1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Taylor Swift Leads Billboard Hot 100, Ed Sheeran Soars to Top 10

    December 17, 2014 2:20 PM EST Swift scores her longest career reign as 'Blank Space' rules for a fifth week, while Sheeran posts his best rank as 'Thinking Out Loud' leaps 24-6. Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week, granting the superstar her…

  5. The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    December 17, 2014 12:59 PM EST Ever see a movie where the protagonist wasn’t born, or the USSR won the Cold War, and the alternate future is different from the present day? Think back to Doc Brown using a chalkboard to draw tangential, alternate futures for Marty McFly in Back to the Future . Well, imagine if vinyl…

  6. New Zealand's Chart-Busters Sol3 Mio Ready to Tackle the World

    December 17, 2014 5:56 AM EST Sol3 Mio has a special affinity with the month of December. The New Zealand operatic trio’s self-titled debut album clocked-up staggering business in the lead-in to last Christmas. In just the one month,  Sol3 Mio  shifted more copies than any other album sold during the entirety of 2013.…

  7. Ray Price Remembered by Wife Janie, One Year After His Death

    December 16, 2014 6:55 PM EST Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price . For his widow, Janie, it was as if the world had seemingly come to an end. "It was actually four months before I could even leave my home," she says. "I just honestly stayed…

  8. Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan & More to Join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    December 16, 2014 2:00 AM EST The punk trio Green Day is the 48th act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining acts such as Nirvana , R.E.M. and the Clash as first-ballot honorees. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues…

  9. 'A Great Alternative': Warner Music Group's CEO Addresses Promise and Problems of Streaming

    December 15, 2014 5:18 PM EST The "freemium" subscription business model has taken a beating since Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from Spotify because the subscription service offers a free streaming tier in addition to its paid, premium tier.  The latest development: Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper…

  10. Spotify Founder/CEO Daniel Ek: 'We Need to Do a Better Job Explaining to Artists How Streaming Benefits Them'

    December 15, 2014 1:30 PM EST For the 31-year-old Spotify founder/CEO, the company's momentous 2014 wasn't enough. Billboard: What were the best and worst parts of 2014 for you? Daniel Ek: We launched in almost 30 new countries. The growth in subscribers has been fantastic. And I became a father about a year…

  11. Exclusive Q&A: Deezer's New Chief Marketing Officer Aims for U.S. Market

    December 15, 2014 9:10 AM EST Deezer, the world's second-largest music subscription service, has stepped up its bid for the world's largest music market. The Paris-based company debuted in the United States in September with Deezer Elite, a $19-a-month music subscription with CD-quality audio that will precede…

  12. Smokey Robinson Settling With Ex-Wife Over Terminated Song Rights

    December 14, 2014 1:46 PM EST Divorces don't get more complicated than this one. A closely-watched dispute between Smokey Robinson and his ex-wife Claudette Robinson over song rights is about to be resolved. On Thursday (Dec. 11), the parties told a judge that they had reached a settlement in principle. Smokey…

  13. Z100's Jingle Ball 2014 Highlights: Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sam Smith & More

    December 13, 2014 1:12 PM EST iHeartRadio giant Z100 (WHTZ) New York held its annual Jingle Ball concert Friday night (Dec. 12) at Madison Square Garden, headlined by Taylor Swift , Iggy Azalea , Ariana Grande and other stars, mostly women. Taylor Swift Beats Laryngitis, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande Shine at KIIS FM…

  14. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Ed Sheeran Soars With Two Songs, Mariah Carey Returns

    December 12, 2014 5:56 PM EST Two Sheeran tracks surge, while Carey makes her now-annual 'Christmas' comeback. Plus, moves for Jennifer Lawrence, Lillywood & Robin Schulz and Sheppard. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fourth week, while…

  15. Judge Rejects Bid to Delay Tracy Morgan's Lawsuit Against Walmart

    December 12, 2014 4:34 PM EST The judge denies a motion for emergency relief from the truck driver who was at the center of a crash that hurt the actor. On Friday, a federal judge in New Jersey refused to halt a lawsuit brought by Tracy Morgan and others seriously injured in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tracy…

  16. How Apple Shook Up the Music Industry in 2014

    December 12, 2014 4:02 PM EST Who shook up music the most in 2014? Sorry, Taylor. Nice try, Queen Bey. Apple’s Sept. 9 press conference that unveiled the iPhone 6 was the year’s -- maybe even the ­decade’s -- watershed moment. In one presentation, the company went all in on streaming, hinted at the album’s future…

  17. Live Music's $20 Billion Year: Rolling Stones, One Direction, Live Nation Top Boxscore's Year-End

    December 12, 2014 2:31 PM EST Attendance is down, but spectacular ticket sales by One Direction, The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake, plus a series of blockbuster stadium shows, propelled the North American concert industry to a record 2014. Boy band One Direction and former boy band member Justin Timberlake…

  18. Arca, JMSN & Oh Wonder: Emerging Picks of the Week

    December 12, 2014 1:32 PM EST Warm up your winter weekend with Billboard 's latest triple offering of tracks that all debuted on this week's Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart. Be sure to give them a listen and check back next week for a new set of selections. Arca – "Hips Don't Lie" An…

  19. Cuban Rapper El B Disputes Reports of U.S. Agency Infiltration

    December 12, 2014 11:13 AM EST Los Aldeanos' El B doesn’t “need financing" to say what he thinks. Bian Oscar Rodriguez Gala , the Cuban rapper known as El B , has responded to an Associated Press report detailing how the United States the Agency for International Development used members of Havana’s hip-hop…

  20. Billboard Year in Music 2014: Enrique Iglesias 'Always Knew There was Something Magical' About No. 1 Hit 'Bailando'

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Crowd Pleaser "Bailando" 32 Weeks on Hot Latin Songs ; 1 Week on Dance Club Songs When Enrique Iglesias , 39, premiered "Bailando" during the Billboard Latin Music Awards in April, the consensus was immediate: The song was a hit. By midsummer, the irresistible mix of…

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