1. Buddy DeFranco, Renowned Jazz Clarinetist, Dead at 91

    December 26, 2014 6:44 PM EST Renowned jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco -- who collaborated with Frank Sinatra , Billie Holiday and other top singers and musicians of his era -- has died at the age of 91, his family said Friday. DeFranco's family told The Associated Press that the famed musician died Wednesday…

  2. 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…

  3. The First Original Replacements Song Since 1990 Is a 24-Minute Jazz Jam

    December 26, 2014 11:24 AM EST In a move that might have horrified their younger selves, the Replacements recently released a 24-minute jazz jam called "Poke Me In My Cage." Following the 2013 covers EP Songs for Slim , this is the first original Replacements song since 1990. Historically, The Replacements…

  4. Coldplay, Modest Mouse Debut on Hot Rock Songs Chart

    December 26, 2014 11:05 AM EST Coldplay debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart with "Miracles," an original song written and recorded for the Universal Pictures film Unbroken . The track starts with 92 percent of its chart points from sales, with 28,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Rewinding the Charts: 44 Years Ago, Creedence Clearwater Revival Topped the Beatles

    December 26, 2014 9:05 AM EST In 1970, John Fogerty's band reigned as the top album artist in Billboard's first year-end spotlight. ON DEC. 26, 1970, BILLBOARD published its first dedicated review – dubbed "Talent in Action" – of the previous 12 months' biggest acts, albums and songs. That year,…

  9. 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…

  10. Niall Horan's Underwear Dancing Owns 'One Direction: The TV Special'

    December 24, 2014 10:57 AM EST Any One Direction fans who missed the band's NBC special on Tuesday night should thank their lucky stars Vine exists, because One Direction: The TV Special had a major early Christmas present for Directioners. Namely, Niall Horan dancing around in his tighty-whitey underwear.…

  11. Watch One Direction Mock Jimmy Fallon's 1D Impersonation

    December 24, 2014 9:48 AM EST The lads from One Direction are presumably rich enough to buy solid-gold chairs (just guessing here), but they're also not too good to sit on the floor. The popular boy band appeared on Tuesday's Tonight Show , where Jimmy Fallon asked them to hop out of their chairs and reenact…

  12. 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…

  13. Must-Hear Music Holiday Podcast: Pentatonix, Idina Menzel, Ariana Grande & More

    December 23, 2014 1:30 PM EST Last week on the Must-Hear Music podcast, Billboard staffers shared their personal favorite albums of the year, from D'Angelo 's Black Messiah to Nicki Minaj 's The Pinkprint to Mapei 's Hey Hey . This week, it's all about that Xmas. And (sort of) like Dickens…

  14. CBGB: 10 Classic Moments That Helped Define the Birthplace of Punk



    December 23, 2014 1:15 PM EST Fotrty-one years have passed since iconic music club CBGB (aka the undisputed birthplace of punk) opened its doors. And even though only a handful of artifacts remain at the site of the club that once hosted music legends including the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Guns N’ Roses and…

  15. Bon Scott's Pre-AC/DC Bandmate Shares Vintage Letters From Late Singer, Reflects on His Legacy

    December 23, 2014 1:10 PM EST "I'm sure he would've been making an album of the great American songbook by now," says former collaborator Peter Head. Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning on Feb. 15, 1980, just as AC/DC was beginning work on Back In Black , the album that made them arguably the…

  16. Touring in 2014: Stadium Shows Dominate, Garth Returns, Springsteen's Epic Run and More

    December 23, 2014 11:12 AM EST Throughout the week, Billboard will be publishing pieces from our staff writers, each an outstanding authority on their specific area of coverage. From Nashville to Miami, the industry at large, publishing and retail, and the year in touring, we'll be taking comprehensive looks at the…

  17. Gregg Alexander Reflects on Joe Cocker's Peerless Talent & Ridiculous Rock Hall Snub

    December 23, 2014 9:50 AM EST I can still remember the first time I heard Joe Cocker sing, which is what they always say is the sign of a truly great singer or song: if you can remember the first time. I was in a "music appreciation class" (whatever the hell that is) before I even hit my teens and our teacher…

  18. 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…

  19. The Making of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah': A Q&A With Engineer Russell Elevado

    December 22, 2014 4:52 PM EST For D'Angelo fans, Christmas came early last week: The singer unexpectedly released Black Messiah , his first full-length since 2000. One of the many things that sets the album apart is its sound: dense and deep, full of intricate details, somehow welcoming and warm and vicious all at…

  20. Joe Cocker, Interpreter of the Beatles, Bob Dylan & More: A History

    December 22, 2014 4:22 PM EST Joe Cocker , whose unmistakable rasp and intensity made him a singular interpreter of the Beatles , R&B and songwriters such as Bob Dylan , Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen , died at his home in Colorado on Monday (Dec. 22) after a battle with lung cancer. He was 70. Joe Cocker Dies at 70…

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