1. Listen to This Kanye West Christmas Parody, 'Kreezus'

    December 23, 2014 9:01 PM EST If Kanye West decided to make a Christmas album where he believed he is Santa Claus, it would be Kreezus  -- the new album-long parody of West's Yeezus by sketch comedy trio Local Business that dropped Monday.  Remember When Beyonce 'Ruined' Christmas? The commitment to…

  2. Questlove: 'Fear of Being Blackballed' Prevents Artists From Releasing Protest Music

    December 23, 2014 8:03 PM EST Neil Young was so shaken by photos of the four unarmed students killed by military gunfire at Kent State that he wrote "Ohio" for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young right away. By the end of the week, it was playing on the radio. That was 1970. Now, in 2014, outrage over police…

  3. Russell Simmons on NYPD Deaths: 'There Is No Blood on Anyone's Hands Except Those of the Killer'

    December 22, 2014 5:07 PM EST On Saturday, Dec. 20, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and criticially wounded his ex-girlfriend Shaneka Thompson in Baltimore, then traveled to Brooklyn and killed two NYPD officers, Officer Liu and Officer Ramos. Two days later, Russell Simmons shares his thoughts on the matter and on president…

  4. Joe Cocker, Interpreter of the Beatles, Bob Dylan & More: A History

    December 22, 2014 4:22 PM EST Joe Cocker , whose unmistakable rasp and intensity made him a singular interpreter of the Beatles , R&B and songwriters such as Bob Dylan , Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen , died at his home in Colorado on Monday (Dec. 22) after a battle with lung cancer. He was 70. Joe Cocker Dies at 70…

  5. Lucian Grainge's End-of-Year Memo to Employees: 'It's No Longer Enough to Outperform'

    December 19, 2014 6:23 PM EST Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group and one of the most powerful members of the music industry, today sent employees a holiday memo laying out his plans for the following year. It seems like Grainge has every intention of using his company's considerable leverage…

  6. This Ain't No Buena Vista: Meet Five Cuban Artists to Watch

    December 19, 2014 9:02 AM EST All of these artists, like many other musicians from Cuba, have already performed in the United States, and their albums are available through all of the U.S. digital music services. President Obama’s announced changes in current Cuba policy may increase Cuban artists’ presence on U.S.…

  7. Katy Perry's Australia Tour Sells 350,000 Tickets, Could Have 'Easily' Added a Dozen Shows

    December 19, 2014 2:53 AM EST Katy Perry’s Prismatic tour has left Australia, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  The pop star broke the venue record at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on the weekend, en route to shifting more than 350,000 tickets  across the 23-date Prismatic World Tour Australia , Billboard can reveal.…

  8. Paul McCartney Worked on a Song About Police Killings: 'I'm Not Giving Up On It'

    December 19, 2014 1:00 AM EST Sir Paul McCartney is 72, and only the wrinkles give his years away. Interviewed recently at his midtown Manhattan office suite, he seems as boyish and light-footed as he was on stage decades ago for The Ed Sullivan Show , his manner informal, his build slender and well suited for jeans and…

  9. The Country Music Industry in 2014: Garth's Return, Taylor's Exit

    December 18, 2014 2:49 PM EST With country music at a peak in popularity, the comings and goings in the format seemed more crucial than ever. And there were plenty -- Garth Brooks came back, George Strait decided it was time to go, two guys from a different era came out, and a few stars chose to go out. On the road. In…

  10. Hot Creator: The Dance World According to Jamie Jones

    December 17, 2014 4:20 PM EST The Welsh pioneer discusses the shifting sands of Ibiza, Burning Man and dance music at large in rare interview. No wonder Jamie Jones seldom does interviews. When we tried at TomorrowWorld, it cost him his phone. "I literally must have lost it between finishing the interview with…

  11. Eaux Claires Music Festival, Curated by Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner, Announced for Summer 2015

    December 17, 2014 10:00 AM EST Just before Halloween this year, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (a.k.a.  Bonnie Bear ), received approval to host the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisc. from July 17-18. Pre-sale tickets for the event, which falls the same weekend as Chicago's…

  12. Eurythmics Co-Founder Dave Stewart Gets OK to Shoot Video in Louisiana Jail

    December 16, 2014 10:30 PM EST Local officials in west Louisiana say former Eurythmics singer and guitarist Dave Stewart plans to film a new music video early next year in their century-old Gothic Revival jail. Secretary-treasurer Tayra DeHoven says the Beauregard Parish Police Jury had voted to allow it if she OK'd…

  13. Why China's Mobile Providers Are a Giant Problem for Its Music Industry

    December 16, 2014 11:15 AM EST In this guest post, China-based entreprenuer Archie Hamilton explains how the country's music industry is at the mercy of a monopolistic mobile communications industry. So what to do? Back in 2008 and 2009, the debate within the media industries on how to compete with free was raging.…

  14. Sony Music Strikes Digital Distribution Partnership with China's Tencent

    December 16, 2014 4:37 AM EST Chinese Internet giant Tencent and Sony Music Entertainment on Tuesday unveiled a partnership for the online distribution of music from SME's roster of artists in China.  Under the terms of the deal, music from such Sony artists as One Direction, Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, Avril Lavigne…

  15. Vevo Reaches 1 Billion Monthly Views in Mexico

    December 15, 2014 3:31 PM EST Mexico is now the largest Vevo market outside the U.S. Vevo's Mexico service registered over 1 billion views in November, a significant milestone that now makes the country Vevo's second largest market after the United States. The 1 billion views translates to a 49 percent…

  16. Damon Albarn Postpones Sydney Opera House Show As CBD Siege Continues

    December 15, 2014 2:24 AM EST Damon Albarn’s scheduled Monday night performance at the Sydney Opera House has been postponed as a dramatic siege situation brought areas of the city center to a standstill. The iconic entertainment venue had reportedly been evacuated at about 10am local time following reports of a…

  17. Sydney Opera House Evacuated As Hostages Held in City's Center

    December 14, 2014 11:35 PM EST The Sydney Opera House has been evacuated as a hostage siege grips the city. The iconic entertainment venue had reportedly been placed in lockdown at around 10am local time on Monday following reports of a suspicious package being discovered on site. The situation at the Opera House…

  18. Syria's Hazem Shareef Wins 'Arab Idol'

    December 14, 2014 12:52 PM EST Hazem Shareef of Aleppo beat contestants of Saudi Arabian and Palestinian descent Weeks before American Idol returns to its 14th season on Fox, the pan Middle Eastern edition of the show has just crowned its latest winner. Palestinian ‘Arab Idol’ Winner Gets Permission For West Bank Move…

  19. Foreigner's 'I Want to Know What Love Is' Live, From 'Best Of' Album: Exclusive Premiere

    December 12, 2014 2:05 PM EST 'It gets played everywhere in the world, still,' Mick Jones tells Billboard. 'But for me, we were just there to guide it and bring it to life.' Even celebrating its biggest album, Foreigner will not leave its biggest song behind. On Dec. 16, the group releases a new live…

  20. Google to Shut Down Search Engine in Spain

    December 12, 2014 4:14 AM EST Google News to Disappear Dec. 16 Following Passage of Spanish “Google Tax” Google News will shut down service in Spain on Dec. 16. The announcement that the global search engine will no longer be available in the country follows Spain’s passage in October of a strict intellectual property…

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