1. 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…

  2. Paul McCartney Worked on a Song About Police Killings: 'I'm Not Giving Up On It'

    December 19, 2014 1:00 AM EST Sir Paul McCartney is 72, and only the wrinkles give his years away. Interviewed recently at his midtown Manhattan office suite, he seems as boyish and light-footed as he was on stage decades ago for The Ed Sullivan Show , his manner informal, his build slender and well suited for jeans and…

  3. 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…

  4. Justin Timberlake Tops Hot Tours List as 20/20 Trek Nears End

    December 18, 2014 6:19 PM EST Justin Timberlake scores the top slot on the weekly ranking of Hot Tours (see list, below) based on ticket sales reported from his 20/20 Experience tour’s final sweep through North America. The pop star kicked off the tour's last leg on Nov. 20 in Portland, Ore., the first stop on a…

  5. Skrillex's OWSLA Label Launches Nestivus Charity Campaign

    December 18, 2014 6:10 PM EST Skrillex Claus is coming to town. The artist's OWSLA imprint has hit the home stretch of its Nestivus charity drive, launching a series of holiday initiatives with all proceeds going to Bridges for Music . Last year's edition raised more than $8,000 for the international music…

  6. Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Song 'The Hanging Tree' Gets Dance Remix: Listen

    December 18, 2014 5:40 PM EST Jennifer Lawrence made her Billboard Hot 100 debut three weeks ago, via her feature spot on James Newton Howard 's Hunger Games song "The Hanging Tree." Because the Internet, that minimal folk sing-a-long has gotten its dance remix. Stick it to the Capitol and give it a…

  7. 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…

  8. Atlanta's Top 8 New Rappers

    December 18, 2014 2:05 PM EST Atlanta is home to a constantly rising number of up-and-coming acts -- it's quickly becoming a powder keg of talent waiting to blow. The most impressive quality of the city’s scene is that no one rapper or singer is the same, and they all reach wildly different demographics, from the…

  9. 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…

  10. 'Maybe the Adrenaline Keeps Me Going': Landau Management's Barbara Carr on Working with Springsteen for 34 Years

    December 18, 2014 11:46 AM EST "Couldn't get along without you, Barb," Bruce Springsteen said of Barbara Carr when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 15 years ago. Any Springsteen fan worth their salt knows his longtime manager and former producer, Jon Landau . Less visible (by choice) is Carr,…

  11. Exclusive: Essence To Honor Jill Scott at Black Women in Music Event

    December 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST The magazine's sixth annual Black Women in Music event will also kick off its 45th anniversary celebration Jill Scott will be the special honoree at Essence magazine’s annual Black Women in Music . The Feb. 5 invitation-only event, held during Grammy Week, will also be the official…

  12. Exclusive: TuneCore Buys 'Location Goodie Bag' Startup DropKloud

    December 17, 2014 5:49 PM EST TuneCore has added to its list of artist services by acquiring DropKloud , the maker of a consumer-facing mobile app aimed at musicians and is set to launch next year. Boston-based co-founders James DeNino and Kedar Frederic will head TunesCore's new office in that city. DropKloud is a…

  13. Anthony Hamilton Hits 'Home' With First Holiday Album

    December 17, 2014 9:43 AM EST The Grammy Award winner and current nominee will also appear as a special guest on Fox's new drama "Empire." To co-opt a popular phrase during this time of year, 'tis the season for Anthony Hamilton . Home for the Holidays , the R&B singer/songwriter/producer’s first…

  14. 'Something Rotten!' Musical Heading to Broadway

    December 17, 2014 12:29 AM EST William Shakespeare is heading back to Broadway -- but this time he'll be mocked in a musical. Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum said Tuesday that the sweet and goofy new show Something Rotten!  will play the St. James Theatre in March. Tony winner Casey Nicholaw will direct and…

  15. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' and Why Waiting 14 Years For Music Isn't a Bad Thing

    December 16, 2014 4:55 PM EST Imagine going to a steakhouse, ordering the best steak in the restaurant after being told the best steak will take an hour to properly cook, waiting impatiently as everyone around you gets their food before you, angrily wondering why YOUR steak has to take so damn long... and then…

  16. Refurbished L.A. Forum Off to Strong Start in First Year Back in Action

    December 16, 2014 3:16 PM EST Irving Azoff's pet venue has its Southern California competition paying attention. The refurbished 18,000-seat Los Angeles Forum has yet to celebrate its first full year of operation, but it already is having an impact on Southern California’s live entertainment scene. Statistics…

  17. Publishing Briefs: Nettwerk Buys Stake in Ten Ten Music Group, BMG Chrysalis Inks Hasbro Deal, Greg Kurstin Re-Ups With Sony/ATV

    December 16, 2014 12:40 PM EST Billboard's Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world. • The Nashville music publishing scene continues to attract investors. In the latest deal, Nettwerk Music Group 's publishing division has acquired 50 percent of the Ten Ten Music Group 's…

  18. Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan & More to Join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    December 16, 2014 2:00 AM EST The punk trio Green Day is the 48th act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining acts such as Nirvana , R.E.M. and the Clash as first-ballot honorees. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues…

  19. Chart Highlights: Taylor Swift, Avery Sunshine, Tim McGraw Notch New No. 1s

    December 15, 2014 5:05 PM EST Swift makes the quickest jump to No. 1 this year, Sunshine scores her first Adult R&B Songs leader and McGraw makes more history. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. Find out the top songs, Greatest Gainers and debuts on the surveys…

  20. Cat Stevens Wraps First U.S. Tour in 35 Years

    December 15, 2014 4:35 PM EST The word "journey" was spoken multiple times during the final concert of Yusuf/ Cat Stevens ' brief U.S. tour, his first in 35 years. It was used as a metaphor and literally, Yusuf speaking both about his life, the lyrics of songs from the early 1970s and his two most recent…

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