1. Katy Perry's Australia Tour Sells 350,000 Tickets, Could Have 'Easily' Added a Dozen Shows

    December 19, 2014 2:53 AM EST Katy Perry’s Prismatic tour has left Australia, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  The pop star broke the venue record at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on the weekend, en route to shifting more than 350,000 tickets  across the 23-date Prismatic World Tour Australia , Billboard can reveal.…

  2. Paul McCartney Worked on a Song About Police Killings: 'I'm Not Giving Up On It'

    December 19, 2014 1:00 AM EST Sir Paul McCartney is 72, and only the wrinkles give his years away. Interviewed recently at his midtown Manhattan office suite, he seems as boyish and light-footed as he was on stage decades ago for The Ed Sullivan Show , his manner informal, his build slender and well suited for jeans and…

  3. 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…

  4. Alesso Ascends, Taylor Swift Hits Top 10 on Dance Charts

    December 18, 2014 9:20 PM EST Alesso takes another step closer to achieving his first career chart-topper on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs , as "Heroes (We Could Be)" hikes 4-3. The track, featuring Tove Lo , is the chart's top Digital and Streaming Gainer. "Heroes" sold 30,000 downloads (up 9…

  5. Azealia Banks Opens Up, Breaks Down in 45-Minute-Plus Radio Interview

    December 18, 2014 8:24 PM EST If you thought Azealia Banks only speaks her mind on Twitter, you need to watch this interview. Banks sat down for a 45-minute-plus chat with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning , and the roundtable discussion covered everything from her ongoing beef with similarly named rapper Iggy Azalea to…

  6. Vessel, New Video Site from Hulu's Former Boss, Will Offer Very Sweet Deals to Content Creators

    December 18, 2014 5:48 PM EST Streaming services are routinely attacked for the inability of their royalties alone to sustain creators. The former head of video streaming service Hulu believes he has a solution. Called Vessel, the service is the creation of Jason Kilar , the former chief executive of Hulu, and Rich Tom …

  7. 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…

  8. '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…

  9. 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…

  10. Wendy Rene, Soul Singer Sampled by Wu-Tang Clan & Alicia Keys, Dies at 67

    December 18, 2014 4:12 PM EST Wendy Rene, the budding Stax Records singing and songwriting talent who quit music after the death of Otis Redding in 1967 and saw her music revived through samples decades later, died Tuesday in Memphis, Tenn., following a stroke. She was 67. Born Mary Frierson in Memphis, Rene was given…

  11. The Country Music Industry in 2014: Garth's Return, Taylor's Exit

    December 18, 2014 2:49 PM EST With country music at a peak in popularity, the comings and goings in the format seemed more crucial than ever. And there were plenty -- Garth Brooks came back, George Strait decided it was time to go, two guys from a different era came out, and a few stars chose to go out. On the road. In…

  12. Communications Agency Fenton's New Leadership Hopes to Bring Artists Back Into Activism

    December 18, 2014 2:11 PM EST The communications agency Fenton, which specializes in working with non-profits, charities and activist organizations, has announced it is being sold and a new leadership being put in place. The company's founder, David Fenton , is stepping laterally into a position as chairman, from…

  13. 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 ,…

  14. XXL Magazine to Print Quarterly Issues

    December 18, 2014 1:34 PM EST Townsquare Media has signaled that XXL Magazine , which it acquired earlier this year , will now publish print editions on a quarterly basis. Following its just-released winter issue, with Kendrick Lamar on the cover, the hip-hop magazine will return in March, followed by its annual…

  15. 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…

  16. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: Read Round 4 in our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 18, 2014 12:30 PM EST Which 2014 smash is the critics' pick for pop song of the year? We made 64 hits battle it out, March Madness-style, to determine a winner! Welcome to BEST SONG BRACKET BATTLE 2014, Billboard.com's weeklong bracket-style tournament in which 64 of the year's biggest songs are…

  17. Carrie Underwood, 'Voice' Winner Craig Wayne Boyd Debut on Country Charts

    December 18, 2014 12:25 PM EST Underwood scores her record-tying fifth consecutive No. 1 bow, of five career releases, on Top Country Albums. Carrie Underwood storms Billboard 's Top Country Albums chart with Greatest Hits: Decade #1 , which arrives at No. 1 with 94,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music. The set…

  18. Windowing New Music May Not Goose Sales, Study Shows

    December 18, 2014 12:01 PM EST A case study by on one song in two different territories by two Spotify executives shows why windowing releases might not be a good idea. The Spotify duo, director of economic development Will Page and analyst Kenny Ning, chose to look at how Meghan Trainor 's "All About That Bass…

  19. Exclusive: Little Simz Showcases 'Boss Moves' on Her New EP 'Age 101: Drop 3|000'

    December 18, 2014 11:15 AM EST English rapper Little Simz believes in taking matters into her own hands. Though she's only 20, she's already got her own label, AGE 101. "What's new?" she asks at the beginning of her latest EP, Age 101: Drop 3|000 . "I didn't want to sign to anyone so I…

  20. Firefly Producers Announce New Big Barrel Country Fest, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Loretta Lynn to Play

    December 18, 2014 7:55 AM EST Red Frog Events, the producers of the Firefly Festival, announce today the launch of the Big Barrel Country Music Festival on June 26-28, the weekend after Firefly, at the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., site of Firefly. Headliners include  Blake Shelton , Miranda…

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