST Underwood scores her record-tying fifth consecutive No. 1 bow, of five career releases, on Top Country Albums. Carrie Underwood storms Billboard 's Top Country Albums chart with Greatest Hits: Decade #1 , which arrives at No. 1 with 94,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music. The set…

  9. Windowing New Music May Not Goose Sales, Study Shows

    December 18, 2014 12:01 PM EST A case study by on one song in two different territories by two Spotify executives shows why windowing releases might not be a good idea. The Spotify duo, director of economic development Will Page and analyst Kenny Ning, chose to look at how Meghan Trainor 's "All About That Bass…

  10. Remember Hilary Duff's Cheesy Christmas Song 'Santa Claus Lane'?

    December 17, 2014 1:20 PM EST With just a little over a week until Christmas, we're breaking out all the Christmas music, which means in addition to classics like The Carpenters and Kenny Rogers, we're also remembering more recent additions to the "Original Song" Christmas canon -- and they aren'…

  11. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' and Why Waiting 14 Years For Music Isn't a Bad Thing

    December 16, 2014 4:55 PM EST Imagine going to a steakhouse, ordering the best steak in the restaurant after being told the best steak will take an hour to properly cook, waiting impatiently as everyone around you gets their food before you, angrily wondering why YOUR steak has to take so damn long... and then…

  12. Joan Jett on Her Rock Hall Induction: 'It's a Roiling Pot of Emotions'

    December 16, 2014 4:34 PM EST Last April, Joan Jett was one of four women who played with Nirvana during its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "Maybe it reminded people I'm out there," Jett quipped on Tuesday (Dec. 16). Maybe so. Jett and her band the Blackhearts…

  13. 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…

  14. Why China's Mobile Providers Are a Giant Problem for Its Music Industry

    December 16, 2014 11:15 AM EST In this guest post, China-based entreprenuer Archie Hamilton explains how the country's music industry is at the mercy of a monopolistic mobile communications industry. So what to do? Back in 2008 and 2009, the debate within the media industries on how to compete with free was raging.…

  15. 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…

  16. American Country Countdown Awards: Luke Bryan & Florida Georgia Line Roll Over Competition

    December 15, 2014 10:30 PM EST Jason Aldean takes home top prize at inaugural awards show, while Kenny Chesney & Reba McEntire are honored. The inaugural American Country Countdown Awards were held Monday night (Dec. 15) at Nashville's Music City Center, and as producers hoped, the night was akin to a Christmas…

  17. 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…

  18. Brett Eldredge Talks Inaugural American Country Countdown Awards: 'You Only Have One First Time'

    December 15, 2014 2:57 PM EST It has been nothing short of an overwhelming year for Brett Eldredge . Last week, it was announced that his single "Beat of the Music" was the No. 1 single of 2014 on the Country Airplay Songs chart. Along with his latest single, "Mean to Me," Eldredge was the only…

  19. Live Music's $20 Billion Year: Rolling Stones, One Direction, Live Nation Top Boxscore's Year-End

    December 12, 2014 2:31 PM EST Attendance is down, but spectacular ticket sales by One Direction, The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake, plus a series of blockbuster stadium shows, propelled the North American concert industry to a record 2014. Boy band One Direction and former boy band member Justin Timberlake…

  20. American Country Countdown Awards: You're Invited to 'Country Music's Christmas Office Party'

    December 11, 2014 3:03 PM EST The inaugural ACCAs will air live Monday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. The inaugural American Country Countdown Awards will take place Monday night live from Nashville's Music City Center on Fox. In a crowded landscape of country music awards shows, what will set this one apart? "We view…

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