1. Chart Highlights: Taylor Swift, Avery Sunshine, Tim McGraw Notch New No. 1s

    December 15, 2014 5:05 PM EST Swift makes the quickest jump to No. 1 this year, Sunshine scores her first Adult R&B Songs leader and McGraw makes more history. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. Find out the top songs, Greatest Gainers and debuts on the surveys…

  2. 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…

  3. The 4 Movie Soundtracks That Soared in 2014 (We're Looking at You, 'Frozen' and 'Hunger Games')

    December 15, 2014 4:17 PM EST With Frozen , Lorde, and Guardians of the Galaxy leading the way, movie soundtracks ruled in 2014. Read on for four of the biggest: Frozen Released in late 2013, the film’s soundtrack dominated the Billboard 200 well into 2014, spending 13 weeks at No. 1 -- the longest run for a soundtrack…

  4. The Average Age of the Rock Category Is How Old? Plus Other Surprising (and Not-So-Surprising) Grammy Nomination Stats

    December 15, 2014 4:01 PM EST Some obvious and (not-so-obvious) stats about this year's Grammy nominations.  Grammys 2015: See All the Coverage! This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard. News Harley Brown 1418619600 …

  5. Musixmatch Wants to Be the 'IMDb of Music Lyrics,' Launches Lyric Video Messaging App

    December 15, 2014 3:39 PM EST These days, you're almost as likely to get a music message as you are to get an iMessage with increasingly popular apps like Boomio and Rithm , which allows users to send friends and followers texts in the form of, or alongside, a song. Musixmatch , a Bologna, Italy-based lyrics site -…

  6. Nicki Minaj, 'The Pinkprint': Track-by-Track Review

    December 15, 2014 2:20 PM EST Most artists spend their lives crafting their most personal album. For Nicki Minaj , it's not until her third studio album, The Pinkprint , where she extends her autobiography beyond slivers of detail and zooms in on her post-fame dealings with love and family. In 2007, Minaj flooded…

  7. Here's a Pic of Justin Bieber Strangling Chris Brown

    December 15, 2014 2:00 PM EST Continuing his quest to make you go "what was he thinking?", Justin Bieber recently shared an Instagram pic that finds the blonde-haired singer strangling Chris Brown. But all in good fun! The caption reads, "Had fun with the homey @Chrisbrownofficial." Illiterate…

  8. Corner Office: Republic Records Honchos Monte & Avery Lipman Discuss Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Smash and Defend 'The Voice'

    December 15, 2014 10:41 AM EST The 2014 market-share leaders on maintaining dominance, defending 'The Voice' and finding tomorrow's breakout: "You can't rush hits." Among the many plaques lining the walls of Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman ’s midtown Manhattan office, the one…

  9. Nas, Russell Simmons Join Millions March NYC Protest

    December 15, 2014 10:20 AM EST On Saturday (Dec. 13), thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to protest racial injustice -- most notably, the highly-publicized deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of the police in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY, respectively. Hip-hop luminaries Nas and Russell…

  10. Bill Cosby Breaks His Silence

    December 15, 2014 1:53 AM EST Bill Cosby broke his silence amid a flood of rape accusations in a very brief interview with The New York Post's Page Six . "Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral…

  11. 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.…

  12. Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) Speaks on Eric Garner, Ferguson, 'Upheaval From A Global Perspective'

    December 14, 2014 7:27 PM EST "Where are we? We’re at critical time. We’re at watershed moment for humanity," says Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def , delivering a nearly four minute thought piece on the this country's state of affairs and the continued killing of unarmed African Americans by police and otherwise. …

  13. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Out at Midnight Tonight: Track List Revealed & Title Explained

    December 14, 2014 6:12 PM EST D'Angelo 's long-awaited full-length album, Black Messiah , will be out Sunday night, according to a Tweet by collaborator Q-Tip. It was confirmed by reps at a listening party Sunday that the LP will be released at midnight. @dangleo  album out 2nite! Black Messiah! — QTip (…

  14. BSBB Round 1: Chris Brown, "Loyal" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 12:00 PM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Loyal Chris Brown Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea MAURA JOHNSTON: One of my least favorite trends of 2014 was the increasingly rancorous nature of the seemingly never-ending battle between men and women, and "Loyal…

  15. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014 - Rules & Writers

    December 14, 2014 10:15 AM EST How does this year-end bracket work, and who wrote for it? Explore below. Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules   How It Works Best Song Bracket Battle is a bracket-style tournament in which the year's biggest songs are placed against each other in head-to…

  16. BSBB Round 1: Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass" vs. Ed Sheeran, "Don't"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All About That Bass Maghan Trainor Don't Ed Sheeran CRAIG JENKINS: Ed Sheeran’s push from coffee shop folk-pop to the hodge-podge of styles he occupied on x was lauded as an evolution this summer, but “Don’t” is…

  17. BSBB Round 1: Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora, "Black Widow" vs. Bobby Shmurda, "Hot Boy"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Black Widow Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora Hot Boy Bobby Shmurda CRAIG JENKINS: “Black Widow” began life as a Katy Perry song and, as such, is designed almost entirely to buttress its titanic hook. Iggy Azalea’s just treading water…

  18. BSBB Round 1: Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, "Bang Bang" vs. Maroon 5, "Animals"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Bang Bang Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj Animals Maroon 5 CRAIG JENKINS: Maroon 5 is a machine of startling pop efficacy in 2014; “Animals” arranges all the notes where they should be -- without ever making you feel…

  19. 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 —…

  20. BSBB Round 1: American Authors, "Best Day of My Life" vs. Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg, "Wiggle"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Best Day of My Life American Authors Wiggle Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg MAURA JOHNSTON: “Wiggle" wasn't even the best Derulo offering of 2014, but it wins by default here, as the brand of sync-ready jangle that…

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