1. Charlie Haden, Veteran Jazz Bassist, Dead at 76

    July 11, 2014 5:30 PM EDT Charlie Haden, one of the most influential bass players of his generation, has died after a prolonged illness, according to his family and his record label, ECM. Charles Edward Haden was born in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1937 and was raised in Springfield, MO. The youngest of four kids,…

  2. Babyface Working On New Album, Eyeing Valentine's Day Release

    July 11, 2014 10:55 AM EDT "It's not necessarily a completely slow album. It's got a groove to it," the R&B legend tells Billboard. Hot off his successful collaboration with Toni Braxton on "Love, Marriage & Divorce," Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is readying his first solo…

  3. Essence Festival 2014 Day 4 Highlights: Lionel Richie, Erykah Badu, Jagged Edge & More

    July 07, 2014 10:00 AM EDT There’s one downside to the fact that Essence’s 20th year was its biggest ever, having added a fourth night of music at the Superdome on Thursday – come Sunday night (July 6), the crowd is finally showing signs of fatigue. How else to explain the hard work Lionel Richie put into getting his…

  4. Essence Festival 2014 Day 3 Highlights: Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius & More

    July 06, 2014 11:19 AM EDT Here’s the thing about the Essence Festival – even though the Mercedes-Benz Superdome houses plenty of artists from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., there’s music to see virtually every hour of the day all around New Orleans. Essence Music Fest 2014: Photos from New Orleans! The perfect example of this was…

  5. Essence Festival 2014 Day 2 Highlights: Prince, Janelle Monae, Nile Rodgers & More

    July 05, 2014 11:29 AM EDT For its 20th anniversary, the Essence Festival recruited Prince to headline, doubled the number of stages at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (10 to 20) in New Orleans and added a fourth day to showcase developing artists. Essence Music Fest 2014: Photos from New Orleans! Ticket sales for the…

  6. Beyonce, Pharrell Williams Lead Mid-Year SoundScan R&B/Hip-Hop Charts

    July 02, 2014 3:31 PM EDT Beyonce's self-titled surprise album is far-and-away the year's biggest selling R&B/hip-hop set. As we reach the half way mark of 2014, we take a moment to glance at the biggest selling R&B/hip-hop albums and digital songs through the sales week that ended June 29. '…

  7. Is Big Smo For Real? A Q&A With the Self-Proclaimed 'Hick Ross'

    June 27, 2014 3:46 PM EDT Meet the country-rap "hick-hopper" with an A&E show and a record deal. A&E’s latest reality star? A country rapper named Big Smo. Real name John Smith, the 39-year-old Unionville, Tenn., native falls somewhere between Colt Ford and Bubba Sparxxx. Smo’s self-titled series,…

  8. Why Is 'We Are One' A Flop?

    June 27, 2014 3:35 PM EDT There’s been a lot of spirited debate on the merits (or not) of “ We Are One (Ole Ola),” the official FIFA World Cup Song , performed by Pitbull with guests Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian Claudia Leitte. Reviews of the track run the gamut, with some calling it spirited, festive and…

  9. Remixing Rock's Style Roots: Where to Find Johnny Cash & Elvis-Inpired Jackets

    June 18, 2014 5:40 PM EDT E-tailer Phoenix Project brings the 1950s style of legends Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash back to life. Don't step on his blue suede shoes, but you MAY be able to step into them, thanks to Phoenix Project - an e-tailer dedicated to replicating the clothing of 20th-century icons. An Elvis…

  10. Playboy Jazz Festival: Allen Stone, Fantasia, Dianne Reeves Heat Up Hollywood

    June 16, 2014 6:09 PM EDT A relatively sedate audience was on hand for Los Angeles' summer rite of passage, the 36th annual Playboy Jazz Festival (June 14-15). There was no line of dancing patrons snaking around the Hollywood Bowl as in years past. Or beach balls being volleyed from box to box. But several acts…

  11. ‘After Midnight’ To Close on Broadway By End of June

    June 16, 2014 12:06 AM EDT The Broadway musical celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem is dancing into history: It will play its final show June 29. Tonys: Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Fantasia Open Show With 'After Midnight' Number "After Midnight," a candy…

  12. Casey Kasem: 4 Video Moments to Remember

    June 15, 2014 1:48 PM EDT Casey Kasem made his voice famous by counting down the top 40 hit songs on the radio. But his numerous TV appearances, as well as his stint hosting "America's Top 10," made his face just as recognizable. Casey Remembered | Baba Booey Reflects | Ryan Seacrest Reminisces…

  13. Tonys: Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Fantasia Open Show With 'After Midnight' Number

    June 08, 2014 9:28 PM EDT The Tony Awards kicked off with a high-energy song-and-dance spectacle on the Radio City Music Hall stage, featuring Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Fantasia Barrino and the cast of “After Midnight.” Tonys: How the 'Hedwig' Team Turned Neil Patrick Harris Into a Bona Fide Rock Star…

  14. Calvin Harris Heats Up Hot 100 With Latest 'Summer' Hit

    June 07, 2014 11:05 AM EDT The EDM star's new hit is the 23rd Hot 100 top 10 with the word 'summer' in its title Calvin Harris heats up the Billboard Hot 100, where his latest hit "Summer" sizzles 12-9 . The EDM star adds to the list of top 10s with the word "summer" in their titles…

  15. Bob Weir and Ratdog Lead All-Star HeadCount Jam in Brooklyn

    June 05, 2014 10:24 AM EDT Bob Weir and Ratdog hit the lanes of Brooklyn Bowl last night for an intimate club gig in celebration of participatory democracy organization HeadCount's 10th Anniversary Benefit. The two sets were packed with a host of Grateful Dead classics and special guests, including appearances by…

  16. Weldon Myrick, Steel Guitar Great, Dies At 76

    June 04, 2014 2:50 AM EDT Though there are many great artist-musician relationships in country music history, some stand out a little more others. Don Rich’s enticing Telecaster licks helped to make Buck Owens one of the top recording artists of the 1960s. At the same time period, you would be hard pressed to find a…

  17. Chart Highlights: John Legend's 'All Of Me' Crowns Fifth Airplay Chart

    June 02, 2014 4:35 PM EDT As it rises 2-1 on Adult Contemporary, the ballad becomes one of an elite group of songs to dominate at least five singular-format radio airplay charts. Plus, new No. 1s for Justin Timberlake, Idina Menzel and Billboard Hot 100 leader Iggy Azalea Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a…

  18. Tamar Braxton Talks New Album, Motherhood & 'Braxton Family Values' Show (Exclusive)

    June 02, 2014 12:02 PM EDT A busy reality TV show schedule -- with, count 'em, three programs -- isn't keeping Tamar Braxton out of the studio. The youngest member of the singing Braxton family tells Billboard she's "more than thinking about" her follow-up to 2012's "Love and War,…

  19. Spotlight On Big Smo

    June 01, 2014 3:46 PM EDT For someone as down-home as Big Smo, his story is as 21st century as it gets. He’s a rural-Tennessee native raised equally on country and rap; he’s a family man, a party animal and a road warrior; he’s a dirt-under-the-fingernails rocker whose paths to success were both blacktop and fiber…

  20. Blink-182's 'Enema of the State' at 15: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    May 30, 2014 1:45 PM EDT Five years after Green Day's "Dookie," punk purists had another platinum-selling trio to yell "Sellout!" at. But for everyone not taking themselves so seriously, there was another reason to rock out to teenaged angst (real or remembered), with three dudes in…

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