1. Billboard 200 Chart Moves: J. Cole's Trio of No. 1 Albums Puts Him in Elite Hip-Hop Company

    December 19, 2014 9:49 PM EST J. Cole is one of six rap acts to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with their first three full-length studio albums On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, J. Cole 's 2014 Forest Hills Drive debuted at No. 1 , his third consecutive album to reach the top slot (his entire output of…

  2. Wynonna Picks Her 5 Essential Christmas Songs

    December 19, 2014 9:24 PM EST Wynonna says that her A Simpler Christmas Tour has been quite an emotional roller coaster. "It's basically a tragic comedy," she tells Billboard . "I get to talk about very some intensely personal deep and sentimental family stuff from growing up in Appalachia. We didn&…

  3. U.S.-Cuba Musical Relations: A Timeline of Milestones

    December 19, 2014 5:15 PM EST Before President Obama's announcement Wednesday that the U.S. would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, there were five decades of a rocky musical relationship that displayed artistic triumphs, personal tragedies and the diplomatic power of music. See our timeline below: 1959 …

  4. Billy Corgan: 'I'm a Rock Star Because I'm a Great F---ing Musician'

    December 19, 2014 4:40 PM EST When it comes to the state of the music industry (or anything else for that matter),  Smashing Pumpkins  mastermind and frontman  Billy Corgan  has no problem speaking his mind. Billboard sat down with the musician in his dressing room at the recent KROQ Almost Acoustic Xmas event in Los…

  5. 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…

  6. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Sam Smith Brings 'Merry Little Christmas' to Chart for First Time

    December 19, 2014 12:15 PM EST Smith's version of the 70-year-old ballad makes its first Hot 100 appearance, joining carols by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. Plus, moves for Usher and Charli XCX. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week,…

  7. 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…

  8. People Magazine Awards: And the Winners Are...

    December 18, 2014 11:11 PM EST Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez & more are honored at inaugural ceremony. The inaugural People Magazine Awards are a wrap. Kevin Hart took home the first of the night, Comedy Star of the Year, while Lisa Kudrow was honored with Television Performance of the Year for HBO's The Comeback…

  9. Alejandro Fernandez Earns Fifth No. 1 on Top Latin Albums

    December 18, 2014 5:44 PM EST Plus: Romeo Santos & Voz de Mando each notch new airplay No. 1s. Alejandro Fernandez earns his fifth No. 1 on Top Latin Albums as his  Confidencias Reales  debuts with 3,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Nielsen Music. Willy Chirino Op-Ed: Why U.S.-Cuba Thaw Is No…

  10. 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale Song Debuts on Rock Chart

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST As the bloody motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy concluded its seven-season run Dec. 9 on FX, its swan song, "Come Join the Murder," debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart. The original track is credited to the show's house band, the Forest Rangers, and White…

  11. The Country Music Industry in 2014: Garth's Return, Taylor's Exit

    December 18, 2014 2:49 PM EST With country music at a peak in popularity, the comings and goings in the format seemed more crucial than ever. And there were plenty -- Garth Brooks came back, George Strait decided it was time to go, two guys from a different era came out, and a few stars chose to go out. On the road. In…

  12. Firefly Producers Announce New Big Barrel Country Fest, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Loretta Lynn to Play

    December 18, 2014 7:55 AM EST Red Frog Events, the producers of the Firefly Festival, announce today the launch of the Big Barrel Country Music Festival on June 26-28, the weekend after Firefly, at the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., site of Firefly. Headliners include  Blake Shelton , Miranda…

  13. Michael Jackson Estate Renews with BMI

    December 17, 2014 2:10 PM EST Michael Jackson 's estate has renewed its long-standing partnership with BMI for representation of the late pop icon's catalog, the performing rights organization announced on Wednesday. The pact, which dates back over 38 years, covers the public performances of Jackson's…

  14. The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    December 17, 2014 12:59 PM EST Ever see a movie where the protagonist wasn’t born, or the USSR won the Cold War, and the alternate future is different from the present day? Think back to Doc Brown using a chalkboard to draw tangential, alternate futures for Marty McFly in Back to the Future . Well, imagine if vinyl…

  15. West Virginia High Schooler Comes Out As Gay to Taylor Swift's 'Love Story'

    December 17, 2014 11:20 AM EST The country singer Ty Herndon recently told People that Kacey Musgraves ' song "Follow Your Arrow" helped motivate him to come out. In West Virginia, a country song from  Taylor Swift  recently soundtracked a similar situation. In a piece published yesterday on the website…

  16. Exclusive: Dzeko & Torres Cram 62 Songs Into '2014 in 10 Minutes' Mix

    December 16, 2014 3:06 PM EST 'Tis the season for year-end retrospectives, but Dzeko & Torres have outdone themselves. For those looking to take a quick lap down memory lane, Tiësto 's protégés have stuffed a year's worth of major main stage tracks into one 10-minute mix. It has become a bit of a…

  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. 'The Voice' Recap: Final 4 Debut Original Songs, Music Videos

    December 15, 2014 11:03 PM EST The Voice is trying something new to ensure their next winner jumps from the finale to the charts. On Monday night's episode, the last remaining competitors took the stage to debut original songs, penned with support from their coaches' creative teams. They also unveiled…

  20. Mad Season Reunion: Chris Cornell Joining Grunge Supergroup

    December 15, 2014 9:17 PM EST Before disbanding in 1999, the grunge supergroup Mad Season included members of Alice in Chains , Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees -- and now they'll get some help from Soundgarden and Guns N' Roses alumni. During a performance next month with the Seattle Symphony, Chris Cornell will…

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