1. Ask Billboard: Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga

    July 02, 2010 4:30 PM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. MADONNA VS. LADY GAGA Hey Gary, I am a longtime reader of Chart Beat and…

  2. Garry Shider, P. Funk Guitarist and 'Diaperman', Dies

    June 17, 2010 6:42 PM EDT Legendary funk guitarist Garry Shider, whose work with Parliament-Funkadelic earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died. He was 56. Shider was known to millions of fans as "Starchild" or "Diaperman," the latter because of the loincloth he often wore…

  3. Chick Corea Plans New Music With Freedom Band, Return to Forever

    June 16, 2010 1:56 PM EDT It looks like Return to Forever fans won't have to wait long for the jazz fusion supergroup's next reunion. The well-credentialed quartet of keyboardist Chick Corea, guitarist Al di Meola, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White toured together for the first time in 15 years…

  4. Bieber-Mania Sparks Search for the Next Teen Sensation

    June 01, 2010 3:25 PM EDT What does 16-year-old Justin Bieber share in common with musical icons Bob Dylan , Bruce Springsteen , Nirvana and Britney Spears ? They all, at one time or another, have inspired record company A&R executives en masse to aggressively sign up artists who sound, and sometimes even look,…

  5. Nicki Minaj featuring Sean Garrett, "Massive Attack"

    April 16, 2010 2:14 PM EDT With her quirky sexual presentation and penchant for making odd faces, Nicki Minaj is one of the most visually distinctive rappers to come along in years. It figures, then, that discussion of her debut single, "Massive Attack," would take a back seat to its Hype Williams-directed, B…

  6. Melissa Etheridge Returns To Her Rock Roots

    April 09, 2010 12:09 PM EDT "I've laid down my burden, the one where I have something I should prove," Melissa Etheridge wails on "Heaven on Earth," one of many rock anthems that populate her new Island Def Jam (IDJ) album "Fearless Love," due April 27. More than 20 years into her…

  7. Gucci Mane Manages Career From Jail

    March 18, 2010 10:09 AM EDT This was supposed to be Gucci Mane 's time to finally gain mainstream appeal, as he collaborated with Mariah Carey , Mario and Usher while churning out street anthems like "Wasted" and "Go Head," featuring Man Bre-Z. But now he's found himself trying to figure…

  8. Usher: The Billboard Cover Story

    March 09, 2010 4:09 PM EST Usher and his creative team began tossing around ideas for his next album, they had one goal in mind: to get his swagger back. "I had checked out," the singer acknowledges. "I went all the way into being super husband and super dad, thinking, 'I've got to be serious…

  9. Ask Billboard: Energizer-Bunny Albums

    February 12, 2010 4:45 PM EST Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. HANGIN' TOUGH Hi Gary, I've noticed that over the past year-plus,…

  10. Tim McGraw, Gwyneth Paltrow To Star In Country Musical Drama

    December 02, 2009 4:39 PM EST Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw , Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester are set to star in Screen Gems' country singing drama "Love Don't Let Me Down," which Shana Feste wrote and is directing. Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping are producing under their Maguire Entertainment…

  11. Casting Crowns Extends Reign With 'Whole World'

    November 30, 2009 4:20 PM EST As the seven members of the Atlanta-based band Casting Crowns settle into the front of one of their tour buses, they are all warm and friendly, eager to share the latest photos of their kids and happenings at their churches. If they seem more like your child's favorite teacher, your next…

  12. Sting, "If on a Winter's Night..."

    November 13, 2009 3:48 PM EST Sting has said that his latest album, "If on a Winter's Night . . .," was inspired by his favorite cold-weather season. But what's surprising about the best cuts from the 15-track set is how much heat the Police frontman and his varied collaborators create. On "…

  13. Mario Goes From 'Break Up' To Breaking Records

    October 23, 2009 5:51 PM EDT The last time Mario saw the pinnacle of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart was in 2005. That's when "Let Me Love You"-from his 2004 second album, "Turning Point"-reached No. 1. Four years and two albums later, the Baltimore crooner finds himself close to…

  14. Beyoncé, Maxwell, Keri Hilson Lead Nominations For Soul Train Awards Return

    October 23, 2009 11:27 AM EDT With four nominations each, Beyoncé , Keri Hilson and Maxwell head the list of nominees for the return of the Soul Train Awards. The awards ceremony, hosted by actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, will be the first special aired on BET's recently launched CENTRIC Network. Taping…

  15. Ask Billboard: Britney's Latest Greatest Hit

    October 16, 2009 3:50 PM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. BEST OF THE BEST Hi Gary, With much talk about Britney Spears ' debut at…

  16. Beyonce: The Billboard Cover Story

    October 01, 2009 4:30 PM EDT Fans are still getting to know Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé's musical alter ego, formally introduced on the singer's 2008 album, "I Am...Sasha Fierce." Most probably don't know, however, that the singer/songwriter has been friends with Fierce since elementary school. Manager…

  17. Mario, Trey Songz To Headline BET/Live Nation Club Tour

    September 21, 2009 4:47 PM EDT Live Nation has partnered with BET Networks to produce a series of U.S. tours that are set to visit Live Nation-owned House of Blues venues and other clubs/theaters across the country. The new partnership will launch this fall with the 106 & Park Tour, which featuring co-headliners Trey…

  18. Song Debut: Q-Tip's "Barely In Love"

    September 01, 2009 4:22 PM EDT A decade after first announcing it, Q-Tip 's "Kamaal The Abstract" will finally see the light of day. On September 15th, the former Tribe Called Quest frontman will release his third solo studio album via Battery Records. Billboard.com has the exclusive stream of the lead…

  19. Chart Beat Thursday: Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus

    August 20, 2009 5:13 PM EDT BEST WEEK EVER?: It would be an historic Billboard Hot 100 this week if just one landmark record was broken, but when the Black Eyed Peas and Jason Mraz each rewrite 51 years of Hot 100 achievements, the chart dated Aug. 29, 2009, is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary of its entire…

  20. Portugal. The Man, "The Satanic Satanist"

    August 11, 2009 1:08 PM EDT The eerie psychedelic cover artwork for Portugal. The Man's fourth album, "The Satanic Satanist," is a pretty good indicator as to what the band's newest musical effort sounds like. Full of electric cadences, Beatles-like transitions and lyrics inspired by nature, "…

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