1. Minecraft Guy Outbids Beyonce and Jay Z for Beverly Hills Mansion, Supposedly the Most-Expensive Ever

    December 19, 2014 10:46 AM EST What would you do if you recently made a couple billion bucks? If you're Swedish video game developer Markus Persson ,  you probably purchase a fully furnished 23,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills -- one that was reportedly eyed by Beyonce and Jay Z -- for $70 million, of course…

  2. American Country Countdown Awards: Luke Bryan & Florida Georgia Line Roll Over Competition

    December 15, 2014 10:30 PM EST Jason Aldean takes home top prize at inaugural awards show, while Kenny Chesney & Reba McEntire are honored. The inaugural American Country Countdown Awards were held Monday night (Dec. 15) at Nashville's Music City Center, and as producers hoped, the night was akin to a Christmas…

  3. ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento Announces Retirement

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST After a 33-year career at ASCAP -- 17 of them as the CEO -- John LoFrumento is retiring from the performance rights organization as of Jan. 1. During his tenure at the head of organization, membership grew from 70,000 members to 520,000, while distribution of royalties more than doubled,…

  4. Billy Joel Leads Latest Hot Tours List

    December 11, 2014 3:29 PM EST Billy Joel leads the weekly slate of Hot Tours (see list, below) with ticket sales reported from a show at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa., his first concert at the Penn State arena in 12 years. The rock legend played the venue on Dec. 5 with a crowd of 12,077 in attendance.…

  5. The 10 Best Country Albums of 2014

    December 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST We're shining the spotlight on the best albums to come from Nashville during the past year representing the many branches of the country tree. (And see our list of the 10 best country songs here .)  Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here! 10. Sara Evans - Slow Me…

  6. Grammys 2015: The Lowdown on the Country Music Nominations

    December 05, 2014 6:22 PM EST The nominees in the country field for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced, and there are interesting names among the contenders. The decision to scale back on the number of categories a few years ago by NARAS led many to believe that the organization was looking to increase…

  7. Grammys 2015: And the Nominees Are…

    December 05, 2014 2:30 PM EST Early Friday on CBS This Morning , Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams stopped by to reveal four major categories of nominations for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Head Here for Our Complete Coverage of the 2015 Grammys Sheeran's own x (pronounced "multiply") got a nod…

  8. Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith & More React to Grammy Nominations on Twitter

    December 05, 2014 11:30 AM EST As the 2015 Grammy nominations are revealed this morning, the artists lucky enough to get a nod from the Recording Academy have started to react on Twitter. Meghan Trainor and Jhene Aiko went with the "happy tears" emoji, while Miranda Lambert congratulated the other…

  9. CMA Songwriters Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary at NYC's Joe's Pub

    December 04, 2014 3:33 PM EST In recent years, the men and women who play a behind-the-scenes role in making pop music have been getting more attention. The most prominent example is probably the Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom -- which documented the contributions made by backup singers in classic rock -- but the…

  10. Country Insiders Talk Touring Too Much & Finding the Next Luke Bryan

    November 20, 2014 4:14 PM EST 'There are too many shows, and eventually it will cannibalize buildings and cities,' one exec says during Billboard Touring Conference country panel. Agents and managers working in the country field are predicting a record-breaking year for 2015, with more than 18 performers…

  11. Frankie Ballard's 'Sunshine' Dawns Atop Country Airplay Chart

    November 18, 2014 10:45 AM EST Ballard becomes the first act to score his first two No. 1s this year. Plus, Brad Paisley returns to the top 10. Frankie Ballard claims his second No. 1 on Billboard 's Country Airplay chart, as "Sunshine & Whiskey" rises 2-1. He first rang the top bell with "Helluva…

  12. Carrie Underwood Climbs to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Following CMA Awards

    November 13, 2014 3:15 PM EST Th award show shakes up the charts, with the co-host scoring her 14th No. 1. Carrie Underwood 's performance of "Something in the Water" on the CMA Awards Nov. 5 on ABC lifts the track 5-1 on Billboard's sales/airplay/streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart. The song is…

  13. Shane Allen Replacing Steve Hodges as Capitol Nashville's Head of Promotion

    November 13, 2014 12:30 PM EST Universal Music Group Nashville has elevated its vice president of promotion, Shane Allen , to head of promotion at Capitol Records Nashville starting in the new year. Allen will succeed Steve Hodges , who is leaving Capitol, the label group announced on Thursday. Allen joined Capitol in…

  14. Luke Bryan Leads Nominees For 2014 American Country Countdown Awards

    November 11, 2014 10:00 AM EST Newly-crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan leads the upcoming American Country Countdown Awards with seven nominations. The ACCA awards celebrate the best in country radio. Following Bryan, Florida Georgia Line earned six nominations. The American Country Countdown Awards will air…

  15. Tim McGraw Exits Red Light Management

    November 06, 2014 6:42 PM EST Tim McGraw exited Red Light Management suddenly last week after five years with the firm, sources tell Billboard . During an interim period, McGraw is working with his former manager, Scott Siman . McGraw has had a fruitful five years at Red Light, where he was managed by founder Coran…

  16. CMA Awards 2014 Recap: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert Win Big

    November 05, 2014 11:40 PM EST Luke Bryan took home top honors at the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday night (Nov. 5), winning for Entertainer of the Year. "I've never met Garth Brooks before," the singer said of the man who presented him with the trophy. "Can I have another…

  17. CMA Awards 2014: And the Winners Are ...

    November 05, 2014 8:00 PM EST The 2014 CMA Awards have begun! Check back here for an updated winners list all night! CMA Awards 2014: Who Should Win/Who Will Win | Producers Give Scoop on the Show  | Live Blog Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan -- WINNER Miranda Lambert Blake Shelton George Strait Keith Urban Female…

  18. CMA Songwriters Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary

    November 04, 2014 5:30 PM EST Nashville has always been known as a songwriter's town, and that perception has been bolstered in the past decade by the increasing success of the CMA Songwriters Series. The series celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by expanding into television and drawing standing-room-only…

  19. CMA Awards 2014 Predictions: Who Will Win?

    November 04, 2014 3:40 PM EST On Wednesday night, ABC will broadcast the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. For the seventh consecutive year, the broadcast will be hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley , and will feature performances from many of the biggest stars…

  20. CMA Awards' Exec Producer Gives the Inside Scoop on This Year's Show -- From the All-Star Duets to the Surprise Guests

    November 03, 2014 5:53 PM EST An interview with CMA's executive producer Robert Deaton Robert Deaton is a very busy man. As executive producer of the CMA Awards, Deaton is preparing for the 48th Annual CMA Awards live on ABC Wednesday night (Nov. 5) from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. On Friday, he'll…

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