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 u ...

  2. Pandora Gets Creative Again: Company Cites Its First Amendment Rights in Turtles Lawsuit

    December 19, 2014 5:08 PM EST In the latest turn of events around The Turtles ' crusade to collect on royalties for songs recorded prior to 1972, Pandora has filed an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion, arguing -- in a creative gambit rem ...

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

    December 19, 2014 12:49 PM EST On Friday morning, the FBI officially accused North Korea of the devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which began shortly before Thanksgiving and led to confidential information, including emails from top executives , being leaked. T ...

  4. 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 B ...

  5. Fatal South by Southwest Crash Brings First Wave of Lawsuits

    December 18, 2014 7:26 PM EST The initial wave of victim lawsuits since four people died at the South by Southwest music festival accuse organizers of safety lapses after a driver struck a crowd of concertgoers . Fourth Person Dies From Injuries in SXSW Crash The lawsuits fi ...

  6. 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 app ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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 Marketin ...

  10. '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, Jo ...

  11. Steve Jobs' Deposition Video Won't Be Released

    December 18, 2014 11:13 AM EST Video of Steve Jobs ' deposition in the just-wrapped iPod class-action lawsuit will not be released to the public, a California judge has decided. A federal jury decided last week that Apple did not freeze-out its competition by selling pro ...

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

    December 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST 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 launch of the magazine’s year-long celebration of its 45 th anniversa ...

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

    December 17, 2014 9:43 PM EST How could restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba impact musicians in both countries? According to information released by the White House on Wednesday (Dec. 17), after President Obama announced the historic détente, hi ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. Michael Jackson Estate Renews with BMI

    December 17, 2014 2:10 PM EST Michael Jackson 's estate has renewed its long-standing partnership with BMI for representation of the late pop icon's catalog, the performing rights organization announced on Wednesday. The pact, which dates back over 38 years, covers ...

  16. 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 Jonat ...

  17. The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    December 17, 2014 12:59 PM EST Ever see a movie where the protagonist wasn’t born, or the USSR won the Cold War, and the alternate future is different from the present day? Think back to Doc Brown using a chalkboard to draw tangential, alternate futures for Marty McFly in Bac ...

  18. Priyanka Chopra Inks Talent Deal With ABC

    December 17, 2014 12:10 PM EST Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra continues to take over America. The Indian film actress and singer -- and Miss World 2000 -- has signed a talent holding deal with ABC Studios, The Hollywood Reporter   has learned. Under the one-year pact, ABC wil ...

  19. Nightclub Company Hakkasan to Buy The Light Group in $36 Million Deal

    December 17, 2014 10:06 AM EST One purveyor of swanky Las Vegas Strip nightlife is buying another in a $36 million deal announced Tuesday. Hakkasan Group, whose name is affixed to a five-story nightclub and dining experience at the MGM Grand hotel-casino, is buying The Light ...

  20. Apple Found Not Guilty of Anti-Competitive Practices in iTunes Case

    December 16, 2014 1:35 PM EST A jury in Oakland, Ca. has ruled unanimously that Apple was not acting against the best interests of its customers when implementing various digital rights managment (DRM) controls in its iTunes software between 2006 and 2009. Apple was facing p ...

  21. Publishing Briefs: Nettwerk Buys Stake in Ten Ten Music Group, BMG Chrysalis Inks Hasbro Deal, Greg Kurstin Re-Ups With Sony/ATV

    December 16, 2014 12:40 PM EST Billboard's Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world. • The Nashville music publishing scene continues to attract investors. In the latest deal, Nettwerk Music Group 's publishing division has acquired 50 p ...

  22. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Timbaland Sued by Hungarian Singer Over 'Drunk In Love' Use

    December 15, 2014 8:09 PM EST A hungarian singer is suing Beyoncé , Jay Z and Timbaland for allegedly using her voice without permission in the hit song "Drunk In Love."  Beyonce & Taylor Swift Dance Together at Justin Timberlake Show Monika Miczura Juhasz, kno ...

  23. Spotify Founder/CEO Daniel Ek: 'We Need to Do a Better Job Explaining to Artists How Streaming Benefits Them'

    December 15, 2014 1:30 PM EST Billboard: What were the best and worst parts of 2014 for you? Daniel Ek: We launched in almost 30 new countries. The growth in subscribers has been fantastic. And I became a father about a year ago, so watching my daughter grow up has been rem ...

  24. YouTube Music Admin Company AdRev Snaps Up Distro Service DashGo

    December 15, 2014 1:16 PM EST AdRev , a music administration service for YouTube, has acquired digital distributor DashGo . Terms of the deal were not disclosed. All DashGo employees will make the transition to AdRev, and DashGo will retain its name, according to AdRev CEO R ...

  25. Corner Office: Republic Records Honchos Monte & Avery Lipman Discuss Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' Smash and Defend 'The Voice'

    December 15, 2014 10:41 AM EST Among the many plaques lining the walls of Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman ’s midtown Manhattan office, the one marking his 19-year-old label’s first 10 million albums sold (certified in 2000) is perhaps most illustrative. Once-buzzin ...

  26. Exclusive Q&A: Deezer's New Chief Marketing Officer Aims for U.S. Market

    December 15, 2014 9:10 AM EST Deezer, the world's second-largest music subscription service, has stepped up its bid for the world's largest music market. The Paris-based company debuted in the United States in September with Deezer Elite, a $19-a-month music subscr ...

  27. Smokey Robinson Settling With Ex-Wife Over Terminated Song Rights

    December 14, 2014 1:46 PM EST A closely-watched dispute between Smokey Robinson and his ex-wife Claudette Robinson over song rights is about to be resolved. On Thursday (Dec. 11), the parties told a judge that they had reached a settlement in principle. Smokey Robinson Exclu ...

  28. Wondering Sound Cuts Editorial Staff

    December 12, 2014 8:15 PM EST Update, Dec. 13: A source familiar with the situation tells Billboard that editor-in-chief J. Edward Keyes and managing editor Laura Leebove were not affected by the downsizing. Online music publication Wondering Sound  has cut what seems to be ...

  29. Judge Rejects Bid to Delay Tracy Morgan's Lawsuit Against Walmart

    December 12, 2014 4:34 PM EST On Friday, a federal judge in New Jersey refused to halt a lawsuit brought by Tracy Morgan and others seriously injured in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Deadly Crash The plaintiffs are suing Walmart for n ...

  30. How Apple Shook Up the Music Industry in 2014

    December 12, 2014 4:02 PM EST Who shook up music the most in 2014? Sorry, Taylor. Nice try, Queen Bey. Apple’s Sept. 9 press conference that unveiled the iPhone 6 was the year’s -- maybe even the ­decade’s -- watershed moment. In one presentation, the company went all in on ...

  31. CMA CEO Sarah Trahern on Being 'Blown Away' During Her First Year on the Job

    December 12, 2014 1:06 PM EST It's been nearly a year since veteran television executive Sarah Trahern took over the role of chief executive officer at the Country Music Assn., joining the trade group from Great American Country (GAC), where she had served as senior vp/ ...

  32. Latin Radio Exec Jesus Salas Cleared of Criminal Charges in Rape Accusation

    December 12, 2014 12:34 PM EST No criminal charges will be filed against prominent Latin radio executive Jesus Salas in a case that saw his former girlfriend, aspiring singer Katherine Alexander , accuse him of rape and gun threats. According to court documents obtained by Bi ...

  33. Lil Wayne vs. Cash Money: Can the Rapper Leave the Label He's Been With Since He Was 13?

    December 12, 2014 12:20 PM EST Album delays are ­nothing new for Lil Wayne . But the MC sent shockwaves through the hip-hop world on Dec. 4 when he publicly blamed his label for the ever-shifting release date of his new album, Tha Carter V . Calling himself a "prisoner,& ...

  34. Cuban Rapper El B Disputes Reports of U.S. Agency Infiltration

    December 12, 2014 11:13 AM EST Bian Oscar Rodriguez Gala , the Cuban rapper known as El B , has responded to an Associated Press report detailing how the United States the Agency for International Development used members of Havana’s hip-hop movement in a campaign in an effor ...

  35. Why Drake Managed to Rule Hip-Hop in 2014 -- Without a New Album or Hit Single

    December 12, 2014 10:05 AM EST The best rapper in 2014 didn't need a new album or hit single to prove his dominance. Drake 's last LP, Nothing Was the Same , arrived in September 2013, but thanks to a stream of songs surprise-released online, carefully curated remix ...

  36. ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento Announces Retirement

    December 12, 2014 9:00 AM EST After a 33-year career at ASCAP -- 17 of them as the CEO -- John LoFrumento is retiring from the performance rights organization as of Jan. 1. During his tenure at the head of organization, membership grew from 70,000 members to 520,000, while d ...

  37. Jermaine Dupri's Atlanta Mansion in Foreclosure

    December 11, 2014 5:25 PM EST According to foreclosure documents, music producer Jermaine Dupri is losing his multimillion-dollar Atlanta mansion. A mortgage foreclosure notice from September says Dupri owes $2.5 million on the 9,441-square-foot home. The notice says the son ...

  38. Less Could Mean More: Why Merlin's Deal With Pandora May Pay Off

    December 11, 2014 3:26 PM EST Merlin has come under attack in the last month for making a deal that, according to its critics, lowers its member labels' per-stream royalty rate with Pandora, and thus their revenues. Though in time they may ultimately be correct, those c ...

  39. Electric Zoo 2013 Death Leads to Guilty Plea

    December 11, 2014 3:23 PM EST A New York man has pleaded guilty to a narcotics charge in a prosecution that arose after an overdose death at a New York City music festival. Patrick Morgan of Buffalo pleaded guilty Thursday (Dec. 11) to one count of conspiring to distribute n ...

  40. 'We Know What To Do': Scott Borchetta on Joining 'American Idol' and Signing This Season's Winner

    December 11, 2014 2:59 PM EST The winner of American Idol season 14 will be in good hands. The performer taking the top spot this year will be signed to the same record label as Taylor Swift and will be guided by one of the industry's deftest management hands: Big Machi ...

  41. Radio DJ Ray Teret, Friend of Jimmy Savile, Jailed for 25 Years Over Sex Attacks

    December 11, 2014 1:44 PM EST Former radio DJ Ray Teret has been jailed for 25 years following his conviction for a series of rapes and indecent assaults on "star-struck" young girls in the 1960s and 1970s. Teret was found guilty of seven counts of rape and 11 char ...

  42. Sony/ATV Chairman Blasts Payouts from Internet Radio

    December 11, 2014 1:41 PM EST Pandora is coming under fire again for its payouts to songwriters and publishers. In a letter to his staff, Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman/CEO Marty Bandier notes that despite the success of two of the company's biggest songwriters -- J ...

  43. Warner Music Group Revenues Top $3 Billion Following Acquisitions, Streaming Gains

    December 11, 2014 12:55 PM EST Aided by an acquisition and gains in streaming services, Warner Music Group revenues topped $3 billion for the first time in five years. For the year ended Sept. 30, WMG's revenue increased 5.2 percent to $3.02 billion on a constant currenc ...

  44. Sinead O'Connor's New Managers Have No Plans to Silence the Singer

    December 11, 2014 11:17 AM EST No one uses her blog as a substitute for placing classified ads quite like Sinead O’Connor . Three years ago, she famously blogged in search of a boyfriend, getting quite quotably specific and explicit about her preferences. That call never did ...

  45. How the U.S. Government Infiltrated Cuba's Hip-Hop Scene to Spark Change

    December 11, 2014 10:01 AM EST In early 2009, a U.S. government contractor sent a Serbian music promoter to Cuba with these covert marching orders: Recruit one of Havana's most notorious rappers to spark a youth movement against the government. In communist Cuba, it was ...

  46. British Trade Body BPI Appoints New Chairman

    December 11, 2014 9:58 AM EST British trade body BPI has appointed former Sony Music UK CEO Ged Doherty as chairman of BPI and the BRIT Awards, effective on New Year's Day. Doherty replaces Tony Wadsworth , who announced in March he was stepping down from the role after ...

  47. Joe Nichols Signs With WME

    December 10, 2014 8:22 PM EST William Morris Endeavor Entertainment has signed four-time Grammy nominee, country artist Joe Nichols , the agency announced Wednesday. Joe Nichols No. 1 On Country Airplay Nichols collected his sixth career Country Airplay No. 1 over the summer ...

  48. Dr. Dre Tops Forbes' World's Highest Paid Musicians, Beats Beyoncé by $500M

    December 10, 2014 7:08 PM EST After dominating Forbes ' Hip-Hop Cash Kings list a few months ago, it should come as little surprise Dr. Dre tops the magazine's 2014 World's Highest-Paid Musicians list as well -- beating out Beyonce by half a billion dollars.   ...

  49. Indie Film and TV Player IM Global Launches Music Division

    December 10, 2014 3:56 PM EST Seven-year-old company IM Global, a subsidiary of the entertainment division of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA, has formed a joint venture with veteran music and private equity executive David Schulhof .   The new division, IM Global Music, wi ...

  50. DJ Equipment Producer Vestax Has Reportedly Filed for Bankruptcy

    December 10, 2014 11:53 AM EST Vestax, the Japanese manufacturer of DJ equipment including turntables and digital mixers, has reportedly filed for bankruptcy after more than 37 years. According to Teikoku Databank , a credit research company, Vestax began proceedings in Tokyo ...

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