1. Led Zeppelin Kicked Off First U.S. Tour 46 Years Ago Today

    December 26, 2014 2:50 PM EST On this day (Dec. 26) in 1968, Led Zeppelin (not to be confused with " Len Zefflin ") kicked off their first North American tour opening for psychedelic hard rock band Vanilla Fudge at Denver Auditorium in Colorado. A ticket to see them play would only set you back $5 and the…

  2. Victor Manuelle Earns Third Latin Airplay No. 1

    December 26, 2014 1:15 PM EST Victor Manuelle hops 3-1 to crown Latin Airplay with his festive hit “Que Suenen Los Tambores,” climbing to 10.3 million audience impressions in its 11th week (a 14 percent hike in the frame ending Dec. 21, according to Nielsen Music). It’s the third No. 1 on the list for the salsa singer…

  3. Nicki Minaj's 'The Pinkprint' Debuts at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

    December 26, 2014 1:00 PM EST Nicki Minaj earns her third No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums as  The Pinkprint  debuts atop the list with 198,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 21, according to Nielsen Music. Minaj bows with more first-week units sold than any other R&B/hip-hop female since Beyonce ’s self…

  4. Eminem Comes Out as Gay in Sony's 'The Interview'

    December 26, 2014 10:33 AM EST Is this what North Korea didn't want us to see? Sony gave freedom-loving fans of badly-reviewed comedy films a major Christmas gift this holiday by making the beleaguered film The Interview available not only in select theaters, but on various online streaming services. Anyone who…

  5. L.A. Reid Talks A&R Eye, Usher's 'Steel Eyes' and Sean Combs' Work Ethic

    December 26, 2014 10:21 AM EST "I like black music being the leader. I like that blues is the root of... music." Former X Factor mentor and current Epic Records CEO and president L.A. Reid sat down with NewsOne for a short series of interviews about the principals that led to his success, the current state of…

  6. Alberta Adams, Detroit's 'Queen of the Blues,' Dies at 97

    December 26, 2014 10:15 AM EST Alberta Adams, one of the last of the great post-World War II era blues singers, passed away on early Christmas morning in Detroit at the age of 97 after a long period of failing health. Paul McCartney Remembers 'Good Mate' Joe Cocker "She was a unique and dynamic performer…

  7. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Nicki Minaj Passes Madonna, 'Voice' Finalists Debut

    December 26, 2014 9:40 AM EST With two debuts, Minaj now has more Hot 100 hits than Madonna. Plus, each of the four top finishers on the latest season of NBC's 'The Voice' debut. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth week, while Mark…

  8. Grammys 2015 Preview: What You Need to Know About Best New Artist Nominees From Sam Smith to Brandy Clark

    December 26, 2014 9:10 AM EST Check out this year's Grammy nominees for Best New Artist -- a group hailing from rock, pop, soul, hip-hop and country. BRANDY CLARK After years as a songwriting force in Nashville, Clark may be the most promising best new artist nominee of the nine country acts to make the category…

  9. Grammys 2015 Preview: Beyonce, Sam Smith & Other Artists Vying for Album of the Year Honors Dish on Their Discs

    December 26, 2014 9:00 AM EST Having trouble keeping track of what's nominated for Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys? Billboard breaks down the five nominees. In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith Producers: Steve Fitzmaurice, Komi, Howard Lawrence, Zane Lowe, Mojam, Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy, Fraser T. Smith, Two Inch…

  10. Top 10 Rock/Alternative Christmas Songs That Don't Suck

    December 25, 2014 8:15 AM EST …And one Hanukkah Song (we did our best!) Let’s get this out of the way: there are an awful lot of terrible rock covers of Christmas songs. Lots of genres are guilty of this, but being that Relient K and Bowling For Soup have both done entire Christmas albums, modern guitar music needs to…

  11. Luke Bryan Leads Latest Hot Tours Tally

    December 24, 2014 2:40 PM EST Bryan's That’s My Kind of Night tour was the highest-grossing tour by a country artist in 2014 Country superstar Luke Bryan tops the weekly slate of top-grossing touring artists (see below) with the final 2014 box office stats reported from his That’s My Kind of Night Tour that wrapped…

  12. 'Voice' Winner Craig Wayne Boyd Debuts at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs

    December 24, 2014 2:33 PM EST Craig Wayne Boyd , the seventh-season winner of NBC's The Voice , rockets onto Billboard 's Hot Country Songs chart at No. 1 with his coronation single "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face." Boyd becomes just the second artist to launch at No. 1 since Hot…

  13. Taylor Swift Tops Hot 100 for Sixth Week

    December 24, 2014 2:15 PM EST Swift continues her longest career command with 'Blank Space.' Plus, Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk!' crowns Digital Songs. Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth week, extending her longest stay at No. 1 of her three career…

  14. 14 More Madonna Songs Leak From 'Rebel Heart,' Including Pharrell Collabo

    December 24, 2014 1:39 PM EST It's not shaping up to be a very merry Christmas for Madonna . Fourteen more tracks from Madge's upcoming album Rebel Heart have leaked online, including a track with Hard Candy collaborator Pharrell allegedly called "Back That Up (Do It)." This second massive security…

  15. From Okra Soup to Fried Seafood: Darius Rucker, Chase Bryant and Many More Country Stars Talk Favorite Holiday Dishes

    December 24, 2014 12:19 PM EST When it comes to celebrating the holidays country style, good food is a major part of the equation. From fried turkey to the perfect sugar cookie, every household has its Christmas traditions and certain dishes that are essential to the celebration. Billboard asked country artists to share…

  16. Taylor Swift Back at No. 1 on Billboard 200, Nicki Minaj Debuts at No. 2

    December 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Taylor Swift makes an expected return to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, as her 1989 album hops up one rung, bringing its total (nonconsecutive) weeks atop the list to six. The set shifted 375,000 equivalent units in the week ending Dec. 21 (up 16 percent), according to Nielsen Music. …

  17. SoundExchange Financials Show Fewer Unclaimed Royalties, Persistent Data Problems

    December 24, 2014 10:48 AM EST A peek under the hood shows SoundExchange has fewer unclaimed royalties, though data issues are a consistent impediment to distributing royalties to artists and labels. SoundExchange's year-end balance, as reported on the organization's Form 990 and detailed for Billboard, grew…

  18. Joe Cocker Tribute: Jennifer Warnes Shares Heartfelt Remembrance of 'Up Where We Belong' Duet Partner

    December 24, 2014 10:04 AM EST When I was teenager there were three large posters of famous people on my bedroom wall -- Bob Dylan, D.H. Lawrence and Joe Cocker in the middle of a scream in concert at Woodstock. The picture of Joe frightened my mother, but I reassured her. "No mom, he's an emotional visionary.…

  19. Questlove: 'Fear of Being Blackballed' Prevents Artists From Releasing Protest Music

    December 23, 2014 8:03 PM EST Neil Young was so shaken by photos of the four unarmed students killed by military gunfire at Kent State that he wrote "Ohio" for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young right away. By the end of the week, it was playing on the radio. That was 1970. Now, in 2014, outrage over police…

  20. 'American Idol' Alums Casey Abrams, Taylor Hicks, More Remember Joe Cocker

    December 23, 2014 6:38 PM EST "To make a hit that was already a hit ... an even bigger hit, that's hard to do," said Phillip Phillips of the late singer. When Casey Abrams competed on the tenth season of American Idol , he was asked to perform music inspired by their own musical idols. Abrams didn’t even…

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