1. Taylor Swift Back at No. 1 on Billboard 200, Nicki Minaj Debuts at No. 2

    December 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Taylor Swift makes an expected return to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, as her 1989 album hops up one rung, bringing its total (nonconsecutive) weeks atop the list to six. The set shifted 375,000 equivalent units in the week ending Dec. 21 (up 16 percent), according to Nielsen Music. …

  2. Questlove: 'Fear of Being Blackballed' Prevents Artists From Releasing Protest Music

    December 23, 2014 8:03 PM EST Neil Young was so shaken by photos of the four unarmed students killed by military gunfire at Kent State that he wrote "Ohio" for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young right away. By the end of the week, it was playing on the radio. That was 1970. Now, in 2014, outrage over police…

  3. Google Just Dealt a Big Blow to the Digital Economy of Lyrics

    December 23, 2014 3:26 PM EST Remember the days of MetroLyrics and AZLyrics, when you'd search for a song and links to those sites would likely appear right below the YouTube video? You probably do because they lasted until, well, very early Tuesday morning. Now, within the link to a song's official YouTube…

  4. Touring in 2014: Stadium Shows Dominate, Garth Returns, Springsteen's Epic Run and More

    December 23, 2014 11:12 AM 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…

  5. Fat Possum Opens Its Own Vinyl Pressing Plant to Meet (Its Own) Demand

    December 23, 2014 10:55 AM EST Memphis Record Pressing, a new vinyl pressing plant dreamed up and run by Fat Possum founder Matthew Johnson , in partnership with Bruce Watson and AudioGraphics Masterworks owners Mark Yoshida and Brandon Seavers , is ready for business 10 months after construction began in March of this…

  6. Ask Billboard: Why Is There No R&B/Hip-Hop in the Hot 100's Top 10?

    December 23, 2014 10:00 AM EST The genre's been absent from the top 10 for a month ... why? Plus, Nicki Minaj's sales, Meghan Trainor's chart feat and Luke Bryan's big 'Party.' As always, submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com .…

  7. Listen to Jodeci's First New Song in 18 Years, 'Nobody Wins,' Featuring B.o.B.

    December 22, 2014 9:31 PM EST s R&B all-stars Jodeci , who broke up in 1996, have returned with a new song titled "Nobody Wins" that's the group's first in 18 years.  The track is suave new jam about domestic abuse featuring vocals by B.o.B. , showing off lush harmonies and expansive…

  8. The Making of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah': A Q&A With Engineer Russell Elevado

    December 22, 2014 4:52 PM EST For D'Angelo fans, Christmas came early last week: The singer unexpectedly released Black Messiah , his first full-length since 2000. One of the many things that sets the album apart is its sound: dense and deep, full of intricate details, somehow welcoming and warm and vicious all at…

  9. Warner Music Group Becomes Founding Partner of YouTube Competitor Interlude

    December 22, 2014 4:12 PM EST Warner Music Group's 2014 has been bookended with forward-thinking partnerships. In February, they collaborated with song identification service Shazam , which allowed the major label access to Shazam's data to find and sign promising artists; making a digital push in China by…

  10. Chart Highlights: Aretha Franklin Tops Dance Club Songs for First Time in 16 Years

    December 22, 2014 2:05 PM EST The icon's cover of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' returns her to No. 1. Plus, new leaders for Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande & more. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. (All charts below are based on radio airplay…

  11. Music in TV and Film, 2014: 'Frozen' Dominates, Singing Battles Go Lukewarm

    December 22, 2014 12:58 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…

  12. The Game, Azealia Banks, Lecrae & More React to NYPD Officer Killings in Brooklyn

    December 21, 2014 2:22 PM EST Members of the hip-hop community are sharing their thoughts on social media following the shooting of two NYPD officers who were killed on Saturday (Dec. 20) in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. Hip-Hop Moves As Strong Force for Michael Brown Rappers like The Game ,…

  13. Op-Ed: Steve Wariner on Why Dottie West Should Be a Country Music Hall of Fame Member

    December 21, 2014 12:30 PM EST Over the past year, The 615 has offered opinions concerning who the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame should be. In July, we made our case for Don Rich, the longtime sideman for Buck Owens , in the Instrumentalist category. Just a few weeks ago, we told of the great…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Nicki Minaj Scores Record-Breaking No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

    December 19, 2014 11:10 AM EST Nicki Minaj ' s "Only" flies 10-1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs  chart, giving the artist her fourth No. 1 -- the most among female rappers in the 56 years since the chart launched as a sales/airplay hybrid tally. Minaj surpasses Missy Elliott (with three leaders), and pulls…

  17. This Ain't No Buena Vista: Meet Five Cuban Artists to Watch

    December 19, 2014 9:02 AM EST All of these artists, like many other musicians from Cuba, have already performed in the United States, and their albums are available through all of the U.S. digital music services. President Obama’s announced changes in current Cuba policy may increase Cuban artists’ presence on U.S.…

  18. Azealia Banks Opens Up, Breaks Down in 45-Minute-Plus Radio Interview

    December 18, 2014 8:24 PM EST If you thought Azealia Banks only speaks her mind on Twitter, you need to watch this interview. Banks sat down for a 45-minute-plus chat with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning , and the roundtable discussion covered everything from her ongoing beef with similarly named rapper Iggy Azalea to…

  19. Koa, 'All of My Love': Exclusive Song Premiere

    December 18, 2014 3:50 PM EST Though Iggy Azalea (a.k.a. Igloo Australia ) was probably the most-talked about Aussie in music this year, 2014 was also good for the more under-the-radar electro-pop and dance of Future Classic, the Sydney-based record label, management and booking agency, and publisher. Many of this year&…

  20. The Country Music Industry in 2014: Garth's Return, Taylor's Exit

    December 18, 2014 2:49 PM EST With country music at a peak in popularity, the comings and goings in the format seemed more crucial than ever. And there were plenty -- Garth Brooks came back, George Strait decided it was time to go, two guys from a different era came out, and a few stars chose to go out. On the road. In…

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