1. Marty Raybon Talks Shenandoah Reunion, Working on Miranda Lambert's 'Another Sunday In the South' & More

    December 20, 2014 2:26 PM EST Country musician Marty Raybon first thought that someone was pulling a prank on him. “I got a message that Frank Liddell wanted me to call him. He was doing a record on Miranda Lambert , and he wanted me to sing on the record. I thought it was a joke,” Raybon tells Billboard. Marty Raybon…

  2. Billboard 200 Chart Moves: J. Cole's Trio of No. 1 Albums Puts Him in Elite Hip-Hop Company

    December 19, 2014 9:49 PM EST J. Cole is one of six rap acts to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with their first three full-length studio albums On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, J. Cole 's 2014 Forest Hills Drive debuted at No. 1 , his third consecutive album to reach the top slot (his entire output of…

  3. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Sam Smith Brings 'Merry Little Christmas' to Chart for First Time

    December 19, 2014 12:15 PM EST Smith's version of the 70-year-old ballad makes its first Hot 100 appearance, joining carols by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. Plus, moves for Usher and Charli XCX. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week,…

  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. Steven Van Zandt On Bruce Springsteen's 'Lillyhammer' Stint: 'He's Really Acting'

    December 17, 2014 10:47 PM EST It's always a bit uncomfortable having to tell your boss what to do. So imagine how Steven Van Zandt felt when he directed his longtime friend and E Street Band mate Bruce Springsteen when The Boss made his acting debut -- appearing in the third season finale of the Netflix dramedy…

  6. J. Cole Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

    December 17, 2014 4:34 PM EST J. Cole 's third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive , easily debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, marking the rapper's third consecutive chart-topper. He previously led the list with his debut effort, 2011's Cole World: The Sideline Story , and its follow-up, 2013's…

  7. Mick Management Brings On Former Artist Organization President Rich Schaefer

    December 17, 2014 1:57 PM EST Following a six-year tenure at The Artists Organization -- including two years as president -- Rich Schaefer has now moved to Mick Management as a partner, Billboard has exclusively learned. Schaefer joins CEO Michael McDonald and partners Jonathan Eshak and Rich Cohen .   “I’m…

  8. Watch St. Vincent's New 'Birth in Reverse' Video

    December 16, 2014 9:52 PM EST St. Vincent has released a music video for her track "Birth in Reverse", off self-titled album released earlier this year.  Must-Hear Music Podcast: Frank Ocean, Gwen, St. Vincent, Tinashe, A$AP Ferg & More The  Willo Perron -directed clip, features silver-haired singer Annie…

  9. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' and Why Waiting 14 Years For Music Isn't a Bad Thing

    December 16, 2014 4:55 PM EST Imagine going to a steakhouse, ordering the best steak in the restaurant after being told the best steak will take an hour to properly cook, waiting impatiently as everyone around you gets their food before you, angrily wondering why YOUR steak has to take so damn long... and then…

  10. Rapper O.T. Genasis on Backlash to Ode to Cocaine 'CoCo': 'I Stay in My Lane and Do Me'

    December 16, 2014 10:06 AM EST Billboard caught up with O.T. Genasis , whose hit "Coco" recently cracked the top 30 on the Hot 100 . O.T. Genasis, Frank Ocean, One Direction: Digital and Social Movers Have you faced a negative backlash to “CoCo,” your ode to cocaine? When my son’s teacher hits me and says, “He…

  11. Iggy Azalea Announces 'Great Escape' North American Tour Dates

    December 15, 2014 6:57 PM EST Iggy Azalea has announced dates for her Great Escape North American tour next year, kicking off in Fresno, Calif. on April 14 and wrapping up May 24 in Austin, Texas.  Iggy Azalea Pays Tribute to 'Woman I Owe My Career To' at Women in Music 2014 The "Fancy" rapper will…

  12. In the Face of Giants, Indie Concert Promoters Outpaced the Industry at Large This Year

    December 15, 2014 5:37 PM EST The grosses of the top six independent promoters in the U.S. combined increased by more than 15 percent, compared to a 7.7 percent increase for overall. Some 20 years after industry consolidation was supposed to wipe independent promoters off the map, these stubborn, savvy and fiercely…

  13. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Album Finally Drops: First Listen

    December 14, 2014 11:37 PM EST After 14 years without a full-length album, D’Angelo ’s Black Messiah was released Sunday (Dec. 14) just before midnight. The 12-track set is available here via iTunes.   How can you possibly encounter an album like this? The weight of expectations looms large, and it cuts two ways.…

  14. 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…

  15. BSBB Round 1: Calvin Harris, "Summer" vs. Sia, "Chandelier"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Summer Calvin Harris Chandelier Sia CHRIS PAYNE: One lead artist goes on magazine covers wearing a paper bag; the other just does the instrumentals and has unnamed collaborators sing the lyrics. What strange/wonderful/bloggable…

  16. BSBB Round 1: 5 Seconds of Summer, "Amnesia" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Zedd, "Break Free"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Amensia 5 Seconds of Summer Break Free Ariana Grande feat. Zedd CHRIS PAYNE: “This is the part when…” I try to figure out what the hell Ariana Grande is singing, knowing my effort will be ultimately futile. This song still…

  17. CMA CEO Sarah Trahern on Being 'Blown Away' During Her First Year on the Job

    December 12, 2014 1:06 PM EST It's been nearly a year since veteran television executive Sarah Trahern took over the role of chief executive officer at the Country Music Assn., joining the trade group from Great American Country (GAC), where she had served as senior vp/GM. While she was well qualified for the job -…

  18. Billboard Cover: Jason Derulo on the Success of 'Talk Dirty' (Despite His Mom's Disapproval)

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Loverboy "Talk Dirty" 1 week on Mainstream Top 40 ; 3 weeks on Rhythmic ; 4 weeks on R&B Digital Songs The year 2014, Jason Derulo 's annus mirabilis, started in a sweaty nightclub in Tel Aviv, Israel, in January 2013. There, embedded in a 2007 song called "…

  19. Billboard Cover: Meghan Trainor on Frank Sinatra, Her Rap Skills and the Rise of 'All About That Bass'

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Upstarts Meghan Trainor: “All About That Bass” 8 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 ; 3 weeks on Mainstream Top 40 Nico & Vinz: “Am I Wrong” 4 weeks on Radio Songs A little more than a year ago, Culver City-based music management firm Atom Factory was synonymous with two people: Troy Carter…

  20. 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.…

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