1. Madonna On New 'Rebellious and Romantic' Music, Demo Leaks, 'Possibly' Crashing the Grammys and the 'Crazy' Sony Hack

    December 21, 2014 4:55 PM EST "It's kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together," Madonna tells Billboard of her stunning new single "Living For Love." It’s a rather large understatement to say that it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Madonna . On Tuesday night, more than…

  2. 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 …

  3. Executive Turntable: Def Jam, Atlantic, Republic, and More

    December 18, 2014 5:36 PM EST A list of moves and shakes across the music business, including iHeartMedia, Cashmere Agency, Mute USA, Columbia Records, and many more… -- Jordan Howard was appointed creative manager at CCS Rights Management in Toronto. -- Phil Steward was appointed senior vice president of relationship…

  4. 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…

  5. 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 the…

  6. G.O.O.D. Music Signs Former Kanye West Backup Dancer Kacy Hill

    December 17, 2014 4:51 PM EST Kacy Hill has signed to G.O.O.D. Music, the label founded by Kanye West in 2004. Previously, Hill worked as a model for American Apparel and a backup dancer for Kanye on his Yeezus tour. The signing was initially announced by Def Jam via Twitter. Vote up Kanye's newest G.O.O.D Music…

  7. Remember Hilary Duff's Cheesy Christmas Song 'Santa Claus Lane'?

    December 17, 2014 1:20 PM EST With just a little over a week until Christmas, we're breaking out all the Christmas music, which means in addition to classics like The Carpenters and Kenny Rogers, we're also remembering more recent additions to the "Original Song" Christmas canon -- and they aren'…

  8. 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…

  9. Fall Out Boy Talk New Album, Motley Crue & Grateful Dead

    December 16, 2014 8:49 PM EST Fall Out Boy appeared on night one of KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas , alongside such heavy rockers as System of a Down , Incubus , Linkin Park , Bush and Royal Blood . With a lineup of guitar-driven acts like that, there were no pretenses about this night being acoustic, but FOB&…

  10. Exclusive: Shigeto Premieres 'Tide Pools' From 'Ghostly Swim 2'

    December 16, 2014 9:51 AM EST In 2014, surprising artistic collaborations have become the norm in popular music. But the record label Ghostly International and the TV network Adult Swim were ahead of the curve: they worked together for the first time back in 2008, creating Ghostly Swim , a compilation album full of …

  11. American Country Countdown Awards: Luke Bryan & Florida Georgia Line Roll Over Competition

    December 15, 2014 10:30 PM EST Jason Aldean takes home top prize at inaugural awards show, while Kenny Chesney & Reba McEntire are honored. The inaugural American Country Countdown Awards were held Monday night (Dec. 15) at Nashville's Music City Center, and as producers hoped, the night was akin to a Christmas…

  12. Mad Season Reunion: Chris Cornell Joining Grunge Supergroup

    December 15, 2014 9:17 PM EST Before disbanding in 1999, the grunge supergroup Mad Season included members of Alice in Chains , Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees -- and now they'll get some help from Soundgarden and Guns N' Roses alumni. During a performance next month with the Seattle Symphony, Chris Cornell will…

  13. In the Face of Giants, Indie Concert Promoters Outpaced the Industry at Large This Year

    December 15, 2014 5:37 PM EST The grosses of the top six independent promoters in the U.S. combined increased by more than 15 percent, compared to a 7.7 percent increase for overall. Some 20 years after industry consolidation was supposed to wipe independent promoters off the map, these stubborn, savvy and fiercely…

  14. Restless Heart's Hometown Christmas Show Keeps Them Well Rested

    December 15, 2014 5:12 PM EST Veteran country band Restless Heart is celebrating the holidays in a very unique way this year, through their partnership with Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center for the holiday-themed dinner show A Season of Harmony -- part of the Nashville hotel's annual "Country…

  15. Corner Office: Republic Records Honchos Monte & Avery Lipman Discuss Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Smash and Defend 'The Voice'

    December 15, 2014 10:41 AM EST The 2014 market-share leaders on maintaining dominance, defending 'The Voice' and finding tomorrow's breakout: "You can't rush hits." Among the many plaques lining the walls of Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman ’s midtown Manhattan office, the one…

  16. Jeremih Charged After Airport Incident

    December 14, 2014 12:31 PM EST R&B star Jeremih and two others face charges in New Jersey after one of the men allegedly opened a door to a boarding ramp at Newark International Airport after it had been closed to prepare for takeoff. Jeremih Reportedly Arrested After Missing Flight Port Authority police say a…

  17. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  18. BSBB Round 3: Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be" vs. Jeremih feat. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG DENISE WARNER: It’s almost a toss-up between “Rather Be” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em”: both are vibrant, engaging and memorable. But what it really…

  19. 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…

  20. BSBB Round 2: Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch" vs. Becky G, "Shower"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Shower Becky G DENISE WARNER: Becky G’s “Shower” is cute, but “Latch” launched both Disclosure and Sam Smith into prominence. We have to give the advantage to the dance track over the pop…

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