1. Billboard Music Cities: The Future of Nashville

    August 07, 2014 4:14 PM EDT Five tech startups that represent Music City's new cutting edge. Nashville is more than country music. Yes, the region of 1.7 million people is ground zero for cowboy-hatted superstars, legendary Music Row songwriters, major labels and publishers, and, of course, the Grand Ole Opry and…

  2. Does Country Music Need An Alcohol Intervention?

    July 29, 2014 5:42 PM EDT The stewardess in Dierks Bentley 's "Drunk on a Plane" is "leanin', pourin' Coke and whiskey." The woman in Lady Antebellum 's "Bartender" is ordering a double shot of Crown. The guy in Brad Paisley 's "River Bank" is hauling a…

  3. Singer-Songwriter Dale Watson: Trucking Music Isn't Dead

    July 28, 2014 4:20 PM EDT If you're thinking of calling Dale Watson a country singer, think again. On the cover of the singer-songwriter's recently released 3-CD box set entitled  The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy  is a sticker that says “File Under Ameripolitan.” So, what exactly does that mean? “I don’t even…

  4. Bobby Bare Talks New Music, Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash: 'He Was a Hell of a Man'

    July 22, 2014 8:31 PM EDT Some say that Bobby Bare doesn't get excited much – a reflection on his easy-going nature. However, the Country Music Hall of Fame member told Billboard that he is definitely looking forward to next month's Johnny Cash Music Festival in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The two-day event, slated…

  5. Sammy Kershaw 'Cried Like a Little Baby' Recording George Jones Tribute Album

    July 18, 2014 6:20 PM EDT When it comes to his favorite singers, Sammy Kershaw says he has a very short list. “I have four heroes – Hank Williams,  George Jones, Mel Street, and the late Ronnie Van Zant,” he admitted to Billboard, though he stressed “If someone made me put them in order, it would be George Jones…

  6. Attention, Country Music Hall of Fame Voters: Here's Who You Need to Induct

    July 17, 2014 12:51 PM EDT To: The Voters for the Country Music Hall of Fame First of all, I understand the responsibility that you have to the industry and to the Hall as you go through your voting process each year. It seems that with each selection you make, the cries get louder for others to be inducted. It is a…

  7. Charlie Haden, Veteran Jazz Bassist, Dead at 76

    July 11, 2014 5:30 PM EDT Charlie Haden, one of the most influential bass players of his generation, has died after a prolonged illness, according to his family and his record label, ECM. Charles Edward Haden was born in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1937 and was raised in Springfield, MO. The youngest of four kids,…

  8. Lady Gaga Duets With Tony Bennett; Elvis Costello Performs at Montreal Jazz Festival (Video)

    July 03, 2014 10:17 AM EDT A milestone 35th-anniversary edition, which runs through July 6, brings out big names and surprises. For those attending the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, which runs from June 26 through July 6, it’s been a nonstop party. Pulling out all the stops for its…

  9. 'Rising Star': Kesha on Not Swearing on Live TV or 'Shitting on People's Dreams'

    June 30, 2014 6:53 PM EDT Ludacris reveals why rappers have less of a chance of success on the ABC show, and Brad Paisley advises upcoming hopefuls to go with a hot Disney track. Of the three "Rising Star" experts, Kesha seems much more constrained in her commentary in comparison to Ludacris and Brad Paisley…

  10. Is Big Smo For Real? A Q&A With the Self-Proclaimed 'Hick Ross'

    June 27, 2014 3:46 PM EDT Meet the country-rap "hick-hopper" with an A&E show and a record deal. A&E’s latest reality star? A country rapper named Big Smo. Real name John Smith, the 39-year-old Unionville, Tenn., native falls somewhere between Colt Ford and Bubba Sparxxx. Smo’s self-titled series,…

  11. The Sun Sets On ‘Californication’: David Duchovny Discusses the Show’s Rock n’ Roll Connection (Q&A)

    June 27, 2014 12:59 PM EDT This Sunday night (June 29th at 9:30p ET/PT), after seven memorable seasons, Hank Moody and his very distinctive ‘Californication’ crew will say farewell. When the credits come up on that last episode of the popular Showtime series, it will also mark the end of one of the most authentically…

  12. Jean Shepard Reflects on Her Life 'Down Through The Years'

    June 26, 2014 3:00 PM EDT Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard is in a reflective mood these days, and much of that stems from releasing her long-awaited autobiography, "Down Through The Years." She admitted to Billboard that it has been a work in progress – for a while. “I’ve been working on it…

  13. Michael Jackson's Top 50 Billboard Hits

    June 25, 2014 9:00 AM EDT A look back at the music that made Michael Jackson the undisputed King of Pop In a career that spanned almost all 50 years of his life, Michael Jackson became a mainstay on the Billboard charts. It was his dominance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, however, that entered him into the…

  14. Chicago, 'Now': Exclusive Song & Video Premiere

    June 17, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Chicago singer, keyboardist and co-founder Robert Lamm says that sticking the word "Now" at the front of "Chicago XXXVI's" title is no insignificant detail. And ahead of the album, due next month, Billboard exclusively premieres not only the title track but also its…

  15. Tom Hiddleston To Play Hank Williams in Biopic

    June 13, 2014 3:48 AM EDT Setting aside his villainous persona as "The Avengers’" Loki, Tom Hiddleston will play country western singer Hank Williams in Marc Abraham’s "I Saw the Light," which will chronicle the performer’s rise to fame and fame’s ultimately tragic effects. Abraham is directing…

  16. Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith Lead U.K. Sales Charts

    June 09, 2014 4:41 AM EDT Ed Sheeran has scored his first U.K. No. 1 single, debuting at the top of the new chart published by the Official Charts Company on Sunday (June 8) with “Sing” (Asylum/Warner Music). Sam Smith started a second week at the album chart summit with “In The Lonely Hour” (Capitol/Universal) as…

  17. Joe Nichols Gets 'Awkward' at CMA Week Event

    June 06, 2014 1:25 PM EDT The 2014 CMA Music Festival is off and running, with many artists already having held their annual fan club parties. For Red Bow recording artist Joe Nichols, the day marked an opportunity to get up close and personal with over 300 of his fans with a party at Nashville's The Listening…

  18. Ringo Starr Producing His New Album; Talks Tour, Beatles & His 'Incredible Year'

    June 05, 2014 3:20 PM EDT Ringo Starr has had a ball celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America this year as well as some of his own honors. But, he says, it's put a bit of a crimp in plans for his next album. Starr tells Billboard that he's "probably two-thirds through…

  19. Jack White, 'Lazaretto': Track-By-Track Review

    June 03, 2014 1:15 PM EDT That rattle and clang can only mean one thing: Jack White 's comin' 'round the mountain, pushing his trusty rusty shopping cart of American musical artifacts and curiosities. This time, he's peddling his second solo album, "Lazaretto," the latest in a long line…

  20. Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood Soar Onto Hot Country Songs In Top Five

    May 29, 2014 11:40 AM EDT The divas blast onto the chart following their performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Plus, moves for Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann and Jake Worthington As previously reported , Brantley Gilbert scores his first No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as his third studio album,…

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