1. Big Sean Pays Tribute to Grandma Following Her Death: 'Honestly I Feel Like She's Still Here'

    December 23, 2014 9:42 PM EST Big Sean 's grandmother has passed away, the rapper announced on Instagram Thursday.  Big Sean Earns Third No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs "My grandma passed away a couple days ago. I haven't said anything to anyone because honestly I feel like she's still here,…

  2. Iggy Azalea Responds to 'Patronizing' Critics

    December 23, 2014 6:03 AM EST It’s been a stormy week for Iggy Azalea . She’s been criticised, pilloried, defended and schooled in a Twitter beef that she’s kept pretty well away from. That is until now.  The rapper, who was raised in the Australian hippy haven Mullumbimby, has returned serve with a string of tweets.…

  3. 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…

  4. Warner Music Group Becomes Founding Partner of YouTube Competitor Interlude

    December 22, 2014 4:12 PM EST Warner Music Group's 2014 has been bookended with forward-thinking partnerships. In February, they collaborated with song identification service Shazam , which allowed the major label access to Shazam's data to find and sign promising artists; making a digital push in China by…

  5. The Year in Emerging Artists: Hozier, Bobby Shmurda and K Camp Lead the Class of 2014

    December 22, 2014 4:00 PM EST The first year of the Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart has come to a wrap, and it proved to be an eventful 2014. Across genres as diverse as pop, hip-hop and country, many emerging artists crossed into mainstream notability and racked up honors including top 10 singles on the…

  6. Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane on His Hall of Fame Induction, Inviting Robert Plant to His Basement

    December 22, 2014 12:16 PM EST Ahead of his induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame next spring, Steve Kane talks about hitting up the record store every Saturday and his 15,000-strong music collection. Every Friday, Warner Music Canada president Steve Kane posts to his Facebook page a message like this:…

  7. German-Language Pop Legend Udo Juergens Dies at 80

    December 21, 2014 10:06 PM EST Udo Juergens , an Austrian-born star who dominated pop music in the German-speaking world and sold more than 100 million records in a career spanning five decades, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old. Juergens collapsed unconscious during a walk in Gottlieben, a town on Lake Constance…

  8. Beyonce Loses Feminist of the Year Title to Emma Watson

    December 19, 2014 2:36 PM EST One way to measure how far feminism has come is realizing we now have a list of celebrated entertainers who've made great strides for feminism (the point is, of course, a bit muddled by the subsequent ranking of said women).  Emma Watson was named the Feminist Celebrity of 2014,…

  9. Ardent Studios Founder John Fry Dies at 69

    December 18, 2014 10:30 PM EST John Fry , the producer and engineer who founded Memphis' famed Ardent Studios and the Ardent Records label, has died at the age of 69. It was Fry who once said that, "Your moods are affected by your surroundings. I think there is something that operates in Memphis...and at Ardent…

  10. 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…

  11. 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 ,…

  12. Mick Management Brings On Former Artist Organization President Rich Schaefer

    December 17, 2014 1:57 PM EST Following a six-year tenure at The Artists Organization -- including two years as president -- Rich Schaefer has now moved to Mick Management as a partner, Billboard has exclusively learned. Schaefer joins CEO Michael McDonald and partners Jonathan Eshak and Rich Cohen .   “I’m…

  13. The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    December 17, 2014 12:59 PM EST Ever see a movie where the protagonist wasn’t born, or the USSR won the Cold War, and the alternate future is different from the present day? Think back to Doc Brown using a chalkboard to draw tangential, alternate futures for Marty McFly in Back to the Future . Well, imagine if vinyl…

  14. Tony Bennett Among Kennedy Center Honorees

    December 16, 2014 9:07 PM EST Tony Bennett is among those being honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights at a New York gala. Guests gathered at a Manhattan hotel on Tuesday evening (Dec. 16) for the organization's star-studded Ripple of Hope Award ceremony. Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett…

  15. Colt Ford Ready to 'Crank It Up!' With First Live DVD

    December 16, 2014 12:00 PM EST Colt Ford has enjoyed a very successful run in the industry since bursting on the scene in the late 2000s. He co-wrote the Jason Aldean blockbuster "Dirt Road Anthem" with Brantley Gilbert , and has shared the stage with many of the biggest stars in the format. His last four discs…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. BSBB Round 4: Charli XCX, "Boom Clap" vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Boom Clap Charli XCX Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne CRAIG JENKINS: Semifinals are without fail a bloodbath, and this one isn't any different. Charli XCX's single was a ball of joy and a welcome bombshell…

  20. BSBB Round 2: Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg, "Wiggle" vs. DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Wiggle Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg Turn Down for What DJ Snake & Lil Jon JAMIESON COX: I praised Derulo’s “easy debauchery” last round when deciding in favor of his other big hit this year, “Talk Dirty,” and “Wiggle” is…

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