1. Lucian Grainge's End-of-Year Memo to Employees: 'It's No Longer Enough to Outperform'

    December 19, 2014 6:23 PM EST Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group and one of the most powerful members of the music industry, today sent employees a holiday memo laying out his plans for the following year. It seems like Grainge has every intention of using his company's considerable leverage…

  2. BSBB Finals: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, 'Drunk In Love' vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch'

    December 14, 2014 11:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith ERNEST BAKER: “Latch" is a hot song. "Drunk In Love" is a definitive moment in pop culture history. It's the most honest, personal look at…

  3. BSBB Round 2: Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, "This Is How We Roll" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules This Is How We Roll Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea JAMIESON COX: I live and work in a university town, and if “number of times heard while walking by a raging kegger” was an…

  4. 'Side Show' Packs Up Its Tent Early on Broadway

    December 12, 2014 11:12 AM EST Seventeen years to the day since its original production closed after a commercially disastrous run of just three and a half months, the lavish Broadway reboot of Side Show will make an even swifter exit. Producers have confirmed a Jan. 4 closing date for the bio-musical about the search…

  5. The 10 Best Rap Albums of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:20 PM EST As was well-documented on Twitter, especially in the latter part of the year, 2014 has been pretty quiet for full-length hip-hop releases, whether they be from major labels or indies. With that said, there were more than a few LPs that would stand out in any year, thanks to their lyrical…

  6. The 10 Best Country Songs of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST Country music has had plenty of highlights in 2014. Read on for our list of the 10 best country singles of the year. (And see our list of the 10 best country albums here .)  Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here! 10. "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" - Tim…

  7. Reba McEntire to Receive First Ever NASH Icon Award

    December 01, 2014 4:27 PM EST The American Country Countdown Awards air Dec. 15. On Dec. 15, Fox will air the first ever American Country Countdown Awards, and fitting for a first-time show, the ACCAs will hand out a special new trophy: the NASH Icon Award. Reba McEntire will be the first recipient. Reba McEntire…

  8. Tony Winner Jessie Mueller to Take 'Waitress' Job

    December 01, 2014 1:41 AM EST Jessie Mueller , the fast-rising Broadway star who won a lead actress Tony Award this year for the title role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical , may be turning her talents from songwriting to baked goods. According to an unconfirmed report in The New York Times , Mueller has identified…

  9. Neil Diamond’s 'Melody Road' Tour to Hit Australia, NZ

    December 01, 2014 1:20 AM EST Neil Diamond’s fans Down Under won’t have to miss out on his latest comeback. The veteran singer has confirmed a seven-date tour that will visit arenas and wineries in Australia and New Zealand next October and November. And his itinerary has the flexibility to fit in many more shows.…

  10. Jennifer Lawrence's ‘The Hanging Tree’ Nabs Top 20 Debuts in U.K., Australia

    November 30, 2014 11:15 PM EST Jennifer Lawrence : Oscar-winner, philanthropist and now top-20 pop star. The actress’ recording of "The Hanging Tree" has landed at No. 14 on the  Official U.K. Singles Chart , published Sunday, and it's new at No. 12 on ARIA's Australian Top 50 Singles Chart . The song…

  11. Where Was MØ During Iggy Azalea’s ‘Beg For It’ AMAs Performance?

    November 23, 2014 9:25 PM EST Iggy Azalea performed two songs during her first American Music Awards performance: “Fancy” and “Beg For It.” Only one of those two songs had their hook-singers present, though: while Charli XCX joined Azalea onstage to once again shout-out L.A. and Tokyo, “Beg For It” collaborator MØ was…

  12. Quotes of the Week: Willow Smith Likes to Climb Trees, Lorde Defends Dissing Diplo and More

    November 21, 2014 5:40 PM EST "'Will you guys please get Lorde to really sing it?' They said no." --Jennifer Lawrence The actress, who sings a song in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 , telling David Letterman that the filmmakers denied her request. Billboard Cover: Lorde on Her ‘Hero’ Kanye West,…

  13. Album Review: Lorde-Curated ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ Soundtrack Is a Stellar Sonic Balancing Act

    November 18, 2014 12:22 PM EST The brain trust behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (in theaters Nov. 21 through Lionsgate) knew exactly what they were doing when they recruited New Zealand pop whiz Lorde to oversee the film's soundtrack: She's the closest musical analogue to protagonist Katniss Everdeen,…

  14. Flashback Friday: Beyonce & Solange Dance It Out

    November 14, 2014 5:05 PM EST If you believe the tabloids,  Solange  is getting married this weekend to longtime boyfriend  Alan Ferguson . Naturally, big sister  Beyonce ,  who actually is also quite famous ,  is expected to attend. As soon as we heard that, we couldn't help but think of all the stellar dancing…

  15. Gwen Stefani's 'L.A.M.B' 10-Year Anniversary: Look Back at the Hollaback Girl's Best Moments

    November 13, 2014 9:00 AM EST What you waiting for? Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="276"> UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"> UnhideWhenUsed=…

  16. Wrong Direction: Why The Wanted Never Reached The Boy Band Stratosphere

    November 12, 2014 5:35 PM EST There were sonic missteps and album delays, but the boy band war of 2012 was over before it began. In March 2012, there were not one but two U.K. male pop groups on the cover of Billboard magazine , with a story written by Steven J. Horowitz about the impending boy band boom that the…

  17. Album Review: Garth Brooks' 'Man Against Machine' Marks a Solid Return for the Country Star

    November 12, 2014 2:49 PM EST When Garth Brooks was asked at a July press conference what his first studio album in 13 years would sound like, he replied, "Garth music" -- and damned if he wasn't on the money. Man Against Machine is no reinvention, but rather a continuation. As the top-selling artist of…

  18. Ne-Yo: Rihanna's New Album Shaping Up to Be 'Absolutely Incredible'

    November 11, 2014 8:40 AM EST Dropping in on the UK's Capital XTRA over the weekend after a London performance, Ne-Yo shared some exciting info about Rihanna 's upcoming eighth album, her first release since 2012's Unapologetic . Ne-Yo acknowledged that Rihanna's new one might be judged against…

  19. Wendy Williams on Her Involvement With Aaliyah Biopic: 'Lifetime Needed to Tell This Story Correctly'

    November 07, 2014 2:49 PM EST No stranger to controversy, talk show host Wendy Williams, 50, stepped in as an executive producer of Lifetime's Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B , which premieres Nov. 15. The problem-plagued biopic, starring Alexandra Shipp as the late singer, has been rocked by casting issues and…

  20. Taylor Swift Re-Ups With BMI for Representation

    November 07, 2014 2:08 PM EST Taylor Swift , who's riding a career-high sales record with 1.29 million units scanned for 1989 in its debut week, has re-upped with BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) to represent her for public performance licensing and royalties collections. "We are honored that Taylor has chosen to…

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