1. Here's What the 2014 Holiday Music Sales Spike Looks Like

    December 19, 2014 5:28 PM EST Every holiday season, the debate begins in earnest: When is it okay to start listening to seasonal music? Some say Christmas music isn't kosher until after Thanksgiving weekend, while others wait until the very last moment. Some overzealous fans, on the other hand, start listening to…

  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. Billy Corgan: 'I'm a Rock Star Because I'm a Great F---ing Musician'

    December 19, 2014 4:40 PM EST When it comes to the state of the music industry (or anything else for that matter),  Smashing Pumpkins  mastermind and frontman  Billy Corgan  has no problem speaking his mind. Billboard sat down with the musician in his dressing room at the recent KROQ Almost Acoustic Xmas event in Los…

  4. Taylor Swift's '1989' Set for Sixth Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200

    December 19, 2014 4:31 PM EST Nicki Minaj and D’Angelo on course for top 10 debuts. Taylor Swift 's 1989 is heading back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Industry forecasters suggest the album may sell over 340,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 21, while its overall album consumption figure could approach 390…

  5. Top 10 Lyrics From D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

    December 19, 2014 3:40 PM EST It's been close to a week since the surprise release of D'Angelo & The Vanguard's Black Messiah , enough time for the formerly distorted lyrics of D'Angelo to become more clear and significant. The easiest tone to take with Black Messiah , in its entire majestic roar…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. The Alt In Our Stars Podcast: Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Details New Album 'Aureate Gloom'

    December 19, 2014 2:54 PM EST Of Montreal recently announced their lucky 13th studio album -- Aureate Gloom , out March 3 on longtime label Polyvinyl. Bandleader Kevin Barnes is a pretty interesting guy, having guided the outfit from its late 1990s twee pop "happy yellow bumblebees" sound (as he puts it) to…

  9. Best Song Bracket Battle 2014: See Who Wins our Year-End Pop Showdown!

    December 19, 2014 2:00 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…

  10. Shawn Mendes, Gwen Stefani and Meghan Trainor at the Z100 Jingle Ball: Real-Time Twitter Chart Rewind Ep. 29

    December 19, 2014 1:00 PM EST Welcome back to Billboard's weekly video show "Real-Time Rewind," which recaps the past week's hottest action on the new Billboard Real-Time Twitter Charts -- Trending 140 and Emerging Artists -- and the news that's driving the action. Joe Levy stops by Z100’s…

  11. Sony Hack: FBI Confirms North Korea Is 'Responsible For These Actions'

    December 19, 2014 12:49 PM EST In an email to the studio's top executives, the hackers called the decision not to release 'The Interview,' "very wise." On Friday morning, the FBI officially accused North Korea of the devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which began shortly before…

  12. 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&…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. iHeartMedia Promotes Z100 Program Director Sharon Dastur, Brings Mark Medina to Vacated Role

    December 18, 2014 2:46 PM EST Z100, the well-known New York City Top 40 radio station, has announced the appointment of Mark Medina as its new program director. Medina's move follows news that Sharon Dastur , the station's previous program director, is moving to iHeartMedia's national team as senior vice…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 'Maybe the Adrenaline Keeps Me Going': Landau Management's Barbara Carr on Working with Springsteen for 34 Years

    December 18, 2014 11:46 AM EST "Couldn't get along without you, Barb," Bruce Springsteen said of Barbara Carr when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 15 years ago. Any Springsteen fan worth their salt knows his longtime manager and former producer, Jon Landau . Less visible (by choice) is Carr,…

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