1. 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…

  2. Atlanta's Top 8 New Rappers

    December 18, 2014 2:05 PM EST Atlanta is home to a constantly rising number of up-and-coming acts -- it's quickly becoming a powder keg of talent waiting to blow. The most impressive quality of the city’s scene is that no one rapper or singer is the same, and they all reach wildly different demographics, from the…

  3. Deezer Hires New CEO, Partners with LyricFind

    December 18, 2014 1:17 PM EST Deezer, the world's second-largest music subscription service, announced on Friday the hiring of Dr. Hans-Holger Albrecht as its new Chief Executive. The second major hire by Deezer in the latter part of 2014 -- the other was Chief Marketing Officer Beth Murphy -- Albrecht will start…

  4. 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…

  5. My City: Atlanta, Featuring Raury, OG Maco & Father

    December 18, 2014 11:45 AM EST In the first of a series of videos highlighting regional hip-hop scenes titled 'My City,' Billboard's Erika Ramirez explores Atlanta's new rap scene. More than any other genre, hip-hop is strengthened by an artist's loyalty to his or her region. From the urban…

  6. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Talk Taking Advice From Cab Drivers and Strippers

    December 18, 2014 11:15 AM EST Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga stopped by The Tonight Show to talk with Jimmy Fallon about their recent duets project, Cheek To Cheek , which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 . Fallon asked each singer if they had ever taken advice from an opinionated stranger. Both artists had: Bennett…

  7. 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…

  8. 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. Casual…

  9. Exclusive: Essence To Honor Jill Scott at Black Women in Music Event

    December 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST The magazine's sixth annual Black Women in Music event will also kick off its 45th anniversary celebration Jill Scott will be the special honoree at Essence magazine’s annual Black Women in Music . The Feb. 5 invitation-only event, held during Grammy Week, will also be the official…

  10. Jon Stewart Mocks Fox News' Sean Hannity Over Clumsy Jay Z Jab

    December 18, 2014 10:25 AM EST Fox News anchor Sean Hannity had a very Fox News moment recently, criticizing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for associating with Jay Z . It wasn’t just that Cuomo was agreeing with Jay Z in calling out the Staten Island grand jury that didn’t indict an NYPD officer for the chokehold death…

  11. Music Supervisors for 'Glee,' 'Book of Life,' 'Begin Again' Lead Guild Nominations

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST The Guild of Music Supervisors will hand out its fifth annual awards Jan. 21 at Mack Sennett Studios in Hollywood, honoring music supervisors for their work in motion pictures, television, games, trailers and advertising. Glee supervisor PJ Bloom received three nominations while recently…

  12. Happy Birthday, Christina Aguilera: 5 Most Underrated Songs

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST Happy Birthday Christina Aguilera ! The teen pop star-turned-songstress-turned-sometimes Voice coach with the huge pipes turns 34 today, and to celebrate, we rounded up five of her underrated (read: non-single) gems from her career over seven studio albums.  Check them out below.  1. "…

  13. BandPage Touts Big Sales Metrics for Artists' Merch

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST BandPage has announced a few large metrics today, over a year after signing key deals with Spotify (where it recently became the only way to place merchandise for sale on the platform), iHeartMedia and a notable funding round: 3,000,000 items, ranging from t-shirts to private concerts, are…

  14. 50 Cent Nets $78 Million In Underwear Deal

    December 18, 2014 3:22 AM EST Cent is now the 78 Million Dollar Man.  Curtis Jackson has locked-up a $78 million deal with Frigo Revolution Wear to promote a brand of upmarket men's underwear. And he's not shy about his good fortune.  The rapper announced the mega-bucks pact on his Instagram account Monday …

  15. Metallica to Rock the Ice for 'Night of Hockey Mayhem'

    December 18, 2014 1:36 AM EST Metallica is bringing its heavy brand of rock to the ice. The Hall of Famers have declared Jan. 21 as “Metallica Night,” on what will otherwise be a contest between the hometown San Jose Sharks and their NHL rivals the LA Kings.  In a post on the metal band’s Website , the rockers are…

  16. What the U.S.-Cuba Breakthrough Could Mean for Music

    December 17, 2014 9:43 PM EST Could Obama's 'fresh approach' strengthen both Cuba's draw as a music destination and Cuban artists' popularity in the United States? How could restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba impact musicians in both countries? According to…

  17. Nicki Minaj and D'Angelo Set For Top 10 Debuts on Billboard 200

    December 17, 2014 8:21 PM EST D’Angelo’s surprise album may sell 100,000 in first week Nicki Minaj ’s new The Pinkprint album is on course for a top five debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Industry sources suggest the album, which was released on Dec. 15 through Young Money/Cash Money Records, may sell over 150,000…

  18. Watch Questlove's Animated Story on Chasing Patti LaBelle's Famed Fried Chicken

    December 17, 2014 7:54 PM EST You don't spend as much time in the music business, wearing so many different hats, as Questlove has without getting a few good stories out of it.    Chris Rock and Questlove Talk the Greatest MCs of All Time and Collaborating on New Movie 'Top Five' The Roots drummer has…

  19. Muted Hurrahs For Easing of Cuban Sanctions

    December 17, 2014 7:29 PM EST Industry Is Optimistic, but Still Evaluating President Obama’s announcement that he planned to “normalize” relationships with Cuba was met with muted response from the Latin music industry. The demureness could simply be attributed to the season; Christmas is around the corner. But also,…

  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 the…

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