1. The 14 Best Pop Albums of 2014

    December 18, 2014 4:49 PM EST From Tove to Taylor to Bleachers, these 14 in '14 were worth many, many listens. I’m not publishing a list of the Best Pop Songs of 2014 list, because, well, we have a week-long bracket tournament discussing the best pop songs of the year already. Instead, I want to highlight my…

  2. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: Read Round 4 in our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 18, 2014 12:30 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 are…

  3. 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…

  4. Symmetry Battles Addiction in 'My Fix': Exclusive Video Premiere

    December 16, 2014 3:00 PM EST Some songs build slowly to an emotional climax, but why waste all that time? Symmetry 's "My Fix" starts in the middle of the action, when things are already at a boiling point. The song opens with a wallop, as Symmetry sings, "you know I'm a sucker for manipulation…

  5. Why Were Jay Z, Justin Timberlake & Taylor Swift Hanging Out? 10 (Not-So-Likely) Theories

    December 16, 2014 2:24 PM EST "I stay out too late...then have music titans come over the following afternoon." Even by Taylor Swift 's high standards, she's having a pretty great weekend. After receiving Billboard 's Woman of the Year Award on Friday, she had her 25th birthday party attended by…

  6. Mariah Carey Brings Christmas Cheer to NYC's Beacon Theater

    December 16, 2014 12:10 PM EST It's no secret that Mariah Carey is extra festive . A notorious queen of excess, the iconic singer has consistently treated Christmas as less of a holiday and more a state of mind. The signifiers (trees, snowflakes, reindeer) serve as some source of otherworldly inspiration that'…

  7. BSBB Round 2: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 15, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Maps Maroon 5 DENISE WARNER: This isn’t even close. Years from now, Smith’s “Stay With Me” will be remembered as a career-making turn  — and “Maps” will be just another cookie-cutter Maroon 5 hit. My Vote…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. BSBB Round 4: Charli XCX, "Boom Clap" vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Boom Clap Charli XCX Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne CRAIG JENKINS: Semifinals are without fail a bloodbath, and this one isn't any different. Charli XCX's single was a ball of joy and a welcome bombshell…

  12. BSBB Round 4: DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What" vs. Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, "Fancy"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Turn Down For What DJ Snake & Lil Jon Fancy Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX JAMIESON COX: I think both of these songs captured 2014 in a way few of the other entries did. “Fancy” managed it through sheer commercial potency,…

  13. BSBB Round 4: Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, "Dark Horse" vs. Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, "Drunk in Love"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Dark Horse Katy Perry feat. Juicy J Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z JAMIESON COX: At this stage in the competition, it’s harder and harder for me to point to musical qualities when making decisions. I like all of these songs,…

  14. BSBB Round 4: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CRAIG JENKINS: Yo Taylor I'ma let you finish, but Mariah and Jermaine had the best "Shake It Off" of all time. T-Swift's ode to the cathartic power…

  15. BSBB Round 3: Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda" vs. Charli XCX, "Boom Clap"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Anaconda Nicki Minaj Boom Clap Charli XCX DENISE WARNER: “Anaconda” waxes poetic about big butts. “Boom Clap” is a somewhat more sentimental take on falling in love. I’m going with sentiment on this one. My Vote: “Boom Clap”…

  16. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  17. BSBB Round 3: Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be" vs. Jeremih feat. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG DENISE WARNER: It’s almost a toss-up between “Rather Be” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em”: both are vibrant, engaging and memorable. But what it really…

  18. BSBB Round 3: Aloe Blacc, "The Man" vs. Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, "Dark Horse"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules The Man Aloe Blacc Dark Horse Katy Perry feat. Juicy J DENISE WARNER: Aloe Blacc may be “The Man,” but is he able to get a baby to stop crying with just the first notes of his song? If Perry can inspire this kind of…

  19. BSBB Round 3: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Happy Pharrell Williams DENISE WARNER: Yes, Pharrell’s “Happy” got Meryl Streep up out of her seat at the Oscars. But had Beyonce’s oh-so-dirty duet with her husband been eligible for an…

  20. BSBB Round 3: DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down For What" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Turn Down For What DJ Snake & Lil Jon Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea CAITLIN WHITE: Ah yes, "Problem," the song on which Ariana sought to finally shed her ballad-and-piano image, trading it in for a…

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