1. Billy Bragg Helps Reintroduce Guitars Into British Prisons

    July 30, 2014 2:24 AM EDT Inmates in British jails can now strum away their sentences thanks to a campaign orchestrated by Billy Bragg. The veteran musician and activist had pushed for a relaxing of a recent ban which meant prisoners couldn't play steel-stringed guitars outside supervised sessions. Those rules…

  2. Beck & Warby Parker Glasses Now Available

    July 29, 2014 8:52 PM EDT The eyewear company partners with the singer for a pair of limited-edition frames. No stranger to creating cool capsule collections -- from  Man of Steel -inspired   frames  to a recent collab with Victoria's Secret angel Karlie Kloss -- Warby Parker is back at it again with a new…

  3. Tool’s Maynard James Keenan Welcomes Baby Girl

    July 29, 2014 6:53 PM EDT Congratulations are in order for Maynard James Keenan, the frontman for Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, who announced on Tuesday the birth of his daughter. A Perfect Circle's Best-of Collection 'Nice, Nostalgic Walk Down Memory Lane,' Guitarist Says The musician and his…

  4. Does Country Music Need An Alcohol Intervention?

    July 29, 2014 5:42 PM EDT The stewardess in Dierks Bentley 's "Drunk on a Plane" is "leanin', pourin' Coke and whiskey." The woman in Lady Antebellum 's "Bartender" is ordering a double shot of Crown. The guy in Brad Paisley 's "River Bank" is hauling a…

  5. N.W.A Biopic Casts MC Ren & DJ Yella Roles

    July 29, 2014 3:46 PM EDT Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown Jr. round out the 'Straight Outta Compton' cast. Universal's N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton is rounding out the cast, adding Aldis Hodge as MC Ren and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella. They'll join O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason…

  6. Hard Working Americans' Frontman Todd Snider Keeps It Real on the Road

    July 29, 2014 12:36 PM EDT Hard Working Americans singer Todd Snider just wants to keep it real with their audience -- wherever they are. “I try to remind myself that any one venue is not more special than where I’ll be next month," he tells Billboard. "It’s all a microphone to me. You open your heart…

  7. Why Songwriters (and Indie Publishers) Need the PROs

    July 29, 2014 10:54 AM EDT Council of Music Creators' Phil Galdston, Maria Schneider & David Wolfert explain the dangers of withdrawing from the PROs. Are music publishers using the issue of low royalty payments from digital users [Spotify, Pandora, et al.] as a pretext for an unprecedented land grab of rights…

  8. It's Official: Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett Announce Album, Premiere 'Anything Goes' Video

    July 29, 2014 10:50 AM EDT The main G.U.Y. in Lady Gaga's life these days? Tony Bennett.  Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett made their long-in-the-works project official today, announcing the album  Cheek to Cheek --  a collection of jazz standards including "It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),"…

  9. Beck, Jenny Lewis & Conor Oberst: Watch Their Late Night Performances

    July 29, 2014 10:35 AM EDT Beck puts his comedy skills to the test with Stephen Colbert A trio of indie rock standbys gave their fans reason to flip through the channels Monday night just before bedtime. Grabbing the biggest spotlight was Beck, who appeared on Colbert Report for an interview and a two-song performance.…

  10. Larry David to Launch Citi Comedy Series in L.A.

    July 29, 2014 7:00 AM EDT 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' mastermind will sit down with David Steinberg on Sept. 28. Larry David will make a rare public appearance when he sits down for a conversation with fellow comedian David Steinberg, exclusive to Citi cardmembers, on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. PT in the Theatre at Ace…

  11. Tomorrowland 2014 Day 3 Highlights: Paul Kalkbrenner, Markus Schulz & Maceo Plex

    July 28, 2014 7:17 PM EDT Tomorrowland wrapped up its second weekend in fitting fashion on Sunday (July 27). A few hours of rainfall did nothing to dampen the 10-year anniversary party in Boom, Belgium, where techno and trance dominated the schedule outside of the main stage. Capping off a weekend of coverage,…

  12. Pandora Co-Founder Tim Westergren's Political Donations Show a Singular Focus

    July 28, 2014 5:05 PM EDT A report Monday (July 28) from the Trichordist , a blog that often focuses on regulatory issues that would affect songwriters, accuses Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren of supporting anti-gay politician Jason Chaffetz , but a closer look at Westergren's donation history seems to…

  13. 2014 Newport Folk Festival: 10 Best Performances

    July 28, 2014 11:59 AM EDT Not even the threat of thunderstorms, torrential downpours, and Friday afternoon bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95 could get in the way of Newport Folk Festival ringing in its 55th year -- or soul icon Mavis Staples  her 75th. "Thank you to [festival founder] George Wein for letting me…

  14. Kanye West Buries Coinye With Lawsuit Victory

    July 27, 2014 7:08 PM EDT Coinye West, a whimsical addition to the cryptocurrency craze, whose founders hitched its name and logo to the wagon of one of the biggest stars in hip-hop, has officially died. In documents filed July 22 in New York , a U.S. District Court declared Kanye West the victor over most of Coinye&…

  15. Ask Billboard: How Has Enrique Iglesias' 'Bailando' Become Such A Big Hit?

    July 27, 2014 8:05 AM EDT In the latest mailbag: Industry execs analyze the song's barrier-breaking explosion. Plus, magic chart moves, Hilary Duff's best sellers & Tom Petty favorites As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com .…

  16. Tomorrowland 2014 Day 1 Highlights: Avicii, Dillon Francis, Kygo & More

    July 26, 2014 1:56 PM EDT Tomorrowland kicked off its second weekend honor of the festival’s 10th anniversary on Friday (July 25). Boasting one of the deepest talent pools and arguably the most impressive production value that dance music has to offer, Tomorrowland is an immersive and at times overwhelming experience…

  17. Chart Moves: Audra McDonald Tops Four Billboard Charts, Buzzed-About Jungle Band Arrives

    July 25, 2014 8:45 PM EDT Also: A discounted Eminem charges back onto the chart, 'Now 50' crosses the half-million mark and the 'Wish I Was Here' soundtrack takes a bow. This week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, "Weird Al" Yankovic earned his first No. 1 , as Mandatory Fun bowed atop…

  18. Dept. of Justice Looks to Make Illegal Streaming a Felony

    July 25, 2014 5:01 PM EDT A Department of Justice office told a House Judiciary hearing Thursday he supports a felony penalty for illegal streaming.   Noting the rise of streaming, David Bitkower , Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, said tougher penalties would reflect the reality of today&…

  19. Code Picks of the Week: deadmau5, Sander Kleinenberg, Ali Love & More

    July 25, 2014 3:37 PM EDT Each Friday, CODE curates a diverse selection of the most noteworthy new tunes in dance music. Take a listen for a fitting soundtrack to your weekend. Sander Kleinenberg,"We-R-Superstars" [Spinnin'] The Dutch dance star completes his comeback this week with the release of his…

  20. Magic Talks 'Rude' Success and What's Next for the Band

    July 25, 2014 2:25 PM EDT The power-pop band just shot to No. 1 with the year-old reggae-influenced
 song "Rude," the season’s catchiest anthem about rejection. 
How it will handle its second act is another matter entirely. It certainly didn’t take long for Magic to live 
up to its name. Virtually 
unknown…

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