1. Elton John Posts First Instagram Just Time for Wedding

    December 20, 2014 4:47 PM EST Fans are cordially invited to Elton John 's wedding. Well, actually, they can attend his upcoming nuptials to David Furnish by following his newly-launched Instagram account. The singer posted his first snapshot to his Instagram account (under the handle EltonJohn) on Friday (Dec. 19),…

  2. 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…

  3. Sugarland, Live Nation Settle With State Fair Victims

    December 20, 2014 1:20 PM EST Country duo Sugarland , concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse , lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday (Dec. 20). Judge Orders Sugarland Singer…

  4. Madonna's 'Early Christmas Gift,' Releases Six Songs From New Album

    December 20, 2014 3:08 AM EST The queen of pop strikes back at demo leaks, announces "Rebel Heart." One Madonna surprise follows another, as the Queen of Pop has dropped her forthcoming album, Rebel Heart -- with six new songs immediately available for purchase -- onto iTunes for pre-order well ahead of…

  5. Wynonna Picks Her 5 Essential Christmas Songs

    December 19, 2014 9:24 PM EST Wynonna says that her A Simpler Christmas Tour has been quite an emotional roller coaster. "It's basically a tragic comedy," she tells Billboard . "I get to talk about very some intensely personal deep and sentimental family stuff from growing up in Appalachia. We didn&…

  6. Lucian Grainge's End-of-Year Memo to Employees: 'It's No Longer Enough to Outperform'

    December 19, 2014 6:23 PM EST Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group and one of the most powerful members of the music industry, today sent employees a holiday memo laying out his plans for the following year. It seems like Grainge has every intention of using his company's considerable leverage…

  7. Can The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York' Top the U.K.'s Cherished Christmas Charts?

    December 19, 2014 5:38 PM EST Following the U.K.'s Official Charts inclusion of digital streaming this year, the new accounting is causing some shake-ups this holiday season. Now the highly coveted Christmas No. 1 could be poised for takeover by a song that's nearly three decades old: The Pogues ' "…

  8. Here's What the 2014 Holiday Music Sales Spike Looks Like

    December 19, 2014 5:28 PM EST Every holiday season, the debate begins in earnest: When is it okay to start listening to seasonal music? Some say Christmas music isn't kosher until after Thanksgiving weekend, while others wait until the very last moment. Some overzealous fans, on the other hand, start listening to…

  9. Which *NSYNC Member Is Singing at Lance Bass' Wedding?

    December 19, 2014 5:18 PM EST Is it too much to hope that JC Chasez breaks out "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You"? Lance Bass Sets Wedding Date... And *NSYNC Reunion? Lance Bass is getting married this weekend, and he shared that his wedding singer is none other than former *NSYNC bandmate Chasez.…

  10. 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 …

  11. Billy Corgan: 'I'm a Rock Star Because I'm a Great F---ing Musician'

    December 19, 2014 4:40 PM EST When it comes to the state of the music industry (or anything else for that matter),  Smashing Pumpkins  mastermind and frontman  Billy Corgan  has no problem speaking his mind. Billboard sat down with the musician in his dressing room at the recent KROQ Almost Acoustic Xmas event in Los…

  12. Top 10 Lyrics From D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

    December 19, 2014 3:40 PM EST It's been close to a week since the surprise release of D'Angelo & The Vanguard's Black Messiah , enough time for the formerly distorted lyrics of D'Angelo to become more clear and significant. The easiest tone to take with Black Messiah , in its entire majestic roar…

  13. Eric Burgett Brings His Classical Training to Country Music

    December 19, 2014 2:59 PM EST In this week's 615 Spotlight, we take a look at a singer who we found simply perfecting his art in one of the most prestigious clubs in Nashville: Eric Burgett, one of the most unique talents  you will find in Music City. His writing and performing definitely fit in with what is out…

  14. The Alt In Our Stars Podcast: Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Details New Album 'Aureate Gloom'

    December 19, 2014 2:54 PM EST Of Montreal recently announced their lucky 13th studio album -- Aureate Gloom , out March 3 on longtime label Polyvinyl. Bandleader Kevin Barnes is a pretty interesting guy, having guided the outfit from its late 1990s twee pop "happy yellow bumblebees" sound (as he puts it) to…

  15. Beyonce Loses Feminist of the Year Title to Emma Watson

    December 19, 2014 2:36 PM EST One way to measure how far feminism has come is realizing we now have a list of celebrated entertainers who've made great strides for feminism (the point is, of course, a bit muddled by the subsequent ranking of said women).  Emma Watson was named the Feminist Celebrity of 2014,…

  16. Carrie Underwood on Cross-Genre Collaborations

    December 19, 2014 2:30 PM EST In conjunction with her recently-released Greatest Hits: Decade #1 , Carrie Underwood took a moment to reflect on her career and her opportunities to work with some of her idols -- in and out of country music. She's thrilled that she got to sing with her peers, like Miranda Lambert ,…

  17. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: See Who Wins our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 19, 2014 2:00 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…

  18. Pioneering Rap Producer Larry Smith Has Died

    December 19, 2014 1:47 PM EST Sad news in the world of hip-hip -- one of rap music's pioneering producers, Larry Smith, has passed away  at the age of 63. Smith co-produced Run-D.M.C. 's incalculably influential first two albums ( Run-D.M.C. and King of Rock ) alongside Russell Simmons. Additionally, he…

  19. 'Salad Days,' Comprehensive Doc on Washington, D.C.'s Hardcore Scene, Gets a Hometown Premiere

    December 19, 2014 1:08 PM EST A long-awaited documentary on the influential 80s D.C. hardcore scene Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. , makes its hometown premiere tonight (Dec. 19) at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center  in Silver Spring, MD. The first of the four-sold out screenings this weekend…

  20. Shawn Mendes, Gwen Stefani and Meghan Trainor at the Z100 Jingle Ball: Real-Time Twitter Chart Rewind Ep. 29

    December 19, 2014 1:00 PM EST Welcome back to Billboard's weekly video show "Real-Time Rewind," which recaps the past week's hottest action on the new Billboard Real-Time Twitter Charts -- Trending 140 and Emerging Artists -- and the news that's driving the action. Joe Levy stops by Z100’s…

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