1. The Game, Azealia Banks, Lecrae & More React to NYPD Officer Killings in Brooklyn

    December 21, 2014 2:22 PM EST Members of the hip-hop community are sharing their thoughts on social media following the shooting of two NYPD officers who were killed on Saturday (Dec. 20) in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. Hip-Hop Moves As Strong Force for Michael Brown Rappers like The Game ,…

  2. Op-Ed: Steve Wariner on Why Dottie West Should Be a Country Music Hall of Fame Member

    December 21, 2014 12:30 PM EST Over the past year, The 615 has offered opinions concerning who the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame should be. In July, we made our case for Don Rich, the longtime sideman for Buck Owens , in the Instrumentalist category. Just a few weeks ago, we told of the great…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. People Magazine Awards: And the Winners Are...

    December 18, 2014 11:11 PM EST Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez & more are honored at inaugural ceremony. The inaugural People Magazine Awards are a wrap. Kevin Hart took home the first of the night, Comedy Star of the Year, while Lisa Kudrow was honored with Television Performance of the Year for HBO's The Comeback…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Taylor Swift Leads Billboard Hot 100, Ed Sheeran Soars to Top 10

    December 17, 2014 2:20 PM EST Swift scores her longest career reign as 'Blank Space' rules for a fifth week, while Sheeran posts his best rank as 'Thinking Out Loud' leaps 24-6. Taylor Swift 's "Blank Space" tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week, granting the superstar her…

  18. Mick Management Brings On Former Artist Organization President Rich Schaefer

    December 17, 2014 1:57 PM EST Following a six-year tenure at The Artists Organization -- including two years as president -- Rich Schaefer has now moved to Mick Management as a partner, Billboard has exclusively learned. Schaefer joins CEO Michael McDonald and partners Jonathan Eshak and Rich Cohen .   “I’m…

  19. Anthony Hamilton Hits 'Home' With First Holiday Album

    December 17, 2014 9:43 AM EST The Grammy Award winner and current nominee will also appear as a special guest on Fox's new drama "Empire." To co-opt a popular phrase during this time of year, 'tis the season for Anthony Hamilton . Home for the Holidays , the R&B singer/songwriter/producer’s first…

  20. Kendrick Lamar Debuts Untitled Song on 'Colbert Report': Watch

    December 17, 2014 1:05 AM EST Kendrick Lamar has dished the world premiere of an untitled song on The Colbert Report .   The rapper (and writer) debuted a meditative, jazz-flecked new work Tuesday night, though the name of the piece remains a mystery. Expect the song to appear on Lamar’s next full-length album, which is…

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