1. Dave Appell, Songwriter for Chubby Checker, Dies at 92

    November 20, 2014 5:20 PM EST He co-wrote 'Let’s Twist Again' and 'Limbo Rock' and produced for Tony Orlando & Dawn. Dave Appell , the Philadelphia songwriter-producer behind such 1960s rock 'n' roll hits as "Let's Twist Again" and "Limbo Rock" from Chubby…

  2. Sugarhill Gang Rapper Dead at 57

    November 11, 2014 12:18 PM EST Sugarhill Gang rapper Big Bank Hank -- born Henry Jackson -- has died at age 57. TMZ first reported the news , which  Rolling Stone later confirmed . Jackson was suffering from cancer and passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Bronx-born rapper was one of hip-hop's…

  3. CMA Awards' Exec Producer Gives the Inside Scoop on This Year's Show -- From the All-Star Duets to the Surprise Guests

    November 03, 2014 5:53 PM EST An interview with CMA's executive producer Robert Deaton Robert Deaton is a very busy man. As executive producer of the CMA Awards, Deaton is preparing for the 48th Annual CMA Awards live on ABC Wednesday night (Nov. 5) from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. On Friday, he'll…

  4. Who Dominated the Country Charts in 1984? The Top 5 Acts -- From Willie Nelson to George Strait

    October 29, 2014 5:49 PM EDT By 1984, country music had begun to regain the stylistic focus it had surrendered to the brief and artistically confused Urban Cowboy period. Nearly as quickly as they had arrived, the new audience that the 1980 film had brought to country music moved on, leaving the genre with a restless,…

  5. The Academy of Country Music Awards Celebrates Milestone with 'This Is Country' Book

    October 28, 2014 1:40 AM EDT Next year will be an important one for the Academy of Country Music Awards. The Los Angeles-based organization will celebrate the 50th anniversary since its first trophies were first presented in 1965. And, to celebrate, the show will be headed on the road for a one-time-only trip to AT&…

  6. Country Music Hall of Fame Warmly Welcomes Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman & Hank Cochran

    October 27, 2014 7:39 PM EDT Sunday night's Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame saw three very diverse musical legends inducted into one of music's most exclusive clubs, as Mac Wiseman , Hank Cochran  and Ronnie Milsap were each celebrated for their wide array of musical accomplishments on…

  7. Ronnie Milsap on New 21-Disc RCA Collection: 'It's My History'

    October 24, 2014 8:02 PM EDT Ronnie Milsap would be lying if he said that the possibility of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame hadn't entered his mind -- but, when he got the news, he tells Billboard  it still took him by surprise. "I was here at the house," he recalls, "and some…

  8. The Case for Inducting The Oak Ridge Boys Into the Country Music Hall of Fame

    October 21, 2014 6:24 PM EDT Three months ago, we gave you our thoughts on why Don Rich should be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015 in the musicians' category. This month, we take a look at what is known as the Modern Era category. Open to acts that have been involved in the business for between…

  9. Nashville Songwriter Paul Craft Dies at 76: Report

    October 19, 2014 10:21 AM EDT Nashville songwriter and Hall of Famer Paul Craft has died in Tennessee at the age of 76. The Tennessean reported that Craft died Saturday at a Nashville hospital "after years of deteriorating health." Craft penned the words to songs made famous by the likes of Ray Stevens , Mark…

  10. Hank Williams Biopic 'I Saw the Light' Casts Four New Roles

    October 17, 2014 4:51 AM EDT Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light has rounded out its cast, adding David Krumholtz, Josh Pais, James DuMont and Wrenn Schmidt . The RatPac Entertainment and Bron Studios film will star Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen as the famed musician and his wife Audrey Mae Williams . Marc…

  11. Billy Bob Thornton's Boxmasters Go 'Somewhere' With 101 Records

    October 16, 2014 8:30 PM EDT Some artists may battle a bit of writer's block when prepping for a new release, but that's definitely not an issue for the Boxmasters ' principal songwriters Billy Bob Thornton and J.D. Andrew , who have delivered a double-album, Somewhere Down the Road , for the band's…

  12. Oscar Host Neil Patrick Harris: Watch 7 of His Musical Hosting Moments

    October 15, 2014 7:01 PM EDT No disrespect to Barney Stinson, but " Neil Patrick Harris : Awards Show Host" may just be the Emmy- and Tony-winning actor's most delightful role yet. Earlier Wednesday (Oct. 15), it was announed that Harris would finally get his shot on the biggest stage of all: He'…

  13. MLB Playoffs: All the Intro Songs Revealed

    October 15, 2014 4:15 PM EDT What are players rocking when they step to the plate? There’s a lot more than organ music at baseball games these days. Unless we’re talking Chicago’s Wrigley Field (the only stadium that sticks to the classic organ sounds), every MLB player has the opportunity to step to the plate with his…

  14. 35 Years Ago, Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' Made Its First Chart Appearance

    October 13, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Several years after hip-hop culture began to take shape at parties in the Bronx and Queens, Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" was released via Sugar Hill Records on Sept. 16, 1979. Nearly one month after its release, the watershed single made its first appearance on a…

  15. Lucinda Williams Honors Ailing Dad By Putting Music to His Poem

    October 12, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Lucinda Williams says that during a recent visit her father, acclaimed poet Miller Williams, calmly told her that Alzheimer's disease had robbed him of his ability to write poetry. Her 84-year-old father's increased frailty lent new urgency to Williams' effort to pay tribute…

  16. Billboard Cover: Florida Georgia Line on Being ‘Professional Partiers,’ Haters and Hip-Hop

    October 10, 2014 9:00 AM EDT The banjo player has magenta highlights in his hair. The drummer is wearing sunglasses and a Motley Crue T-shirt. In the first song, there's a bass drop: The sound briefly stops, and when it storms back in, a meter at the sound board spikes to 120 decibels. Welcome to the 2014 version…

  17. Montgomery Gentry Tease Early 2015 Release for New Album

    October 06, 2014 6:15 PM EDT With "Headlights" giving Montgomery Gentry their first chart appearance since 2012, the duo's Troy Gentry tells Billboard it's good to be back. "It's been a while, and it's great to hear some Montgomery Gentry back on the radio. We’ve got a new deal with…

  18. Exclusive: Rob Scallon Covers Slayer's 'Angel of Death,' Explains Making Money Off YouTube

    October 03, 2014 10:45 AM EDT Some things work best in pairs: peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, heavy metal and... banjos? That's right -- Rob Scallon became a viral internet sensation when he released a banjo cover of Slayer 's "Raining Blood," which currently has more than 3.3 million views…

  19. Eminem, Rihanna & More Booked for 'Valor' Concert

    October 02, 2014 4:31 PM EDT Eminem , Bruce Springsteen , Metallica and Rihanna are among the artists booked for a televised live concert from the National Mall in Washington next month to raise awareness of issues concerning veterans. Eminem, Metallica & More Make New Guiness Book of World Records The Concert for…

  20. Alabama Talk 'Angels Among Us,' Devastating Tornadoes & Church Classics

    September 29, 2014 9:52 PM EDT One of the most powerful tracks on Alabama 's new Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites: Deluxe Edition is the moving "Raising Alabama," a song that lead singer Randy Owen is one of their most personal. Alabama Gets More Love With 'High Cotton' Tribute "…

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