1. U.S.-Cuba Musical Relations: A Timeline of Milestones

    December 19, 2014 5:15 PM EST Before President Obama's announcement Wednesday that the U.S. would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, there were five decades of a rocky musical relationship that displayed artistic triumphs, personal tragedies and the diplomatic power of music. See our timeline below: 1959 …

  2. Billy Corgan: 'I'm a Rock Star Because I'm a Great F---ing Musician'

    December 19, 2014 4:40 PM EST When it comes to the state of the music industry (or anything else for that matter),  Smashing Pumpkins  mastermind and frontman  Billy Corgan  has no problem speaking his mind. Billboard sat down with the musician in his dressing room at the recent KROQ Almost Acoustic Xmas event in Los…

  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. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: See Who Wins our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 19, 2014 2:00 PM 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…

  5. 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,…

  6. Katy Perry's Australia Tour Sells 350,000 Tickets, Could Have 'Easily' Added a Dozen Shows

    December 19, 2014 2:53 AM EST Katy Perry’s Prismatic tour has left Australia, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  The pop star broke the venue record at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on the weekend, en route to shifting more than 350,000 tickets  across the 23-date Prismatic World Tour Australia , Billboard can reveal.…

  7. Watch Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Stipe & Others Salute Stephen Colbert with Song

    December 19, 2014 1:22 AM EST Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M’s Michael Stipe and Barry Manilow were on hand to give Stephen Colbert a big-time send-off Thursday night.  They were just a few in a dizzying cast of musicians, movie and media personalities, athletes and politicians who joined in for a celebratory round…

  8. People Magazine Awards: And the Winners Are...

    December 18, 2014 11:11 PM EST Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez & more are honored at inaugural ceremony. The inaugural People Magazine Awards are a wrap. Kevin Hart took home the first of the night, Comedy Star of the Year, while Lisa Kudrow was honored with Television Performance of the Year for HBO's The Comeback…

  9. Liberace 'Hologram' to Appear in Las Vegas Show

    December 18, 2014 10:01 PM EST A feature-length live show is in the works in which a virtual version of the entertainer would be able to interact with the audience. With a virtual Tupac and Jimmy Kimmel having gained plenty of the public's attention, startup Hologram USA is now readying to create a virtual…

  10. Azealia Banks Opens Up, Breaks Down in 45-Minute-Plus Radio Interview

    December 18, 2014 8:24 PM EST If you thought Azealia Banks only speaks her mind on Twitter, you need to watch this interview. Banks sat down for a 45-minute-plus chat with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning , and the roundtable discussion covered everything from her ongoing beef with similarly named rapper Iggy Azalea to…

  11. The 14 Best Pop Albums of 2014

    December 18, 2014 4:49 PM EST From Tove to Taylor to Bleachers, these 14 in '14 were worth many, many listens. I’m not publishing a list of the Best Pop Songs of 2014 list, because, well, we have a week-long bracket tournament discussing the best pop songs of the year already. Instead, I want to highlight my…

  12. Watch Stephen Colbert Sell Michael Stipe at a NYC Yard Sale

    December 18, 2014 12:00 PM EST After nine years on TV, Stephen Colbert is retiring his blustering conservative alter ego Stephen Colbert on Thursday night. So with just hours to go before the end, Colbert rounded up all the junk he's collected over the years on his show and pawned it off at a New York City yard sale…

  13. '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,…

  14. Music Supervisors for 'Glee,' 'Book of Life,' 'Begin Again' Lead Guild Nominations

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Guild of Music Supervisors will hand out its fifth annual awards Jan. 21 at Mack Sennett Studios in Hollywood, honoring music supervisors for their work in motion pictures, television, games, trailers and advertising. Glee supervisor PJ Bloom received three nominations while recently…

  15. What the U.S.-Cuba Breakthrough Could Mean for Music

    December 17, 2014 9:43 PM EST Could Obama's 'fresh approach' strengthen both Cuba's draw as a music destination and Cuban artists' popularity in the United States? How could restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba impact musicians in both countries? According to…

  16. Muted Hurrahs For Easing of Cuban Sanctions

    December 17, 2014 7:29 PM EST Industry Is Optimistic, but Still Evaluating President Obama’s announcement that he planned to “normalize” relationships with Cuba was met with muted response from the Latin music industry. The demureness could simply be attributed to the season; Christmas is around the corner. But also,…

  17. 'The Voice' Finale: How Were the Ratings?

    December 17, 2014 2:58 PM EST NBC's singing competition is steady with the recent May ender. NBC closed out another season of The Voice on Tuesday night. The two-hour wrap-up for the seventh cycle was enough to easily win the night for the network in the key demo. With an average 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 and…

  18. 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…

  19. Michael Jackson Estate Renews with BMI

    December 17, 2014 2:10 PM EST Michael Jackson 's estate has renewed its long-standing partnership with BMI for representation of the late pop icon's catalog, the performing rights organization announced on Wednesday. The pact, which dates back over 38 years, covers the public performances of Jackson's…

  20. Mick Management Brings On Former Artist Organization President Rich Schaefer

    December 17, 2014 1:57 PM EST Following a six-year tenure at The Artists Organization -- including two years as president -- Rich Schaefer has now moved to Mick Management as a partner, Billboard has exclusively learned. Schaefer joins CEO Michael McDonald and partners Jonathan Eshak and Rich Cohen .   “I’m…

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