1. Justin Timberlake Tops Hot Tours List as 20/20 Trek Nears End

    December 18, 2014 6:19 PM EST Justin Timberlake scores the top slot on the weekly ranking of Hot Tours (see list, below) based on ticket sales reported from his 20/20 Experience tour’s final sweep through North America. The pop star kicked off the tour's last leg on Nov. 20 in Portland, Ore., the first stop on a…

  2. Alejandro Fernandez Earns Fifth No. 1 on Top Latin Albums

    December 18, 2014 5:44 PM EST Plus: Romeo Santos & Voz de Mando each notch new airplay No. 1s. Alejandro Fernandez earns his fifth No. 1 on Top Latin Albums as his  Confidencias Reales  debuts with 3,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Nielsen Music. Willy Chirino Op-Ed: Why U.S.-Cuba Thaw Is No…

  3. Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Song 'The Hanging Tree' Gets Dance Remix: Listen

    December 18, 2014 5:40 PM EST Jennifer Lawrence made her Billboard Hot 100 debut three weeks ago, via her feature spot on James Newton Howard 's Hunger Games song "The Hanging Tree." Because the Internet, that minimal folk sing-a-long has gotten its dance remix. Stick it to the Capitol and give it a…

  4. Bobby Shmurda Pleads Not Guilty to Gun, Drug Charges

    December 18, 2014 5:36 PM EST Up-and-coming rapper Bobby Shmurda appeared in a New York City court on Thursday (Dec. 18) to face charges he moonlighted as a gun-toting member of a street gang that was behind several shootings, one fatal, during turf wars over drug trafficking. Shmurda (real name: Ackquille Pollard)…

  5. 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale Song Debuts on Rock Chart

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST As the bloody motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy concluded its seven-season run Dec. 9 on FX, its swan song, "Come Join the Murder," debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart. The original track is credited to the show's house band, the Forest Rangers, and White…

  6. K. Michelle Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums

    December 18, 2014 4:19 PM EST Plus, album single 'Love 'Em All' attains a new peak on Hot R&B Songs. R&B singer/songwriter K. Michelle returns to the top of R&B Albums with her sophomore studio set  Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?,  arriving with 84,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 14, according to…

  7. Avery*Sunshine Scores First No. 1 Single With 'Call My Name'

    December 18, 2014 4:03 PM EST Meanwhile, I Love Makonnen reaches a new No. 1 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums welcomes six top 10 debuts. Avery*Sunshine captures her first No. 1 single on a Billboard chart as her graceful ballad "Call My Name" rises 2-1 on Adult R&B Songs in its 28th week on the list. K.…

  8. Taylor Swift No. 1 on Artist 100 Chart, J. Cole Debuts at No. 2

    December 18, 2014 2:32 PM EST Swift reigns for a ninth week, while Cole launches fueled by album sales. Taylor Swift remains atop the Billboard Artist 100 chart, logging a record-extending ninth week at No. 1, while J. Cole soars in at No. 2, powered by sales for his new album. The Artist 100 provides the first weekly…

  9. Atlanta's Top 8 New Rappers

    December 18, 2014 2:05 PM EST Atlanta is home to a constantly rising number of up-and-coming acts -- it's quickly becoming a powder keg of talent waiting to blow. The most impressive quality of the city’s scene is that no one rapper or singer is the same, and they all reach wildly different demographics, from the…

  10. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: Read Round 4 in our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 18, 2014 12:30 PM EST Which 2014 smash is the critics' pick for pop song of the year? We made 64 hits battle it out, March Madness-style, to determine a winner! Welcome to BEST SONG BRACKET BATTLE 2014, Billboard.com's weeklong bracket-style tournament in which 64 of the year's biggest songs are…

  11. 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…

  12. Windowing New Music May Not Goose Sales, Study Shows

    December 18, 2014 12:01 PM EST A case study by on one song in two different territories by two Spotify executives shows why windowing releases might not be a good idea. The Spotify duo, director of economic development Will Page and analyst Kenny Ning, chose to look at how Meghan Trainor 's "All About That Bass…

  13. Taylor Swift Reveals Surprising Industry Reaction to Spotify Decision

    December 18, 2014 4:24 AM EST It's easy to forget that when Taylor Swift announced in August that her fifth album, 1989 , would leave her country roots behind to be a purely pop project, there were a lot of skeptics -- as she might say, a lot of haters ready to hate, hate, hate. But that was four months ago. Taylor…

  14. What the U.S.-Cuba Breakthrough Could Mean for Music

    December 17, 2014 9:43 PM EST Could Obama's 'fresh approach' strengthen both Cuba's draw as a music destination and Cuban artists' popularity in the United States? How could restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba impact musicians in both countries? According to…

  15. Nicki Minaj and D'Angelo Set For Top 10 Debuts on Billboard 200

    December 17, 2014 8:21 PM EST D’Angelo’s surprise album may sell 100,000 in first week Nicki Minaj ’s new The Pinkprint album is on course for a top five debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Industry sources suggest the album, which was released on Dec. 15 through Young Money/Cash Money Records, may sell over 150,000…

  16. Sam Smith's 'In the Lonely Hour' Hits 1 Million in U.S. Sales

    December 17, 2014 5:18 PM EST Sam Smith 's debut full-length album In the Lonely Hour has surpassed 1 million in U.S. sales, according to Nielsen Music. It's the third album to sell more than a million in 2014, and continues to be the year's biggest-selling debut album. The album -- released on Capitol…

  17. R&B and Hip-Hop in 2014: A Lackluster Year for Some, But Not All

    December 17, 2014 5:01 PM EST Throughout the week, Billboard will be publishing pieces from our staff writers, each an outstanding authority on their specific area of coverage. From Nashville to Miami, the industry at large, publishing and retail, and the year in touring, we'll be taking comprehensive looks at the…

  18. Mariah Carey Tops Holiday 100 Songs Chart With 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'

    December 17, 2014 4:56 PM EST Carey returns to familiar vaunted territory with her 1994 seasonal classic. Mariah Carey jingles all the way back to No. 1 on Billboard 's Holiday 100 songs chart with her modern classic carol "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which rises 2-1. (Like the Billboard Hot 100,…

  19. 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…

  20. Hot Creator: The Dance World According to Jamie Jones

    December 17, 2014 4:20 PM EST The Welsh pioneer discusses the shifting sands of Ibiza, Burning Man and dance music at large in rare interview. No wonder Jamie Jones seldom does interviews. When we tried at TomorrowWorld, it cost him his phone. "I literally must have lost it between finishing the interview with…

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