1. U.S.-Cuba Musical Relations: A Timeline of Milestones

    December 19, 2014 5:15 PM EST Before President Obama's announcement Wednesday that the U.S. would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, there were five decades of a rocky musical relationship that displayed artistic triumphs, personal tragedies and the diplomatic power of music. See our timeline below: 1959 …

  2. Must-Hear Music Podcast: Best Albums of the Year Edition

    December 19, 2014 12:10 PM EST is almost over, and that means one thing for the Billboard staff -- it's time to obsess over our favorite albums of the year. This week, the original Must-Hear Music podcast team -- Jason Lipshutz , Joe Lynch  and Erika Ramirez -- sit down to share and argue over their favorite…

  3. The 14 Best Pop Albums of 2014

    December 18, 2014 4:49 PM EST From Tove to Taylor to Bleachers, these 14 in '14 were worth many, many listens. I’m not publishing a list of the Best Pop Songs of 2014 list, because, well, we have a week-long bracket tournament discussing the best pop songs of the year already. Instead, I want to highlight my…

  4. Carrie Underwood, 'Voice' Winner Craig Wayne Boyd Debut on Country Charts

    December 18, 2014 12:25 PM EST Underwood scores her record-tying fifth consecutive No. 1 bow, of five career releases, on Top Country Albums. Carrie Underwood storms Billboard 's Top Country Albums chart with Greatest Hits: Decade #1 , which arrives at No. 1 with 94,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music. The set…

  5. Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez: Top 10 Moments of the Year in Ass

    December 17, 2014 1:53 PM EST Pop culture has been infatuated for the derrière for some time now, but 2014 was surely the year of ass. Nicki Minaj , Beyoncé , Meghan Trainor , Cody Simpson and more celebrities gave the world wide web a sneak peak of their assets with pride… and then some continued doing so. I mean, why…

  6. Elvis Presley's 'Blue Christmas' Backup Singer Millie Kirkham Dies at 91

    December 17, 2014 11:43 AM EST Millie Kirkham -- a backup singer for Elvis Presley who featured on numerous vintage rock and country songs from the '50s to the '80s -- has passed away at age 91 . Kirkham died on Sunday in Nashville after complications from a stroke she suffered last week. Kirkham lent her high…

  7. Anthony Hamilton Hits 'Home' With First Holiday Album

    December 17, 2014 9:43 AM EST The Grammy Award winner and current nominee will also appear as a special guest on Fox's new drama "Empire." To co-opt a popular phrase during this time of year, 'tis the season for Anthony Hamilton . Home for the Holidays , the R&B singer/songwriter/producer’s first…

  8. Sony Hack Reveals Snapchat Wanted a Record Label, Too Much Money From Vevo

    December 17, 2014 8:59 AM EST The leak of Sony Entertainment's internal documents, most recently the email account of Sony Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton , has revealed high-level talks between that company and Snapchat, the messaging service that turned down billions from Facebook earlier this year…

  9. Van Morrison Signs With RCA For 35th Studio Album, Due Early 2015

    December 16, 2014 7:43 PM EST Van Morrison will release his as-yet-untitled 35th studio album on RCA Records in early 2015, the label confirmed Tuesday. The set will be a follow-up to 2012’s Born To Sing: No Plan B , which was released via Blue Note and debuted and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 . “We are…

  10. Joan Jett on Her Rock Hall Induction: 'It's a Roiling Pot of Emotions'

    December 16, 2014 4:34 PM EST Last April, Joan Jett was one of four women who played with Nirvana during its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "Maybe it reminded people I'm out there," Jett quipped on Tuesday (Dec. 16). Maybe so. Jett and her band the Blackhearts…

  11. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Needs to Venture Outside of Mainstream to Stay Relevant

    December 16, 2014 2:35 PM EST It's fitting that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2015 at midnight last night, because the list of new inductees is very sleepy. Next year, Green Day , Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues Band , Joan Jett and the…

  12. Why Were Jay Z, Justin Timberlake & Taylor Swift Hanging Out? 10 (Not-So-Likely) Theories

    December 16, 2014 2:24 PM EST "I stay out too late...then have music titans come over the following afternoon." Even by Taylor Swift 's high standards, she's having a pretty great weekend. After receiving Billboard 's Woman of the Year Award on Friday, she had her 25th birthday party attended by…

  13. Op-Ed: Why 'Dad Rock' Became 2014's Put-Down Du Jour (Sorry, Bruce and U2)

    December 16, 2014 12:00 PM EST The first time Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy , 47, heard the phrase “dad rock,” he was reading a Pitchfork review of his band’s 2007 album, Sky Blue Sky , which a writer said “nakedly exposes the dad-rock gene Wilco has always carried but courageously attempted to disguise.” This was followed by…

  14. Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan & More to Join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    December 16, 2014 2:00 AM EST The punk trio Green Day is the 48th act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining acts such as Nirvana , R.E.M. and the Clash as first-ballot honorees. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues…

  15. 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…

  16. Cat Stevens Wraps First U.S. Tour in 35 Years

    December 15, 2014 4:35 PM EST The word "journey" was spoken multiple times during the final concert of Yusuf/ Cat Stevens ' brief U.S. tour, his first in 35 years. It was used as a metaphor and literally, Yusuf speaking both about his life, the lyrics of songs from the early 1970s and his two most recent…

  17. Fall Out Boy Shares New Song, Tracklist & Cover Art For 'American Beauty/American Psycho

    December 15, 2014 10:40 AM EST Another new Fall Out Boy song is here. Riding high since their 2013 comeback album Save Rock And Roll , the quartet has shared a new song called “The Kids Aren’t Alright” from forthcoming album American Beauty/American Psycho . They’re name-checking The Offspring , The Who, Kevin Spacey and…

  18. BSBB Round 3: Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda" vs. Charli XCX, "Boom Clap"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Anaconda Nicki Minaj Boom Clap Charli XCX DENISE WARNER: “Anaconda” waxes poetic about big butts. “Boom Clap” is a somewhat more sentimental take on falling in love. I’m going with sentiment on this one. My Vote: “Boom Clap”…

  19. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  20. BSBB Round 1: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, "Show Me"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Show Me Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: I’m laughing because, sorry Kid Ink and Chris Brown, you didn’t think you had a chance, did you? Umm, “Drunk In Love” is the winner here —…

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