1. Ron Fair Exits Virgin Records

    October 20, 2014 9:01 PM EDT The veteran executive and award-winning producer was named chief creative officer and executive vice-president in February 2013. Veteran music executive Ron Fair has left Capitol Music Group, Billboard has learned. Fair was hired in Feb. 2013 as chief creative officer and executive vice…

  2. Sting Reflects on Life at 63, His Own Mortality and a ‘Possible Third Act’

    October 20, 2014 1:39 AM EDT "I wouldn't normally do this," said Sting , grinning mischievously as he ambled onstage following the curtain call at the Oct. 2 preview performance of his new Broadway musical, The Last Ship . "But it's my birthday, and I always sing on my birthday." To the…

  3. Country Comedy Legend Ray Stevens Recalls Early Days in 'Nashville'

    October 17, 2014 9:30 PM EDT If you are looking for Ray Stevens to divulge all in his brand new book, Ray Stevens' Nashville , he tells Billboard that you might be in for a little bit of a letdown. "It's a selected memoir," says the legendary comedian. "There's a lot I left out. I wasn&…

  4. Clarence Spalding Is the Nashville Ace in Maverick’s Sleeve

    October 17, 2014 2:47 PM EDT THE NASHVILLE NETWORKER This profile is part of Billboard's Oct. 25 cover story package on the launch of Maverick, a new music-management consortium. You can find our full coverage right here . AGE: 57 TITLE: President, Spalding Entertainment STAFF : 8 CITY: Nashville COMPANY…

  5. 14 New Zealand Acts You Need to Know About

    October 17, 2014 5:17 AM EDT New Zealand has been punching well above its weight in recent years. Think Lorde . Think The Naked and the Famous , Broods , Gin Wigmore , Ladyhawke   and  Kimbra (oh, and don't forget   Flight of the Conchords ). If you figured that’s it, think again. With the nominations announced…

  6. Keyshia Cole Collects Third No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

    October 16, 2014 6:59 PM EDT Also making chart waves: Tinashe, Traci Braxton, NehruvianDOOM & Chris Brown. Keyshia Cole returns to a familiar spot on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums , as the singer collects her third No. 1 set with the arrival of Point of No Return . The effort -- her sixth in total, and all reached…

  7. Tom Petty, Cyndi Lauper, Elvis Costello Among Nominees for Songwriters Hall of Fame

    October 16, 2014 2:57 AM EDT Tom Petty, Vince Gill , Cyndi Lauper , Elvis Costello and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds are among the performing songwriters being considered for the Songwriters Hall of Fame . The organization announced its 2015 nominees Wednesday. Other performers up for the honor are Gloria…

  8. Jason Aldean Earns Second No. 1 Album, Third-Largest Week of 2014

    October 15, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Country star Jason Aldean nets his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as his new release, Old Boots, New Dirt , kicks in atop the list. It starts with 278,000 sold in the week ending Oct. 12, the third-largest sales week of 2014 according to Nielsen SoundScan. Only the…

  9. Album Review: Florida Georgia Line Stay a Step Ahead of the Bros on ‘Anything Goes'

    October 14, 2014 6:17 PM EDT It's appropriate that Florida Georgia Line took its name from both sides of a boundary, because the duo (Georgia-born Tyler Hubbard, 27, and Florida native Brian Kelley, 29) used its multiformat smash "Cruise," and the party-themed album Here's to the Good Times , to…

  10. CODE Guest Playlist: Huxley

    October 14, 2014 5:10 PM EDT Trace U.K. house and garage to their intersection and you're bound to encounter Huxley. The eclectic artist is set to release his new Blurred LP on Oct. 20 through esteemed English imprint Aus. Huxley describes Blurred  as a tribute to the "blurred lines between pop, house, garage…

  11. Thomas Rhett Talks First CMA Nomination, Florida Georgia Line Tour & Famous Fans

    October 13, 2014 6:24 PM EDT On the morning of Sept. 3, Thomas Rhett was in Toronto. It was there that he received some news that he will never forget: his first CMA nomination, for New Artist of the Year. "I didn't have any cell phone service or WiFi, so I used some of my roaming minutes to call my manager,…

  12. Chart Highlights: Taylor Swift 'Shake's to Top of Pop Songs, Iggy Azalea Rules Rhythmic Songs

    October 13, 2014 4:15 PM EDT The divas take over a pair of radio charts, while Nickelback and Florida Georgia Line also add new No. 1s. Plus, AC/DC blasts back onto Mainstream Rock Songs. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. Find out the top songs, Greatest Gainers…

  13. Exclusive: Alicia Keys to Perform With David Byrne at Black Ball Charity Event

    October 13, 2014 11:43 AM EDT Angel Haze will also take the stage at the annual philanthropic gala. Alicia Keys will take the stage with rock legend David Byrne at Keep a Child Alive’s 11th Annual Black Ball event, a yearly gala offering first-time musical collaborations, Billboard has exclusively learned. This year’s…

  14. Hozier's Debut Album Aiming for Top 10 on Billboard 200 Chart

    October 10, 2014 7:32 PM EDT Weezer, Alex & Sierra and Stevie Nicks set for top 10 as well. Country star Jason Aldean is nearly guaranteed his second No. 1 album next week on the Billboard 200 chart. Industry forecasters suggest his latest effort, Old Boots, New Dirt , could sell 270,000 to 290,000 copies in the…

  15. Billboard Cover: Florida Georgia Line on Being ‘Professional Partiers,’ Haters and Hip-Hop

    October 10, 2014 9:00 AM EDT The banjo player has magenta highlights in his hair. The drummer is wearing sunglasses and a Motley Crue T-shirt. In the first song, there's a bass drop: The sound briefly stops, and when it storms back in, a meter at the sound board spikes to 120 decibels. Welcome to the 2014 version…

  16. Meghan Trainor Leads Hot 100's Record-Setting All-Female Top Five

    October 08, 2014 1:59 PM EDT Headed up by Trainor's 'All About That Bass,' women monopolize the top five for a record-breaking fifth consecutive week. Plus, Maroon 5's 'Animals' roars into the top 10 and One Direction debuts at No. 13. It's all about girl power high atop the Billboard…

  17. Blake Shelton Scores Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200

    October 08, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Country king Blake Shelton earns his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as his new release, Bringing Back the Sunshine , debuts atop the list. It was released on Warner Bros. Nashville Records on Sept. 30, and sold 101,000 copies in the week ending Oct. 5, according to Nielsen…

  18. Why 1991 Was the Best Musical Year of the '90s

    October 06, 2014 2:15 PM EDT After focusing on 1994 last week, now, we're wondering what the best year for music was of the '90s. Monday, we make a case for 1990 and 1991 . POP SHOP HOMEPAGE The first musical year of a decade is usually transitional at best -- listening to the most notable releases from a…

  19. Rainbow Room Reopens Atop NYC's Skyline

    October 06, 2014 1:09 AM EDT The Rainbow Room reopened Sunday in its historic perch atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza after a five-year absence from the New York City skyline. "It's breathtaking," guest Jamie Greenwald , one of more than 200 brunch guests who took in the sweeping views outside and the…

  20. Luke Bryan Opens Farm Tour With Hits-Filled Set, Signature Stage Moves In Tennessee

    October 04, 2014 3:42 PM EDT One of his early hits might have been titled “Rain Is A Good Thing,” but Wednesday (Oct. 1) night’s opening date of Luke Bryan ’s Farm Tour 2014 didn’t feature a single drop of precipitation. Luke Bryan's Tour Has Grossed $55.5 Million (And Counting) Instead, it was a perfect Autumn…

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