1. R.I.P. Joe Cocker: 7 Essential Moments, From Woodstock to 'SNL'

    December 22, 2014 3:14 PM EST Joe Cocker -- the British singer possessing one of the most distinctive voices in rock history -- has died at age 70 . His agent said Cocker died of an undisclosed illness, although he'd reportedly been battling lung cancer for some time. Ringo Starr, Tom Morello & More Remember…

  2. Sony Hack: FBI Confirms North Korea Is 'Responsible For These Actions'

    December 19, 2014 12:49 PM EST In an email to the studio's top executives, the hackers called the decision not to release 'The Interview,' "very wise." On Friday morning, the FBI officially accused North Korea of the devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which began shortly before…

  3. Justin Bieber Is No Longer the Most Followed Person on Instagram

    December 19, 2014 9:44 AM EST Yesterday, Instagram deleted fake accounts from their site, which meant a huge decrease in followers for some -- particularly celebrities. As a result of that new policy, Justin Bieber is no longer the King of Instagram. The new most-followed person on Instagram is... Kim Kardsashian West. …

  4. Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez: Top 10 Moments of the Year in Ass

    December 17, 2014 1:53 PM EST Pop culture has been infatuated for the derrière for some time now, but 2014 was surely the year of ass. Nicki Minaj , Beyoncé , Meghan Trainor , Cody Simpson and more celebrities gave the world wide web a sneak peak of their assets with pride… and then some continued doing so. I mean, why…

  5. Remember Hilary Duff's Cheesy Christmas Song 'Santa Claus Lane'?

    December 17, 2014 1:20 PM EST With just a little over a week until Christmas, we're breaking out all the Christmas music, which means in addition to classics like The Carpenters and Kenny Rogers, we're also remembering more recent additions to the "Original Song" Christmas canon -- and they aren'…

  6. Op-Ed: How Mobile Finally Took Over the Music Industry in 2014

    December 16, 2014 3:55 PM EST With explosive growth in streaming, social media, artist apps and more, mobile finally took over the music industry. Like smart watches and cars that drive themselves, the celestial jukebox is no longer science fiction. Thanks to the supercomputers that 71 percent of Americans now keep in…

  7. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Needs to Venture Outside of Mainstream to Stay Relevant

    December 16, 2014 2:35 PM EST It's fitting that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2015 at midnight last night, because the list of new inductees is very sleepy. Next year, Green Day , Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble , Bill Withers , the Paul Butterfield Blues Band , Joan Jett and the…

  8. The Latin Music Industry in 2014: Romeo Strikes Again as Streaming Breaks Through

    December 16, 2014 1:52 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…

  9. Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Weird Al – But Not Beyonce – Top Google's 'Year In Search'

    December 16, 2014 11:00 AM EST Google has unleashed its annual Year In Search results, and the music categories are popping with emerging artists and trendsetting newsmakers. Iggy Azalea makes several appearances, most notably the top spot on the trending music artists tally, beating Lorde , Sam Smith , Meghan Trainor…

  10. BSBB Finals: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, 'Drunk In Love' vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch'

    December 14, 2014 11:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith ERNEST BAKER: “Latch" is a hot song. "Drunk In Love" is a definitive moment in pop culture history. It's the most honest, personal look at…

  11. 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…

  12. BSBB Round 5: Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch' vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, 'Rather Be'

    December 14, 2014 10:05 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne JEM ASWAD: This is a very tough matchup. In terms of innovation and vocal performance, I've got to give it to DiSmithsure for their artful treatment…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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,…

  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: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Sia, "Chandelier"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Chandelier Sia CAITLIN WHITE: This is a face-off between a fluffy, happy song about fighting off sadness and a sad, trembling song about grasping for happiness — clearly 2014 is full of confusion.…

  19. BSBB Round 2: John Legend, "All of Me" vs. Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, "Fancy"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All of Me John Legend Fancy Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX JAMIESON COX: I really dislike “All of Me,” a song so generic and plain and dry-mouthed it’s completely devoid of any meaning. John Legend can do better! I don’t quite…

  20. BSBB Round 2: Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, "This Is How We Roll" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules This Is How We Roll Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea JAMIESON COX: I live and work in a university town, and if “number of times heard while walking by a raging kegger” was an…

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