1. R. Kelly, 'Write Me Back': Track-By-Track Review

    June 26, 2012 12:40 PM EDT R. Kelly is a man of many skills -- all of which he stretches on his 11th studio album, "Write Me Back." R. Kelly, who wrote and produced all but two songs, colors in his 12-track set with influences from nostalgic old-school soundscapes. Kellz' signature impelling vocals sheen…

  2. Appreciation: The Miracle of Levon Helm

    April 20, 2012 10:45 AM EDT Some concerts stick with you when you wonder if it's the last time you'll ever see a particular performer. Levon Helm was a mystery that way. He took his place behind the drums positioned downstage at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2010, the audience clearly relieved…

  3. Joan Osborne Circles Back to Blues With 'Bring It On Home'

    April 17, 2012 2:30 PM EDT Joan Osborne's latest disc, "Bring It On Home," has somewhat of a "back to the future" feel for the singer. Part of that might stem from the fact that the album contains many covers from the blues and soul world, but the memories that the songs evoke take her back to…

  4. Etta James, Soul Icon, Dies at 73

    January 20, 2012 11:40 AM EST Etta James , the singer who turned "At Last" into a multi-generational standard and was an acknowledged influence on singers from Janis Joplin to Melissa Etheridge and Christina Aguilera , is gone not long after her voice was quieted. Honoring Etta James: 7 Versions of 'At Last…

  5. Scott Vener Q&A: Meet The Man Behind 'Entourage's' Music

    August 30, 2011 2:00 PM EDT HBO's "Entourage" has offered fans half-hour chunks of stylized escapism during its eight-season run, and no one is more responsible for setting that ultra-cool tone than Scott Vener ( @brokemogul ), who started as a music consultant and took the reins as the show's music…

  6. 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Delta Blues Great, Dies

    August 30, 2011 9:28 AM EDT Grammy-winning Blues musician David "Honeyboy" Edwards, believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman and whose roots stretched back to blues legend Robert Johnson, died early Monday in his Chicago home, his manager said . He was 96. Edwards had a weak heart and his health…

  7. John Hiatt Finally Records His 10-Year-Old Song About 9/11

    August 01, 2011 8:00 PM EDT John Hiatt 's artistic life this year has been marked by two of America's great 21st-century tragedies: the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. In May, his performance of his song "Feels Like Rain" at the New Orleans House of Blues appeared in an episode of HBO's …

  8. Raphael Saadiq Talks 'Stone Rollin'' Influences, Being 'Raw'

    May 30, 2011 2:54 PM EDT R aphael Saadiq has discovered that being busy as an artist doesn't leave him much time to pursue his hitmaking career as a producer. "I haven't had any time to work on anybody," Saadiq -- whose credits behind the board include Joss Stone, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige,…

  9. Rod Stewart: No 'Magicians or Midgets' in Las Vegas Show

    May 20, 2011 4:21 PM EDT R od Stewart , 66, firmly embodies the term "musical icon." The hallmarks of his success include performing in such classic bands as the Jeff Beck Group and the Faces and recording his "Great American Songbook" album series. In 2001, Stewart was the first artist to receive…

  10. Johnny Winter Taps All-Star Lineup for 'Roots' Album

    April 03, 2011 11:00 AM EDT It should be no surprise that Johnny Winter 's next album finds him playing the blues. But on "Roots," due out later this year, he's playing other people's blues. The veteran guitarist, singer and bandleader's first studio album in more than seven years finds him…

  11. Pinetop Perkins, Legendary Bluesman, Dies At 97

    March 21, 2011 9:00 PM EDT P inetop Perkins , one of the last old-school bluesmen who played with Muddy Waters and became the oldest Grammy winner this year, died Monday at his home of cardiac arrest. He was 97. Perkins was having chest pains when he went to take a nap and paramedics could not revive him, said Hugh…

  12. 'American Idol' Top 5 San Francisco Auditions, from Stefano Langone to James Durbin

    February 09, 2011 11:30 PM EST S teven Tyler , Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson wrapped up their first season of "Idol" auditions together with a San Francisco visit that was good, bad and scary -- extra emphasis on the "car" in "scary." Even if the vision of Drew Beaumier dressed as a…

  13. Decemberists' 'King Is Dead' Is No. 1 on Billboard 200

    January 26, 2011 11:00 AM EST T he Decemberists claim their first No. 1 album as "The King Is Dead" debuts atop the Billboard 200 with a career-high 94,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That easily beats its initial first week estimate of around 70,000. The Decemberists Folk Around on…

  14. Redman Drops New 'Reggie' Album, Explains 'How High 2' Holdup

    December 07, 2010 2:44 PM EST Although his seventh studio album, "Reggie," hit stores today (Dec. 7), Redman is already looking ahead to a busy 2011. The veteran rapper tells Billboard.com that he is using the often-delayed new album, which features cameos by Method Man , Bun B and Faith Evans , to explore…

  15. Gregg Allman 'Can't Wait' to Cut 'Low Country Blues' Follow-Up

    November 30, 2010 8:00 AM EST After taking 14 years between solo albums, Gregg Allman says he can't wait to do another one. Allman releases "Low Country Blues" on Jan. 18, featuring 11 blues covers and one original, "Just Another Rider," he wrote with Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes .…

  16. Ask Billboard: 'Glee'-ful About Madonna

    April 30, 2010 6:55 PM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. WHAT'S THAT GIRL'S SALES? Hi Gary, With " Glee : the Music,…

  17. Chart Beat Thursday: B.o.B, Bobby & Billboard

    April 22, 2010 4:05 PM EDT NOTHING BEATS 'NOTHIN' ': As previously reported , B.o.B ascends 2-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Nothin' On You," featuring Bruno Mars. The 21-year-old B.o.B, born Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr., is the just the fifth male rapper to take a maiden Hot 100 entry to No.…

  18. Steve Miller Band Mines The Blues For 'Bingo!'

    March 31, 2010 1:35 PM EDT Steve Miller hasn't released a new studio album in 17 years but he plans to make up for lost time with a pair of blues and R&B cover sets that will come out this year and next. "Bingo!," Miller's first Steve Miller Band release on his own Space Cowboy Records label in…

  19. Elvis Presley, "Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight"

    January 19, 2010 3:11 PM EST Elvis Presley has been gone for more than 30 years, but he lives on in what's become the music industry's most exhaustive reissue series. It seems like every anniversary of the King eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich is reason to dip into the vaults, but occasionally the…

  20. Ask Billboard: Madonna, Yoko Ono, Gospel

    September 18, 2009 5:15 PM EDT Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at askbb@billboard.com . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. DANCING QUEEN Hi Gary, While I enjoyed Tuesday's Chart Beat column on…

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