1. Top 10 Rock/Alternative Christmas Songs That Don't Suck

    December 25, 2014 8:15 AM EST …And one Hanukkah Song (we did our best!) Let’s get this out of the way: there are an awful lot of terrible rock covers of Christmas songs. Lots of genres are guilty of this, but being that Relient K and Bowling For Soup have both done entire Christmas albums, modern guitar music needs to…

  2. From Okra Soup to Fried Seafood: Darius Rucker, Chase Bryant and Many More Country Stars Talk Favorite Holiday Dishes

    December 24, 2014 12:19 PM EST When it comes to celebrating the holidays country style, good food is a major part of the equation. From fried turkey to the perfect sugar cookie, every household has its Christmas traditions and certain dishes that are essential to the celebration. Billboard asked country artists to share…

  3. Taylor Swift Back at No. 1 on Billboard 200, Nicki Minaj Debuts at No. 2

    December 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Taylor Swift makes an expected return to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, as her 1989 album hops up one rung, bringing its total (nonconsecutive) weeks atop the list to six. The set shifted 375,000 equivalent units in the week ending Dec. 21 (up 16 percent), according to Nielsen Music. …

  4. 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…

  5. Exclusive: New Company Looks to Improve Digital Sales' Bottom Line By Lowering Credit Card Fees

    December 23, 2014 8:00 AM EST A system designed in the '70s isn't helping an ailing digital music sales industry. Digital commerce has presented the music business with two key problems: First, credit card fees hamper direct-to-fan sales, and second, large online retailers like iTunes don't give sellers…

  6. Jarvis Cocker Is Still Alive

    December 22, 2014 4:05 PM EST Joe Cocker , he of that unforgettable rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends," died today at the age of 70 , reportedly from complications related to lung cancer. Jarvis Cocker , frontman of britpop legends Pulp , is very much alive (he played Vice 's 20th birthday…

  7. Chart Highlights: Aretha Franklin Tops Dance Club Songs for First Time in 16 Years

    December 22, 2014 2:05 PM EST The icon's cover of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' returns her to No. 1. Plus, new leaders for Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande & more. Chart Highlights offers a sneak peek at a select group of Billboard charts every Monday. (All charts below are based on radio airplay…

  8. Watch Sky Ferreira's Homemade 'Omanko' Video, Directed by DIIV

    December 20, 2014 3:52 PM EST Just in time for the holidays, Sky Ferreira has shared a new music video for her Japanese Christmas-themed song “Omanko.” Watch Sky Ferreira Perform Her Booming New Song 'Guardian' The lo-fi clip, directed by her boyfriend Zachary Cole Smith of rock band DIIV, features silly…

  9. Billboard 200 Chart Moves: J. Cole's Trio of No. 1 Albums Puts Him in Elite Hip-Hop Company

    December 19, 2014 9:49 PM EST J. Cole is one of six rap acts to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with their first three full-length studio albums On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, J. Cole 's 2014 Forest Hills Drive debuted at No. 1 , his third consecutive album to reach the top slot (his entire output of…

  10. Wynonna Picks Her 5 Essential Christmas Songs

    December 19, 2014 9:24 PM EST Wynonna says that her A Simpler Christmas Tour has been quite an emotional roller coaster. "It's basically a tragic comedy," she tells Billboard . "I get to talk about very some intensely personal deep and sentimental family stuff from growing up in Appalachia. We didn&…

  11. 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 …

  12. Taylor Swift's Birthday Boosts Her to No. 1 on Social 50 Chart

    December 19, 2014 3:24 PM EST It pays to have famous friends -- or, in Taylor Swift ’s case, friends with large online followings who will tweet about attending your 25th birthday party. An array of A-listers (like Nick Jonas , Selena Gomez , Lorde , Haim and more) did just that on the night of Dec. 13, spreading online…

  13. Is Solange Siding With Azealia Banks In Iggy Azalea Feud?

    December 19, 2014 3:15 PM EST Solange  has seemingly weighed in on  Iggy Azalea  and  Azealia Banks ' feud.  On Twitter Friday afternoon, Solange wrote: Thank you @AZEALIABANKS — solange knowles (@solangeknowles) December 19, 2014 Thank you @kendricklamar & @JColeNC — solange knowles (@solangeknowles) December…

  14. Eric Burgett Brings His Classical Training to Country Music

    December 19, 2014 2:59 PM EST In this week's 615 Spotlight, we take a look at a singer who we found simply perfecting his art in one of the most prestigious clubs in Nashville: Eric Burgett, one of the most unique talents  you will find in Music City. His writing and performing definitely fit in with what is out…

  15. Must-Hear Music Podcast: Best Albums of the Year Edition

    December 19, 2014 12:10 PM EST is almost over, and that means one thing for the Billboard staff -- it's time to obsess over our favorite albums of the year. This week, the original Must-Hear Music podcast team -- Jason Lipshutz , Joe Lynch  and Erika Ramirez -- sit down to share and argue over their favorite…

  16. 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&…

  17. Avery*Sunshine Scores First No. 1 Single With 'Call My Name'

    December 18, 2014 4:03 PM EST Meanwhile, I Love Makonnen reaches a new No. 1 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums welcomes six top 10 debuts. Avery*Sunshine captures her first No. 1 single on a Billboard chart as her graceful ballad "Call My Name" rises 2-1 on Adult R&B Songs in its 28th week on the list. K.…

  18. 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…

  19. Pop Shop Podcast: Madonna Leaks, Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX & More

    December 18, 2014 10:53 AM EST Listen to the latest episode of Billboard.com's weekly charts breakdown. Welcome to the latest episode of the Billboard.com Pop Shop Podcast , Billboard's weekly half-hour audio breakdown of the Billboard charts, hottest music news and year's biggest musical events.…

  20. R&B and Hip-Hop in 2014: A Lackluster Year for Some, But Not All

    December 17, 2014 5:01 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…

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