1. 615 Spotlight: Tim Menzies Explains Hiatus, Talks Gospel-Leaning New Album

    August 27, 2014 5:57 PM EDT This week, we go in a different direction with the 615 Spotlight. Rather than showcase a brand new artist, we update you on a singer-songwriter so highly respected in Music City that demo versions of songs he's written for big-name artists -- such as Reba McEntire, Mark Chesnutt and…

  2. Chuck Berry, Peter Sellars Honored with Sweden's Polar Music Prize

    August 27, 2014 3:19 AM EDT Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry and opera director Peter Sellars have been awarded the 2014 Polar Music Prize during a ceremony Tuesday in Stockholm.  The organizing committee praised the 88-year-old Berry for his contribution to rock, noting “every riff and solo played by rock guitarists…

  3. Meghan Linsey Q&A: Her New Single, Calling Out the Bros & Life After Steel Magnolia

    August 26, 2014 6:53 PM EDT 'Try Harder Than That' features rapper Bubba Sparxxx. Meghan Linsey , the charismatic singer best known for her stint in Steel Magnolia , is doing things on her own musically these days, and her first single, "Try Harder Than That," is beginning to make an impact at…

  4. Exclusive Premiere: Listen to Hal Ketchum's Comeback Single 'I'm The Troubadour'

    August 26, 2014 6:15 PM EDT For a few years, Hal Ketchum lost his musical way. "I just kind of lost my powder for a while," the country singer tells Billboard. "I just didn't feel like playing or writing. One day I just said, 'This is a gift that God has given me, so I better get back to it.…

  5. Lenny Cooper Explains How His Father & Brother Turned Him Into a Country Rapper

    August 25, 2014 5:45 PM EDT With his third album 'The Grind' out this week, Cooper reminisces about his start in the business to Billboard. Country rapper Lenny Cooper 's last album, 2013's Mud Dynasty , cemented his reputation in the business, sending his social media numbers soaring by 750 percent…

  6. Exclusive: Kellie Pickler Teases Fifth Album, Talks Meeting Her Idols

    August 25, 2014 4:15 PM EDT Nashville is a place where dreams have a magical way of coming true, and for a select group of music fans on Saturday night, Kellie Pickler delivered a too-good-to-be true performance for an intimate crowd just south of Music City. In addition to performing, Pickler chatted with Billboard and…

  7. Exclusive: Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder, Sturgill Simpson to Perform at Americana Awards

    August 25, 2014 12:14 PM EDT Spend any amount of time with Jed Hilly , executive director of the Americana Music Association, and you will no doubt be blown away with the sense of unbridled passion and energy that he approaches his job with. A great example of such an occasion came with Americanafest NYC -- which took…

  8. Watch Courtney Love Verbally Destroy Beer-Chucking Fan Onstage

    August 22, 2014 7:44 PM EDT Courtney Love is not to be messed with. The former Hole singer let loose on a beer-can-hurling fan in Adelaide, Australia, last week in an expletive-ridden diatribe that'd make even one of her future  Sons of Anarchy co-stars tremble in the knees. Mariah Carey & Courtney Love Pose…

  9. Bacon Brothers Q&A: New Album, Jamming With Daryl Hall & Playing 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon'

    August 22, 2014 6:44 PM EDT The Bacon Brothers return to the musical world with 36 Cents , their first disc of all-new material in six years. In an interview with Billboard, both Michael and Kevin Bacon expressed excitement to get new music out to the public, and also amazement at the work that goes into releasing a…

  10. Step Inside Bristol's Newly-Opened Birthplace of Country Music Museum

    August 21, 2014 7:34 PM EDT Long before Nashville became established as a recording center for country music, there were a few historic sessions that took place outside of Music City. Perhaps the most important took place about 300 miles to the east in Bristol, TN. Bristol is celebrating its role in the history of…

  11. Thomas Rhett Talks 'Make Me Wanna,' His Father & Avoiding Tattoos

    August 21, 2014 7:09 PM EDT There's typically not as much buzz about the fifth single from an album. That being said, "Make Me Wanna," the latest release from Thomas Rhett 's debut  It Goes Like This , is a little bit different. "I've had it since I was 20 years old, so it's been a…

  12. Sarah Dunn on Her Old-Fashioned Upbringing: 'We Didn't Have a CD Player or Tape Deck'

    August 20, 2014 5:58 PM EDT Sarah Dunn, the voice behind the Sarah Dunn Band 's "You or the Whiskey," definitely qualifies as an old soul. And not just in her attitude toward building her career.  "I was delivered by a midwife in Monett, Missouri, in this antebellum home. I like to think I had a…

  13. Native Run Talk Hearing Their Song on Radio for the First Time

    August 19, 2014 6:50 PM EDT As busy as they've been, Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley -- who make up the pop-country duo Native Run -- are making an effort to enjoy their budding success. "This is so unprecedented for us, as we've never had a song go to radio. We're just trying to relish the moment…

  14. Kenny Chesney Preps for 'Big Revival' After Massive Flora-Bama Concert

    August 18, 2014 6:15 PM EDT Kenny Chesney only performed one concert this year -- this weekend's Flora-Bama-Jama -- but it proved to be the party of the summer. Chesney brought his hits to the legendary Flora-Bama Lounge in Pensacola on Saturday, attracting more than 40,000 people -- some coming from as far away as…

  15. Rosanne Cash Praises 'Meticulous' Restoration of Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home

    August 18, 2014 4:30 PM EDT According to the U.S. Census, the population of Dyess, Arkansas, is 515. On Saturday, that number seemed to double as throngs of people descended upon the northeast corner of the state for the dedication of Johnny Cash 's boyhood home . Newly renovated by Arkansas State University with…

  16. Exclusive: Chase Rice Talks Making It Despite Label Execs and Critics

    August 15, 2014 6:56 PM EDT This Tuesday marks a momentous date in the life and career of Chase Rice . The singer will release his third full-length disc, Ignite The Night , on Columbia Nashville/Dack Janiels Records. It also marks the birth anniversary of his late father, Daniel. Coincidence? Think again. "We…

  17. Musicians React to Ferguson & Michael Brown: Frank Ocean, J. Cole & More

    August 15, 2014 12:52 PM EDT Given the impact of Michael Brown's tragic death and the protests that followed in Ferguson, Mo., it's no surprise musicians are letting their voices be heard. Billboard has compiled some of the voices that have resonated the loudest via social media on the topics of life, death,…

  18. Beats Music Releases 'Do the Right Thing' Doc

    August 15, 2014 11:07 AM EDT Apple's Beats Music has created a new documentary for the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing that reunites director Spike Lee with several members of the landmark film's cast and crew, and returns fans to the Brooklyn street it all made famous. Do the Right Thing 25 Anniversary:…

  19. Exclusive: Kenny Rogers Reflects on Tribute Exhibit at Country Music Hall of Fame

    August 14, 2014 5:20 PM EDT On Friday, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil Kenny Rogers: Through The Years , a new exhibit that pays tribute to the legendary entertainer. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductee's career will be celebrated with a wide array of artifacts, including a Tony Alamo denim outfit…

  20. Watch Punk Band Trash Talk Take Down a Drone With a Beer Can Mid-Set

    August 14, 2014 2:06 PM EDT Sacramento hardcore punks Trash Talk knocked a drone out of the sky during a Detroit show Saturday, chucking a full can of beer at the machine and nailing it. Cooler yet than bassist Spencer Pollard's feat of athletic precision is that the photographer who owns the video drone got it all…

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