1. Ruby Dee to Be Memorialized By Alicia Keys, Harry Belafonte & Others at Memorial

    September 20, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Ruby Dee will be remembered in poetry and song this weekend as the actress and civil rights activist is memorialized by admirers including Alicia Keys , Audra McDonald , Harry Belafonte and Angela Bassett. Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies at 91 The celebration of Dee's life will be held…

  2. After Hitting Bottom, Scott Storch Is Taking Another Shot at the Top

    September 19, 2014 6:20 PM EDT Ten years ago, the hip-hop producer had one of the hottest streaks in music history. Then he acquired an epic cocaine habit and bankrupted himself. Now he’s mounting a modest comeback using the one resource he never completely squandered: Chutzpah. On a scorching Wednesday in Augustin…

  3. Code Picks of the Week: Gorgon City, Michael Calfan & More

    September 19, 2014 4:30 PM EDT Each week, CODE curates a diverse selection of the most noteworthy new tunes in dance music. Take a listen for a fitting soundtrack to your weekend. Gorgon City ft. Katy Menditta, “Imagination” [Virgin EMI] Between its sexy bass line and chills inducing refrain, the latest cut off the UK…

  4. Johnny Rotella, Songwriter for Frank Sinatra, Dies at 93

    September 18, 2014 11:20 PM EDT Johnny Rotella , an accomplished instrumentalist and songwriter who wrote the Frank Sinatra standard “Nothing but the Best” and recorded with Neil Diamond , Frank Zappa , Steely Dan and others, has died. He was 93. Rotella, a highly sought-after session man who played with marquee artists…

  5. Phish Scores New Year's Eve Gig For 2014… But Not at Madison Square Garden

    September 18, 2014 4:56 PM EDT On Monday, we learned that Phish 's four-year streak of New Year's Eve concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden was coming to an end , thanks to Diplo and Skrillex . But the jam rockers have found themselves a replacement arena for their New Year's plans. Phish will…

  6. Check out Slipknot's New Masks & New Album Rumors

    September 18, 2014 3:52 PM EDT New album '5: The Gray Chapter' will feature a new drummer and bassist; who are these masked men? As they prep their first studio album since 2008, Slipknot have hinted at more details surrounding the forthcoming 5: The Gray Chapter . The Iowa-based metal veterans just shared a…

  7. Metallica's Kirk Hammett Is 'Tickled' About Contributing to New Exodus Album

    September 18, 2014 11:09 AM EDT Guitarist tells Billboard that reconnecting with his old bandmates is like "coming back to a fraternity you lost contact with." For Kirk Hammett , the guitar solo he performs on "Salt the Wound," a track on Exodus ' upcoming album Blood In, Blood Out (Nuclear…

  8. Darrell Hammond Named 'SNL' Announcer After Don Pardo's Death

    September 18, 2014 10:56 AM EDT "It can't be what it was, but it could sort of be in the same tradition," Lorne Michaels tells USA Today. Darrell Hammond is rejoining Saturday Night Live as the show's new announcer, after longtime voice Don Pardo passed away in August at 96. Hammond will introduce the…

  9. George Hamilton IV, Grand Ole Opry Star, Dies at 77

    September 18, 2014 1:50 AM EDT If you look at the career of George Hamilton IV , one might be prone to label him as simply a stalwart of the Grand Ole Opry and one of traditional country music’s most durable artists. However, Hamilton -- who passed away Wednesday (Sept. 17) at a Nashville hospital at the age of 77 -- was…

  10. Run the Jewels' El-P Calls 'Meow' Kickstarter 'An Opportunity to Do Something Good in a Fun Way'

    September 17, 2014 8:31 PM EDT A few days ago, Run the Jewels announced a number of just slightly ludicrous pre-order packages in support of their forthcoming LP, Run the Jewels 2 . To name a few:  "I'm on the F---ing List, Asshole"  ($7,500) allows you entry plus one to up to 10 RTJ shows, "The Self…

  11. Don't Fear the Reaper: The 20 Best Songs About Death

    September 17, 2014 4:15 PM EDT For a group of people obsessed with immortality, pop stars sure do sing a lot about death. Maybe it's not that surprising. It's a deliciously rich topic ripe for all kinds of songs: From murder ballads and tender tributes to nihilistic hip-hop jams, there’s a killer canon of…

  12. Tim Dog's Death Confirmed After Faked-Death Reports

    September 16, 2014 4:45 PM EDT Last year, movie-worthy rumors swirled around the rapper Tim Dog . Although a number of outlets reported that he had died in February 2013, it was very difficult to locate any concrete evidence of this fact. Due to his involvement in a fraud scheme that led to a 2011 conviction -- and a…

  13. Common's Father Dies at 71

    September 16, 2014 9:26 AM EDT Lonnie Lynn, known to hip-hop fans for his soulful spoken-word poems on rapper son Common 's albums, has died. Lynn died at age 71 on Friday, Common said in an interview Monday in Los Angeles. He gave no further details. Lynn was a star high school basketball player in Chicago and played…

  14. Robert Christgau: Iggy Azalea's 'New Classic' Is Plenty Authentic -- and Damn Good to Boot

    September 16, 2014 9:00 AM EDT Iggy Azalea 'New Classic' Review, Robert Christgau I come not to remind you, in case it's somehow slipped your mind, that Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea is the first artist to place his, her or their first Hot 100 singles at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously since the damn…

  15. Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Redman & Method Man Perform At One Music Fest 2014: Live Review

    September 15, 2014 2:45 PM EDT On Saturday, Sept. 13, music fans flocked to Atlanta's Aaron's Amphitheatre for One Music Fest. The day-long festival featured three stages: Zeus (main stage), Hercules (small stage) and the DJ stage, Soulection. After Atlanta's own Cody ChesnuTT kicked off the afternoon,…

  16. Yusuf/Cat Stevens Announces First New Music in 5 Years, Tour

    September 15, 2014 11:58 AM EDT Yusuf , the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer formerly known as Cat Stevens , will release his first music in five years and perform six shows in North America in early winter. Sony's Legacy Recordings will release "Tell ‘Em I’m Gone" on Oct. 27 as part of a deal that will see future…

  17. New Zealand Underground Icon Peter Gutteridge Dies

    September 15, 2014 5:58 AM EDT Peter Gutteridge , a singer and multi-intrumentalist who was a founding member of New Zealand indie bands the Clean, the Chills and the Great Unwashed and is synonymous with the influential Kiwi label they were signed to, Flying Nun, died Monday morning of unknown causes. According to various…

  18. Amy Winehouse Statue Unveiled in London

    September 14, 2014 10:51 AM EDT Amy Winehouse's father said it was "incredibly emotional" to see the statue. Late singer Amy Winehouse has been honored on what would have been her 31st birthday with a life-size statue in her beloved Camden Town neighborhood of north London. Mitch Winehouse to Release …

  19. Tom Skeeter, Sound City Studios Owner, Dies

    September 13, 2014 9:20 PM EDT Tom Skeeter, a longtime music industry insider and owner of the legendary Sound City Studios, has died, Billboard has confirmed. A cause of death was not revealed at press time. "We lost our main man, Tommy Skeeter this week. Grateful our Sound City Movie pals for introducing him…

  20. GWAR Discusses Oderus Urungus and the Carnage to Come on the Eternal Tour

    September 13, 2014 5:40 PM EDT "We’ll kill everybody that gets in our way" The guys in GWAR put most method actors to shame. During our very twisted and funny conversation with the grotesquely masked metal band backstage at Chicago’s Riot Fest on Friday (Sept. 14), it was nearly impossible to get the members…

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