1. One Direction on 'Saturday Night Live': Their Best Moments

    December 20, 2014 9:00 AM EST One Direciton will be the musical guest tonight on Saturday Night Live , and if the past repeats itself, the boy-banders will likely appear in a sketch or two. To get ready, we're looking back on some of the highlights from their previous appearances on the late-night program. Check…

  2. 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…

  3. Which *NSYNC Member Is Singing at Lance Bass' Wedding?

    December 19, 2014 5:18 PM EST Is it too much to hope that JC Chasez breaks out "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You"? Lance Bass Sets Wedding Date... And *NSYNC Reunion? Lance Bass is getting married this weekend, and he shared that his wedding singer is none other than former *NSYNC bandmate Chasez.…

  4. U.S.-Cuba Musical Relations: A Timeline of Milestones

    December 19, 2014 5:15 PM EST Before President Obama's announcement Wednesday that the U.S. would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, there were five decades of a rocky musical relationship that displayed artistic triumphs, personal tragedies and the diplomatic power of music. See our timeline below: 1959 …

  5. The Year in Rock 2014: Rebound From a Rough Year?

    December 19, 2014 12:45 PM EST After decades of leading the pack, the cultural rebound of rock, alternative, or whatever we want to call it depends on learning to play by new sets of rules. I promise this will not be a “rock is dead” story. We’ve already had that conversation far too many times, and besides, it’s far…

  6. Hot 100 Chart Moves: Sam Smith Brings 'Merry Little Christmas' to Chart for First Time

    December 19, 2014 12:15 PM EST Smith's version of the 70-year-old ballad makes its first Hot 100 appearance, joining carols by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. Plus, moves for Usher and Charli XCX. As previously reported , Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week,…

  7. Minecraft Guy Outbids Beyonce and Jay Z for Beverly Hills Mansion, Supposedly the Most-Expensive Ever

    December 19, 2014 10:46 AM EST What would you do if you recently made a couple billion bucks? If you're Swedish video game developer Markus Persson ,  you probably purchase a fully furnished 23,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills -- one that was reportedly eyed by Beyonce and Jay Z -- for $70 million, of course…

  8. Beatport Aims to Be the One-Stop Streaming Shop for DJs with New Strategy

    December 19, 2014 8:29 AM EST Billboard spoke with Beatport's creative director Clark Warner about the site's new free streaming model which will launch in 2015. Beatport, the go-to online music store for professional DJs and electronic music obsessives, is adding streaming to its menu. The move is part of a…

  9. Liberace 'Hologram' to Appear in Las Vegas Show

    December 18, 2014 10:01 PM EST A feature-length live show is in the works in which a virtual version of the entertainer would be able to interact with the audience. With a virtual Tupac and Jimmy Kimmel having gained plenty of the public's attention, startup Hologram USA is now readying to create a virtual…

  10. Missing 'Serial'? We've Got Some Music for You

    December 18, 2014 5:29 PM EST On Thursday morning (Dec. 18), the final episode of  Serial  -- that's NPR's zeigeist-capturing true-crime podcast -- released the final episode of its first season. Already in withdrawal? While a second season of the show, focusing on a whole new story, is forthcoming, in the…

  11. Delaware Country Fests To Go Head-To-Head Next Summer

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST Country music promoters will have a better read on just how strong the country music market is in mid-Atlantic region by Monday, as two major country music festivals go on sale today and tomorrow. Big Barrel and Delaware Junction, both new festivals for 2015, will be competing for Delaware&…

  12. 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale Song Debuts on Rock Chart

    December 18, 2014 5:20 PM EST As the bloody motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy concluded its seven-season run Dec. 9 on FX, its swan song, "Come Join the Murder," debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart. The original track is credited to the show's house band, the Forest Rangers, and White…

  13. 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…

  14. Taylor Swift No. 1 on Artist 100 Chart, J. Cole Debuts at No. 2

    December 18, 2014 2:32 PM EST Swift reigns for a ninth week, while Cole launches fueled by album sales. Taylor Swift remains atop the Billboard Artist 100 chart, logging a record-extending ninth week at No. 1, while J. Cole soars in at No. 2, powered by sales for his new album. The Artist 100 provides the first weekly…

  15. Atlanta's Top 8 New Rappers

    December 18, 2014 2:05 PM EST Atlanta is home to a constantly rising number of up-and-coming acts -- it's quickly becoming a powder keg of talent waiting to blow. The most impressive quality of the city’s scene is that no one rapper or singer is the same, and they all reach wildly different demographics, from the…

  16. Drake on 'Drake Night': 'My Goal Is to Stay With the Raptors as Long as They'll Have Me'

    December 18, 2014 1:45 PM EST The Raptors “Drake Night” couldn’t have gone any better last night at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre when the NBA team took on the Brooklyn Nets for the first time since the U.S. team knocked them out of the first-round playoffs this spring in Game 7 by just one point. Rap superstar Drake ,…

  17. Top 5 Producers Shifting the Sound of Atlanta Rap in 2014

    December 18, 2014 1:30 PM EST Super producers such as Organized Noize have paved the way for others to craft the way Atlanta is represented sonically. Now it seems that the current role of the producer in Atlanta is to dictate the way the Billboard chart sounds, with songs like "Tuesday" (produced by Metro…

  18. Deezer Hires New CEO, Partners with LyricFind

    December 18, 2014 1:17 PM EST Deezer, the world's second-largest music subscription service, announced on Friday the hiring of Dr. Hans-Holger Albrecht as its new Chief Executive. The second major hire by Deezer in the latter part of 2014 -- the other was Chief Marketing Officer Beth Murphy -- Albrecht will start…

  19. BandPage Touts Big Sales Metrics for Artists' Merch

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST BandPage has announced a few large metrics today, over a year after signing key deals with Spotify (where it recently became the only way to place merchandise for sale on the platform), iHeartMedia and a notable funding round: 3,000,000 items, ranging from t-shirts to private concerts, are…

  20. What the U.S.-Cuba Breakthrough Could Mean for Music

    December 17, 2014 9:43 PM EST Could Obama's 'fresh approach' strengthen both Cuba's draw as a music destination and Cuban artists' popularity in the United States? How could restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba impact musicians in both countries? According to…

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