1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Restless Heart's Hometown Christmas Show Keeps Them Well Rested

    December 15, 2014 5:12 PM EST Veteran country band Restless Heart is celebrating the holidays in a very unique way this year, through their partnership with Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center for the holiday-themed dinner show A Season of Harmony -- part of the Nashville hotel's annual "Country…

  5. From Disclosure to Kiesza, How Music Stars Were Inspired By '90s Dance Icons in 2014

    December 15, 2014 4:25 PM EST The decade’s dance music came alive again in 2014, with new acts finding inspiration from old icons. Disclosure // Frankie Knuckles Inspired by Frankie Knuckles (who died in March) and the ’90s Chicago house scene, the British brother duo led the throwback dance revival with its…

  6. No Doubt, System of a Down & More Ring in 25 Years of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas

    December 15, 2014 3:19 PM EST What the Jingle Ball tour has become to the pop world, KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas has been to the alternative scene for more than two decades. The L.A. radio station's annual December show, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, had its status as arguably the…

  7. The Industry in 2014: Digital Is the New Mainstream, Despite Taylor's Protestations

    December 15, 2014 2:53 PM EST Throughout the week, Billboard will be publishing pieces from our staff writers, each an outstanding authority on their specific area of coverage. From Nashville to Miami, the industry at large, publishing and retail, and the year in touring, we'll be taking comprehensive looks at the…

  8. Op-Ed: Why 2014 Was Pop's 'End of Men' Moment

    December 15, 2014 1:40 PM EST Pop music came to a ringing conclusion this year: Girls rule and boys drool. The lasting image will be Beyoncé posing defiantly in front of the word feminist at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Its comedic corollary was Drake , on the receiving end of history’s most emasculating lap dance, in…

  9. Charli XCX, Tove Lo, and Other Hit Artists Made 2014 an International Year for Pop

    December 15, 2014 1:35 PM EST A huge crop of new international acts broke through in America, from Canadian 
reggae-rock band Magic to Scandinavian synth-poppers Tove Lo and MØ to Japanese 
3-D avatar Hatsune Miku , who played Madison Square Garden. See below for where they hail from around the globe. Click to View…

  10. Spotify Founder/CEO Daniel Ek: 'We Need to Do a Better Job Explaining to Artists How Streaming Benefits Them'

    December 15, 2014 1:30 PM EST For the 31-year-old Spotify founder/CEO, the company's momentous 2014 wasn't enough. Billboard: What were the best and worst parts of 2014 for you? Daniel Ek: We launched in almost 30 new countries. The growth in subscribers has been fantastic. And I became a father about a year…

  11. Modest Mouse Releases 'Lampshades on Fire,' First New Song in Years

    December 15, 2014 1:20 PM EST 'Strangers To Ourselves' will be the band's first studio LP since 2007. For  Modest Mouse fans, the wait for a new studio album is almost over. Strangers To Ourselves will drop March 3 via Epic, and the first listen from that album has hit the internet. It’s a spunky, offbeat…

  12. Corner Office: Republic Records Honchos Monte & Avery Lipman Discuss Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Smash and Defend 'The Voice'

    December 15, 2014 10:41 AM EST The 2014 market-share leaders on maintaining dominance, defending 'The Voice' and finding tomorrow's breakout: "You can't rush hits." Among the many plaques lining the walls of Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman ’s midtown Manhattan office, the one…

  13. BSBB Round 2: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 15, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Maps Maroon 5 DENISE WARNER: This isn’t even close. Years from now, Smith’s “Stay With Me” will be remembered as a career-making turn  — and “Maps” will be just another cookie-cutter Maroon 5 hit. My Vote…

  14. Audiam Raises Additional $1 Million From Music Biz Investors

    December 15, 2014 7:30 AM EST Audiam, the company started by Tunecore co-founders Jeff Price and Peter Wells to serve publishers and publishing administrators to get them paid accurately from interactive streaming music services, has just raised an additional $1 million in funding from a group of individual strategic…

  15. Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran Lead U.K. Sales Charts

    December 15, 2014 3:20 AM EST Artist-producer Mark Ronson has landed his first U.K. No. 1 single, after “Uptown Funk” (Columbia/Sony), featuring Bruno Mars , entered at the top Sunday (Dec. 14). Ed Sheeran’s   X  (Asylum/Warner Music) rose again for its tenth aggregate week at the album summit. Ronson’s collaboration…

  16. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Album Finally Drops: First Listen

    December 14, 2014 11:37 PM EST After 14 years without a full-length album, D’Angelo ’s Black Messiah was released Sunday (Dec. 14) just before midnight. The 12-track set is available here via iTunes.   How can you possibly encounter an album like this? The weight of expectations looms large, and it cuts two ways.…

  17. Amanda Palmer Writes on Business of Music, Touring at a Loss: 'Don't Talk About Your Risks'

    December 14, 2014 9:54 PM EST "The mostly-unspoken rule that artists aren’t supposed to talk about their businesses reveals plenty about how we tend to think of 'art' and 'business' as mutually exclusive," writes Amanda Palmer in an op-ed for the Guardian , describing the double standards…

  18. Modest Mouse's New Album, 'Strangers to Ourselves,' Will Be Out in March

    December 14, 2014 7:50 PM EST Modest Mouse teased a new single called "Lampshades on Fire" last week with an Instagram post , and now the band has let a lucky fan release news of a new album set for next year.  Modest Mouse & Brand New Rock New York's Forest Hills Stadium According to a Twitter post…

  19. BSBB Round 3: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Happy Pharrell Williams DENISE WARNER: Yes, Pharrell’s “Happy” got Meryl Streep up out of her seat at the Oscars. But had Beyonce’s oh-so-dirty duet with her husband been eligible for an…

  20. BSBB Round 2: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Jeremih ft. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Steal My Girl One Direction Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG MEAGHAN GARVEY: The sun rose and set on what felt like a dozen supposed release dates for my most anticipated R&B album of the year, Jeremih’s Late…

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