1. BSBB Round 1: MKTO, "Classic" vs. Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona, "Bailando"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Classic MKTO Bailando Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona CHRIS PAYNE: I love catchy songwriting, but there comes a time when your musicology skews too close to advertising jingle instead of pop song. That…

  2. BSBB Round 1: MAGIC!, "Rude" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rude MAGIC! Maps Maroon 5 CHRIS PAYNE: At this point in their career, Maroon 5 sound like they’re just re-writing themselves, so it’s appropriate “Maps” is going up against a new band that’s basically piggybacking off the last…

  3. BSBB Round 1: 5 Seconds of Summer, "Amnesia" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Zedd, "Break Free"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Amensia 5 Seconds of Summer Break Free Ariana Grande feat. Zedd CHRIS PAYNE: “This is the part when…” I try to figure out what the hell Ariana Grande is singing, knowing my effort will be ultimately futile. This song still…

  4. BSBB Round 1: Paramore, "Ain't It Fun" vs. Coldplay, "Magic"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Ain't It Fun Paramore Magic Coldplay MAURA JOHNSTON: Hayley Williams channeling every pop great before her while also laying a smackdown on those wallowing in Self-Pity Pond? Sorry, Coldplay. (And please, feel free to take…

  5. Island Records Co-Founder and Jamaican Music Engineer Graeme Goodall Dead at 82

    December 12, 2014 5:20 PM EST From his involvement in the earliest Jamaican singles to have impacted international markets to his co-founding role in Island Records, Australian-born engineer Graeme Goodall , was a pivotal, if somewhat overlooked, figure in the development of Jamaica’s music industry. Goodall died of…

  6. The Alt In Our Stars Podcast: The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser Talks Going Solo, Rostam Batmanglij Collaboration

    December 12, 2014 2:13 PM EST He announces he’s “working on a bunch of stuff” with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. For the second installment of the Alt In Our Stars podcast, we're here to remind you that we're just as much about the "alt" as we are about the stars. For almost 20 years, the…

  7. New Band Alert: Indie Poppers Dutch Party Premiere Good-Vibin' L.A. Tunes

    December 12, 2014 1:17 PM EST Billboard is excited to introduce Los Angeles' Dutch Party, a spry, good-vibin' indie pop band who are also repping a brand-new label. Start off with "Echo Girl," a tuneful tribute to the ladies of Echo Park -- the L.A. neighborhood the quintet calls home. Billboard has…

  8. Lil Wayne vs. Cash Money: Can the Rapper Leave the Label He's Been With Since He Was 13?

    December 12, 2014 12:20 PM EST Album delays are ­nothing new for Lil Wayne . But the MC sent shockwaves through the hip-hop world on Dec. 4 when he publicly blamed his label for the ever-shifting release date of his new album, Tha Carter V . Calling himself a "prisoner," he tweeted, "I want off this label…

  9. Beyonce Talks Fame, Feminism, Marriage & More In Revealing New Video

    December 12, 2014 11:20 AM EST Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Beyoncé 's game-changing, surprise self-titled album, and a year later, she's treated us to another surprise. Okay, it’s not quite another Beyoncé , but this new mini-documentary is  still worth every second. In the black-and-white short…

  10. Hit the Town With Sam Smith in New 'Like I Can' Video

    December 12, 2014 10:05 AM EST But don’t forget your tux. Despite what you may have heard about Sam Smith , he’s not sad all the time. In the brand new video for In the Lonely Hour’s “Like I Can,” Smith heads out on the town with his boys for some good ol’ fashioned, New York City fun. Is this how he celebrated his six…

  11. Billboard Year in Music 2014: Kacey Musgraves on Singing With Loretta Lynn and Why She No Longer Has a Bucket List

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Renegade Same Trailer Different Park 1 Week on Top Country Albums Kacey Musgraves ' arrow still hasn't landed. The country upstart's debut, Same Trailer Different Park , returned to No. 1 on Top Country Albums after this year's Grammys, when the 26-year-old Texas…

  12. Billboard Cover: Sam Smith on 'Stay With Me,' 'SNL' Jitters and 'Striving to Be a Career Artist'

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Voice "Stay With Me" 2 weeks on Mainstream Top 40 ; 2 weeks on Adult Top 40 ; 5 weeks on Adult Contemporary When Capitol chairman Steve Barnett (pictured above) first went to England to check out Sam Smith , 22, he not only imagined Smith could break in America, but that he&…

  13. Nicki Minaj Goes Dominatrix With Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown in 'Only' Video

    December 12, 2014 8:50 AM EST Let's try this again, shall we? And this time, without the Nazis. A month after facing harsh criticism (orat the very least, quizzical faces) for employing Nazi imagery in her "Only" lyric video, Nicki Minaj has dropped the official music video for The Pinkprint cut featuring…

  14. BBC Music Awards 2014: Ed Sheeran & Pharrell Win Big; One Direction, Coldplay Among Performers

    December 11, 2014 7:28 PM EST Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams took home the major honors at the inaugural BBC Music Awards, held Thursday night (Dec. 11) at London's Earl's Court.  Sheeran won British Artist of the Year at the star-studded bash, which featured performances from Coldplay , One Direction ,…

  15. Beyoncé Earns Eighth No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs With '7/11'

    December 11, 2014 7:09 PM EST Plus: Wu-Tang Clan returns to the charts with 'A Better Tomorrow' In only its second week on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Beyoncé 's "7/11" reaches No. 1, granting the singer her eighth chart-topping title as a solo artist. The Year in R&B/Hip-Hop: Beyoncé,…

  16. Charges Dropped Against Jeezy for Wiz Khalifa Tour Arrest

    December 11, 2014 5:28 PM EST On Aug. 24, Jeezy was arrested for possession of a weapon authorities alleged was linked to a fatal shooting following a Wiz Khalifa show in Mountain View, Calif. On Thursday (Dec. 11), all charges against Jeezy and five members of his staff were officially dropped, as it became…

  17. Less Could Mean More: Why Merlin's Deal With Pandora May Pay Off

    December 11, 2014 3:26 PM EST Merlin has come under attack in the last month for making a deal that, according to its critics, lowers its member labels' per-stream royalty rate with Pandora, and thus their revenues. Though in time they may ultimately be correct, those critics don't seem to understand that the…

  18. The 10 Best R&B Songs of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:22 PM EST Few genres ranged as widely as R&B in 2014. DJ Mustard was a ubiquitous presence on radio -- and he produced two of Billboard's top ten R&B tracks of the year ( Tinashe , Jeremih ) -- but you didn't need a Mustard beat to make a vibrant track. Elle Varner and Usher…

  19. The 10 Best R&B Albums of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:15 PM EST Much has been made of the way women dominated the Hot 100 in 2014, but the genre where women really shined this year was R&B. This may not have been reflected in the charts, but when Billboard staff picked their ten favorite R&B albums of the year, 7 were helmed by women (and that…

  20. Year in Music 2014: The 10 Best Rock & Alternative Singles

    December 11, 2014 1:15 PM EST From rock, punk, folk, metal, and whatever Grimes is, here are our 10 favorite tracks from 2014. 10. Fireworks, “Bed Sores” These days, it seems pop-punk is so far from being cool that it might be on the verge of being really freaking cool. In other words, the mainstream’s been ignoring it…

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