1. 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…

  2. Exclusive: TuneCore Buys 'Location Goodie Bag' Startup DropKloud

    December 17, 2014 5:49 PM EST TuneCore has added to its list of artist services by acquiring DropKloud , the maker of a consumer-facing mobile app aimed at musicians and is set to launch next year. Boston-based co-founders James DeNino and Kedar Frederic will head TunesCore's new office in that city. DropKloud is a…

  3. 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, 2013's…

  4. '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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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 extremely…

  8. The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    December 17, 2014 12:59 PM EST Ever see a movie where the protagonist wasn’t born, or the USSR won the Cold War, and the alternate future is different from the present day? Think back to Doc Brown using a chalkboard to draw tangential, alternate futures for Marty McFly in Back to the Future . Well, imagine if vinyl…

  9. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: Read Round 3 in our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 17, 2014 11:30 AM 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 are…

  10. West Virginia High Schooler Comes Out As Gay to Taylor Swift's 'Love Story'

    December 17, 2014 11:20 AM EST The country singer Ty Herndon recently told People that Kacey Musgraves ' song "Follow Your Arrow" helped motivate him to come out. In West Virginia, a country song from  Taylor Swift  recently soundtracked a similar situation. In a piece published yesterday on the website…

  11. Anthony Hamilton Hits 'Home' With First Holiday Album

    December 17, 2014 9:43 AM EST The Grammy Award winner and current nominee will also appear as a special guest on Fox's new drama "Empire." To co-opt a popular phrase during this time of year, 'tis the season for Anthony Hamilton . Home for the Holidays , the R&B singer/songwriter/producer’s first…

  12. Sony Hack Reveals Snapchat Wanted a Record Label, Too Much Money From Vevo

    December 17, 2014 8:59 AM EST The leak of Sony Entertainment's internal documents, most recently the email account of Sony Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton , has revealed high-level talks between that company and Snapchat, the messaging service that turned down billions from Facebook earlier this year…

  13. System of a Down 2015 Tour: Serj Tankian Explains the Message Behind the Shows

    December 16, 2014 7:12 PM EST One of the most anticipated sets of this past weekend's KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas was the 2014 live debut of System of a Down , who used the show as a warmup to a 2015 tour. Fans continue to hold out hope that the 2015 dates will lead to new music from the multi-platinum hard…

  14. 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…

  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. Why Were Jay Z, Justin Timberlake & Taylor Swift Hanging Out? 10 (Not-So-Likely) Theories

    December 16, 2014 2:24 PM EST "I stay out too late...then have music titans come over the following afternoon." Even by Taylor Swift 's high standards, she's having a pretty great weekend. After receiving Billboard 's Woman of the Year Award on Friday, she had her 25th birthday party attended by…

  18. Publishing Briefs: Nettwerk Buys Stake in Ten Ten Music Group, BMG Chrysalis Inks Hasbro Deal, Greg Kurstin Re-Ups With Sony/ATV

    December 16, 2014 12:40 PM EST Billboard's Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world. • The Nashville music publishing scene continues to attract investors. In the latest deal, Nettwerk Music Group 's publishing division has acquired 50 percent of the Ten Ten Music Group 's…

  19. 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.…

  20. Fabolous, DJ Mustard & Angie Martinez Set for Roc Nation Sports' 'Throne Boxing' Event

    December 16, 2014 8:33 AM EST Roc Nation Sports has announced the performance lineup for its first hybrid fight/live music event, called throne boxing, to be held Jan. 9 in New York City. In addition to a 10-round bout between Dusty Hernandez Harrison and Tommy Rainone , spectators will see DJ Mustard and radio/TV emcee…

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