1. Composer Wojciech Kilar Dies at 81

    December 29, 2013 12:00 PM EST Wojciech Kilar, a Polish pianist and composer of classical music and scores for many films, including Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning "The Pianist" and Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula," died Sunday. He was 81. The composer died in his hometown…

  2. 'Star Wars' Theme Named Favorite Movie Soundtrack

    September 30, 2013 1:08 AM EDT The Star Wars theme has been named Britain's favorite movie soundtrack in a BBC poll. "With almost a quarter of the audience votes, John Williams’ 'Star Wars Theme' topped a list that spans 64 years of cinema soundtrack history," the BBC said. "Williams'…

  3. Stevie Wonder to Honor Dick Clark at American Music Awards

    November 15, 2012 9:00 AM EST Stevie Wonder will perform a special tribute in honor of broadcast veteran Dick Clark at Sunday's American Music Awards. Joining the singer in recognizing Clark, who died in April at 82 and who founded the AMAs in 1972, is protege Ryan Seacrest, who is scheduled to introduce the…

  4. 50 Years of 'Monster Mash': The Story Behind the Halloween Hit

    October 31, 2012 8:45 AM EDT Steve Greenberg ( @steviegpro) is the founder of S-Curve Records and a Grammy winning record producer who had an integral role in developing the careers of Hanson, Joss Stone and the Jonas Brothers, among many others.Here, he reflects on the 50-year-old perennial Halloween hit "Monster…

  5. 12 No. 12 Rock Hits for 2012

    January 24, 2012 4:15 PM EST As 2012 gets underway, Chart Beat remembers songs that rose to No. 12 high points on Billboard surveys and, despite falling two spots shy of the top 10, remain notable. Last week, we recalled No. 12-peaking country hits, including T.G. Sheppard's novelty track "Make My Day"…

  6. Ken Russell, 'Tommy' Director, Dead at 84

    November 28, 2011 2:15 PM EST Ken Russell got Oliver Reed and Alan Bates to wrestle naked, turned Vanessa Redgrave into a demonic nun and cast Ringo Starr as the pope. Critics and mainstream audiences often hated his films. Actors and admirers loved him. The iconoclastic British director, whose death aged 84 was announced…

  7. Weekly Chart Notes: Amos Lee, Far*East Movement, Kelly Clarkson

    February 03, 2011 4:15 PM EST 'MISSION' ACCOMPLISHMENT: A week after the Decemberists became just the 16th act to rule the Billboard 200 album chart without a Billboard Hot 100 song on their chart resume, singer/songwriter Amos Lee repeats the feat, as "Mission Bell" begins atop the former listing. …

  8. Weekly Chart Notes: Enrique Iglesias, Bruno Mars, Decemberists

    January 27, 2011 5:55 PM EST HE'S THE GREATEST DANCER: Enrique Iglesias passes a King (of Pop) and a Prince for most No. 1s among solo males in the 34-year history of Dance/Club Play Songs . "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)," featuring Ludacris & DJ Frank E, rises 2-1 to become Iglesias' eighth…

  9. Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Love Never Dies"

    March 26, 2010 1:46 PM EDT Andrew Lloyd Webber 's compositional style on the cast album for "Love Never Dies," the sequel to the widely celebrated "Phantom of the Opera," continues to synthesize genres ranging from opera to prog rock, while enlightening listeners with its artful melodies and…

  10. Chart Beat Thursday: Vampire Weekend, Train, Shakira

    January 21, 2010 5:55 PM EST VAMPIRE STATE OF MIND: New York indie rock band Vampire Weekend enjoys its first taste of the Billboard 200 summit, as "Contra" debuts at No. 1. The group's self-titled first set debuted and peaked at No. 17 on the chart dated Feb. 16, 2008. This week, it rebounds to No. 123…

  11. Chart Beat Wednesday: Straight No Chaser, Tim McGraw, Depeche Mode

    December 02, 2009 4:04 PM EST AS ONLY THEY 'CAN-CAN': After melding Toto 's "Africa" into last year's No. 5-peaking Adult Contemporary hit "The 12 Days of Christmas," buzzworthy a capella act Straight No Chaser enters the chart at No. 27 with its latest inventive carol, "The…

  12. Jay-Z, Will Smith Put Money On 'Fela!'

    November 17, 2009 4:57 PM EST J ay-Z , Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have officially signed on as co-producers of "Fela!," a new musical about Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti opening Nov. 23 on Broadway. The news confirms weeks of speculation that the three would back the show. Although a rep…

  13. Pink Martini Serves Up 'Splendor'

    June 19, 2009 9:24 AM EDT With three successful records under their belt, eclectic lounge-pop act Pink Martini will return October 13 with "Splendor in the Grass" on the band's own label, Heinz Records. Pink Martini's founder and director Thomas Lauderdale tells Billboard.com the album is "all…

  14. Pet Shop Boys Say 'Yes' To 25 Years Of Synth Pop

    April 06, 2009 10:02 AM EDT The title of the Pet Shop Boys' 10th album, "Yes," perfectly reflects the duo's positive mood as they celebrate 25 years of proving synth pop can rise above mindless fluff. With 32 Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart entries, the duo tails only Madonna and Janet Jackson as…

  15. Jackson Pens 'Bullet-Proof' Tunes For New Album

    January 11, 2008 12:00 AM EST Joe Jackson says that working in a trio format for his forthcoming album, "Rain," is part of a long-held desire "to see ... how big a sound can you get from the absolute minimum resources, and just ho Joe Jackson says that working in a trio format for his forthcoming album, …

  16. Billboard Bits: LL Cool J, Joe Jackson, Diego Gonzalez

    February 08, 2007 12:00 AM EST CBS is warming up to "The Man," ordering a pilot for a drama starring veteran rapper LL Cool J. Written by "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker, "The Man" centers on an undercover Los Angeles cop who juggles CBS is warming up to "The Man," ordering a pilot for…

  17. Regina Spektor

    June 28, 2006 12:00 AM EDT Born in Russia, bred in the Bronx, Regina Spektor emerged in the New York anti-folk scene five years ago, hypnotizing cafe crowds with her prodigious piano chops and pitch-perfect vocal quirks. Over t Regina Spektor sings in many voices, but she doesn't sound like anyone else. Born in…

  18. Billboard Bits: Anselmo, Inland Invasion, George Clinton

    August 16, 2005 12:00 AM EDT News on Phil Anselmo, Inland Invasion, George Clinton Phil Anselmo made his first public appearance since the on-stage murder of his former Pantera bandmate "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott last night (Aug. 15), playing rhythm guitar for New Orleans sludge-metal merchants Eyehategod at CBGB…

  19. Billboard Bits: Joshua Bell, Dope/Mushroomhead, Chicago

    July 08, 2005 12:00 AM EDT Stories on Joshua Bell, Dope/Mushroomhead and Chicago. Violinist Joshua Bell latest album, slated for release Sept. 20 on Sony Classical, will feature the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, recorded live in Berlin with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the Berlin Philharmonic. It is an all…

  20. Stevens Album Soars Despite 'Superman' Flap

    July 08, 2005 12:00 AM EDT Not even the Man of Steel could stop the new album by critically acclaimed artist Sufjan Stevens from hitting most store shelves on its July 5 release date. He came close, though. Not even the Man of Steel could stop the new album by critically acclaimed artist Sufjan Stevens from hitting…

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