1. 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…

  2. Delaware Country Fests To Go Head-To-Head Next Summer

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST Country music promoters will have a better read on just how strong the country music market is in mid-Atlantic region by Monday, as two major country music festivals go on sale today and tomorrow. Big Barrel and Delaware Junction, both new festivals for 2015, will be competing for Delaware&…

  3. Top 5 Producers Shifting the Sound of Atlanta Rap in 2014

    December 18, 2014 1:30 PM EST Super producers such as Organized Noize have paved the way for others to craft the way Atlanta is represented sonically. Now it seems that the current role of the producer in Atlanta is to dictate the way the Billboard chart sounds, with songs like "Tuesday" (produced by Metro…

  4. Firefly Producers Announce New Big Barrel Country Fest, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Loretta Lynn to Play

    December 18, 2014 7:55 AM EST Red Frog Events, the producers of the Firefly Festival, announce today the launch of the Big Barrel Country Music Festival on June 26-28, the weekend after Firefly, at the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., site of Firefly. Headliners include  Blake Shelton , Miranda…

  5. 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…

  6. Ray Price Remembered by Wife Janie, One Year After His Death

    December 16, 2014 6:55 PM EST Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price . For his widow, Janie, it was as if the world had seemingly come to an end. "It was actually four months before I could even leave my home," she says. "I just honestly stayed…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. CAA Signs Latin Music Label Fania Records

    December 16, 2014 1:47 AM EST A half-century after its founding, Fania Records is experiencing a renaissance . The iconic Latin music label is capping off its 50th anniversary by signing with CAA, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Founded by Dominican Republic-born bandleader Johnny Pacheco and attorney…

  13. In the Face of Giants, Indie Concert Promoters Outpaced the Industry at Large This Year

    December 15, 2014 5:37 PM EST The grosses of the top six independent promoters in the U.S. combined increased by more than 15 percent, compared to a 7.7 percent increase for overall. Some 20 years after industry consolidation was supposed to wipe independent promoters off the map, these stubborn, savvy and fiercely…

  14. BSBB Round 3: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Sia, "Chandelier"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Chandelier Sia CAITLIN WHITE: This is a face-off between a fluffy, happy song about fighting off sadness and a sad, trembling song about grasping for happiness — clearly 2014 is full of confusion.…

  15. The Clash's 'London Calling' at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    December 13, 2014 2:30 PM EST Any punk band worth its leather and studs can do dystopian, apocalyptic angst. The world is always ending, and after garbage men and plumbers, angry young guitar players have some of the best job security around. The trick is to rage in your own unique way. On the opening title track of its…

  16. 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…

  17. Billboard Year in Music 2014: Barbra Streisand on Her No. 1 Album 'Partners' Proving 'That I've Stood the Test of Time'

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Comeback Queen Partners 1 Week on Billboard 200 Hello, Gorgeous! This summer, at 72, Barbra Streisand joined Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote her 34th studio album, Partners . Her second album of duets, several of which are interpretations of her iconic works, saw her team…

  18. Billboard Year in Music 2014: 'Weird Al' Yankovic on Inspiring Beyoncé and Making 'Mandatory Fun' a Must-Listen

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Strategist Mandatory Fun 1 Week on Billboard 200 "Weird Al" Yankovic had the last laugh in 2014. In the weeks prior to the release of his 14th album, Mandatory Fun , Yankovic prerecorded a release-week podcast, wherein he joked about having a No. 1 album. He couldn't have…

  19. The 10 Best Country Albums of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST We're shining the spotlight on the best albums to come from Nashville during the past year representing the many branches of the country tree. (And see our list of the 10 best country songs here .)  Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here! 10. Sara Evans - Slow Me…

  20. Radio DJ Ray Teret, Friend of Jimmy Savile, Jailed for 25 Years Over Sex Attacks

    December 11, 2014 1:44 PM EST Former radio DJ Ray Teret has been jailed for 25 years following his conviction for a series of rapes and indecent assaults on "star-struck" young girls in the 1960s and 1970s. Teret was found guilty of seven counts of rape and 11 charges of indecent assault carried out on 11…

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