1. 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…

  2. Diamond Rio Are Going Live for 25th-Anniversary Project

    November 21, 2014 6:06 PM EST There have been many milestones in the career of Diamond Rio . In 1991, the band made history with "Meet in the Middle" climbing to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart (now called Hot Country Songs), the first time a group did so with their debut single. They have…

  3. Country Comedy Legend Ray Stevens Recalls Early Days in 'Nashville'

    October 17, 2014 9:30 PM EDT If you are looking for Ray Stevens to divulge all in his brand new book, Ray Stevens' Nashville , he tells Billboard that you might be in for a little bit of a letdown. "It's a selected memoir," says the legendary comedian. "There's a lot I left out. I wasn&…

  4. Johnny Rotella, Songwriter for Frank Sinatra, Dies at 93

    September 18, 2014 11:20 PM EDT Johnny Rotella , an accomplished instrumentalist and songwriter who wrote the Frank Sinatra standard “Nothing but the Best” and recorded with Neil Diamond , Frank Zappa , Steely Dan and others, has died. He was 93. Rotella, a highly sought-after session man who played with marquee artists…

  5. 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,…

  6. 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…

  7. 615 Spotlight: Scott Coner Enlists Tanya Tucker, T. Graham Brown on New EP

    May 14, 2014 7:00 PM EDT Music has always been very important to Indiana native Scott Coner. The singer grew up in John Mellencamp country – near Seymour, which is also down the road from a very popular country music showplace. "I lived close to a place called the Little Nashville Opry in Brown County, Indiana.…

  8. Inside the Lou Reed Tribute at SXSW: 20-Plus Acts, All-Star House Band to Create 'Austin Meets New York Street Vibe'

    March 07, 2014 9:40 AM EST Spandau Ballet, Lucinda Williams, Suzanne Vega, Sean Lennon, Black Lips are all slated to perform at the first full-scale tribute of Reed, who died in October When Richard Barone was recruited to be part of this year's South By Southwest Music Conference & Festival, he wanted to…

  9. 'This Is Spin̈al Tap' at 30: Top 11 Rock Clichés Skewered By The Movie

    March 01, 2014 1:00 PM EST To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beloved rock mockumentary "This Is Spin̈al Tap," we're taking a 'Stonehenge'-sized look at the top music clichés skewered by the film. And yes, this list goes to 11. "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever…

  10. Hot Country Songs 70th Anniversary: Top No. 1s By Decade, Top No. 1 Artists & More

    January 13, 2014 3:06 PM EST In honor of country music's longevity and vaunted place in American cultural history, Billboard celebrates the 70th anniversary of the chart that's now known as Hot Country Songs by taking a look at the biggest No. 1 songs of each decade of the chart's history and the acts with…

  11. Rogers Waters Returns to Benefit for Wounded

    November 06, 2013 1:46 AM EST Their faces are young and strong, but their bodies sit in wheelchairs or stand on artificial limbs. They laugh and smile as Roger Waters holds court in a rehearsal hall. The wounded servicemen are waiting to rehearse their set with the former Pink Floyd frontman ahead of Wednesday's …

  12. Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis Pair Up for 'Dos Divas'

    July 15, 2013 3:45 PM EDT Both Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis grew up the daughters of country music superstars -- Country Music Hall of Famers George Morgan and Mel Tillis, respectively. But, though they had that bond in common, Tillis tells Billboard the two didn't know each other growing up in Music City. …

  13. Willie Nelson's 10 Biggest Billboard Hits

    April 30, 2013 4:38 PM EDT Happy 80th Birthday Willie! Eighty years ago in tiny Abbott, Texas, Willie Hugh Nelson was born. To call him a stylist is simply an understatement; there is nobody who writes like him, and there is certainly nobody who sounds like him. We've gone back and taken a look at the ten…

  14. Bobby Bare Has Deja Vu at Historic Studio

    June 06, 2012 6:20 PM EDT It was a scene that made country legend Bobby Bare have a little bit of déjà vu. After all, he had been here before -- many times. "Shame On Me," "Detroit City," "500 Miles Away From Home," and so many others from his RCA years were all recorded at the label'…

  15. Country Music Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 Cheat Sheet

    January 26, 2012 8:15 AM EST In February, the Country Music Hall of Fame typically announces the name of three new inductees into the ranks of the genre's most exclusive class. With that in mind, we'd like to offer our thoughts on who might be the honorees in the individual categories this year. In the Modern…

  16. Country Music Preview: 10 for 2012

    January 03, 2012 3:30 PM EST is only a few days old, but there are a few things that we are really looking forward to in the world of country music. There are some big tours and quite a few big albums coming down the turnpike, and it's already looking to be a banner year. Here are ten things to look forward to:…

  17. Howard Tate, Lost Soul Singer, Dead at 72

    December 06, 2011 10:30 AM EST Howard Tate , a gifted 1960s soul singer who dropped out of music after his now-beloved records were ignored, only to reemerge decades later to a cult following, died Dec. 2 at his New Jersey apartment. A spokesman for the Burlington County medical examiner said Tuesday that Tate died of…

  18. Jane's Addiction, Elvis Costello, Furthur to Headline Gathering of the Vibes 2011

    March 14, 2011 10:00 AM EDT J ane's Addiction , Elvis Costello and the Grateful Dead spin-offs Furthur and Rhythm Devils headline the initial announcement of artists for the 16th annual Gathering of the Vibes Festival, which will take place July 21-24 in Bridgeport, Conn. Given that the festival was created to…

  19. Big Country: A Look At Three Artists

    June 07, 2010 3:31 PM EDT While most genres struggle, country music is enjoying a commercial and creative renaissance. Billboard looks at three strikingly diverse artists -- Joe Nichols, Eric Church, and Laura Bell Bundy -- who took very different routes to reach the charts. Jump To:|| Despite the fact that David…

  20. U2, Metallica, Jagger Celebrate Rock Hall Of Fame

    November 02, 2009 11:07 AM EST U2 brought three generations of chart-toppers - Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and the Black Eyed Peas - with them onstage Friday at another night of mix-and-match magic at Madison Square Garden. Metallica brought the thunder to Lou Reed and Ray Davies . It was the second of two concerts to…

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