1. 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…

  2. Ask Billboard: Why Is There No R&B/Hip-Hop in the Hot 100's Top 10?

    December 23, 2014 10:00 AM EST The genre's been absent from the top 10 for a month ... why? Plus, Nicki Minaj's sales, Meghan Trainor's chart feat and Luke Bryan's big 'Party.' As always, submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com .…

  3. Exclusive: New Company Looks to Improve Digital Sales' Bottom Line By Lowering Credit Card Fees

    December 23, 2014 8:00 AM EST A system designed in the '70s isn't helping an ailing digital music sales industry. Digital commerce has presented the music business with two key problems: First, credit card fees hamper direct-to-fan sales, and second, large online retailers like iTunes don't give sellers…

  4. Joe Cocker: Looking Back at 50 Years of Music, In His Own Words

    December 22, 2014 6:54 PM EST A few years back, Joe Cocker took a minute to mull over the longview of a career that stretched back into the early 1960s.  "You know, now that I'm getting older, when I do a two-hour show I feel it's kind of precious," he said. "As I'm getting to the back…

  5. Pharrell's Lawyer to YouTube: Remove Our Songs or Face $1B Lawsuit

    December 22, 2014 5:04 PM EST YouTube has been told to stop playing about 20,000 songs, but Irving Azoff's clients are finding the takedown process to be frustrating. There are songs, and then there are dances. Here's a song-and-dance routine that, according to one of the lawyers involved, could amount to a…

  6. Warner Music Group Becomes Founding Partner of YouTube Competitor Interlude

    December 22, 2014 4:12 PM EST Warner Music Group's 2014 has been bookended with forward-thinking partnerships. In February, they collaborated with song identification service Shazam , which allowed the major label access to Shazam's data to find and sign promising artists; making a digital push in China by…

  7. Hear Lea Michele Sing Full Version of 'Let It Go' on 'Glee'

    December 22, 2014 12:44 PM EST Quick! Someone create a timeline where the universes of Glee and Frozen intersect. (Is Arendelle just outside Lima, Ohio?) Full audio of Lea Michele singing the classic Frozen song "Let It Go" from the upcoming season of Glee has arrived, and while it's no surprise that…

  8. This Week in Billboard Chart History: Phil Collins Ended the '80s at No. 1

    December 22, 2014 8:05 AM EST Collins' 'Another Day in Paradise' became the last new leader of the '80s. Plus, remembering key chart feats for Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and two solo Beatles. Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history…

  9. Queen's Brian May on Adam Lambert: 'He Can Sing Higher Than Freddie'

    December 22, 2014 3:06 AM EST Adam Lambert always maintained that in his role as touring frontman for Queen , he wasn't emulating the late Freddie Mercury . But when it comes to vocal skills, the American Idol season-eight star can more than hold his own, said Queen guitarist Brian May in a recent interview, noting…

  10. Madonna On New 'Rebellious and Romantic' Music, Demo Leaks, 'Possibly' Crashing the Grammys and the 'Crazy' Sony Hack

    December 21, 2014 4:55 PM EST 0 "It's kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together," Madonna tells Billboard of her stunning new single "Living For Love." It’s a rather large understatement to say that it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Madonna . On Tuesday night,…

  11. Sugarland, Live Nation Settle With State Fair Victims

    December 20, 2014 1:20 PM EST Country duo Sugarland , concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse , lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday (Dec. 20). Judge Orders Sugarland Singer…

  12. Top 10 Lyrics From D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

    December 19, 2014 3:40 PM EST It's been close to a week since the surprise release of D'Angelo & The Vanguard's Black Messiah , enough time for the formerly distorted lyrics of D'Angelo to become more clear and significant. The easiest tone to take with Black Messiah , in its entire majestic roar…

  13. Eric Burgett Brings His Classical Training to Country Music

    December 19, 2014 2:59 PM EST In this week's 615 Spotlight, we take a look at a singer who we found simply perfecting his art in one of the most prestigious clubs in Nashville: Eric Burgett, one of the most unique talents  you will find in Music City. His writing and performing definitely fit in with what is out…

  14. The Year in Rock 2014: Rebound From a Rough Year?

    December 19, 2014 12:45 PM EST After decades of leading the pack, the cultural rebound of rock, alternative, or whatever we want to call it depends on learning to play by new sets of rules. I promise this will not be a “rock is dead” story. We’ve already had that conversation far too many times, and besides, it’s far…

  15. Watch Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Stipe & Others Salute Stephen Colbert with Song

    December 19, 2014 1:22 AM EST Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M’s Michael Stipe and Barry Manilow were on hand to give Stephen Colbert a big-time send-off Thursday night.  They were just a few in a dizzying cast of musicians, movie and media personalities, athletes and politicians who joined in for a celebratory round…

  16. 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…

  17. The 14 Best Pop Albums of 2014

    December 18, 2014 4:49 PM EST From Tove to Taylor to Bleachers, these 14 in '14 were worth many, many listens. I’m not publishing a list of the Best Pop Songs of 2014 list, because, well, we have a week-long bracket tournament discussing the best pop songs of the year already. Instead, I want to highlight…

  18. Wendy Rene, Soul Singer Sampled by Wu-Tang Clan & Alicia Keys, Dies at 67

    December 18, 2014 4:12 PM EST Wendy Rene, the budding Stax Records singing and songwriting talent who quit music after the death of Otis Redding in 1967 and saw her music revived through samples decades later, died Tuesday in Memphis, Tenn., following a stroke. She was 67. Born Mary Frierson in Memphis, Rene was given…

  19. 'The Colbert Report': 8 Great Music Moments From Daft Punk Dancing to Black Keys Fighting

    December 18, 2014 3:45 PM EST Bring on the tears: The Colbert Report ends its run with tonight's episode. While Stephen Colbert the person will of course be fine -- he's taking over for David Letterman on The Late Show -- "Stephen Colbert" the character's future is much less certain. One thing…

  20. 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…

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