1. Lucian Grainge's End-of-Year Memo to Employees: 'It's No Longer Enough to Outperform'

    December 19, 2014 6:23 PM EST Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group and one of the most powerful members of the music industry, today sent employees a holiday memo laying out his plans for the following year. It seems like Grainge has every intention of using his company's considerable leverage…

  2. Which *NSYNC Member Is Singing at Lance Bass' Wedding?

    December 19, 2014 5:18 PM EST Is it too much to hope that JC Chasez breaks out "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You"? Lance Bass Sets Wedding Date... And *NSYNC Reunion? Lance Bass is getting married this weekend, and he shared that his wedding singer is none other than former *NSYNC bandmate Chasez.…

  3. Azealia Banks Now Beefing with Action Bronson on Twitter

    December 19, 2014 5:17 PM EST "THE DEVIL LIVES IN THERE," Bronson says of Azealia's nether regions. Happy holidays, everybody! The Young Gunz song “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” might have been written about Azealia Banks ’ tendency to argue with other artists on Twitter! After taking aim at Iggy Azalea for the…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Pioneering Rap Producer Larry Smith Has Died

    December 19, 2014 1:47 PM EST Sad news in the world of hip-hip -- one of rap music's pioneering producers, Larry Smith, has passed away  at the age of 63. Smith co-produced Run-D.M.C. 's incalculably influential first two albums ( Run-D.M.C. and King of Rock ) alongside Russell Simmons. Additionally, he…

  8. Exclusive: Night Riots Premiere Urgent New Wave Track 'Break'

    December 19, 2014 12:50 PM EST SoCal quintet Night Riots mined some pretty serious subject matter for their standout new song. “‘Break’ was inspired by a friend's drink getting spiked with a hallucinogenic drug at a party,” frontman Travis Hawley tells Billboard. “It made me start to realize that not all people are…

  9. The Year in Rock 2014: Rebound From a Rough Year?

    December 19, 2014 12:45 PM EST After decades of leading the pack, the cultural rebound of rock, alternative, or whatever we want to call it depends on learning to play by new sets of rules. I promise this will not be a “rock is dead” story. We’ve already had that conversation far too many times, and besides, it’s far…

  10. Minecraft Guy Outbids Beyonce and Jay Z for Beverly Hills Mansion, Supposedly the Most-Expensive Ever

    December 19, 2014 10:46 AM EST What would you do if you recently made a couple billion bucks? If you're Swedish video game developer Markus Persson ,  you probably purchase a fully furnished 23,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills -- one that was reportedly eyed by Beyonce and Jay Z -- for $70 million, of course…

  11. Surprise! Miguel Releases 3 New Songs

    December 19, 2014 10:00 AM EST December continues to be popular month for unexpected releases from R&B singers. After D'Angelo dropped Black Messiah with little warning on Monday, three new songs popped up on Miguel 's SoundCloud page today. Listen below. This is the first sign that Miguel is working on a…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Skrillex's OWSLA Label Launches Nestivus Charity Campaign

    December 18, 2014 6:10 PM EST Skrillex Claus is coming to town. The artist's OWSLA imprint has hit the home stretch of its Nestivus charity drive, launching a series of holiday initiatives with all proceeds going to Bridges for Music . Last year's edition raised more than $8,000 for the international music…

  15. 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&…

  16. George Harrison, Bee Gees & More to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

    December 18, 2014 5:09 PM EST Beloved Beatles legend George Harrison will receive yet another honor in 2015 when the Recording Academy posthumously gives him the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award . Stevie Wonder to Receive All-Star Tribute From Grammys The Bee Gees  and  Buddy Guy  will also be honored with the Grammy…

  17. 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…

  18. K. Michelle Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums

    December 18, 2014 4:19 PM EST Plus, album single 'Love 'Em All' attains a new peak on Hot R&B Songs. R&B singer/songwriter K. Michelle returns to the top of R&B Albums with her sophomore studio set  Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?,  arriving with 84,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 14, according to…

  19. 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…

  20. Koa, 'All of My Love': Exclusive Song Premiere

    December 18, 2014 3:50 PM EST Though Iggy Azalea (a.k.a. Igloo Australia ) was probably the most-talked about Aussie in music this year, 2014 was also good for the more under-the-radar electro-pop and dance of Future Classic, the Sydney-based record label, management and booking agency, and publisher. Many of this year&…

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