1. Universal Music Presses Court Bid to Void Deal With Prince Estate

    June 28, 2017 9:09 AM EDT Lawyers for Universal Music Group have renewed their request that a Minnesota judge cancel the company’s music rights deal with Prince ’s estate, saying UMG will otherwise have to sue in litigation that could keep fans from hearing new music from ...

  2. New App Stationhead Could Be Just What the Streaming Business Needs

    June 27, 2017 2:41 PM EDT By turning playlists into personal radio stations powered by collective listening, the streaming business might just have found the shot in the arm it's been looking for When Spotify's global head of creator services Troy Carter was aske ...

  3. Florida Georgia Line and Backstreet Boys Crown Country Airplay; Sam Hunt Makes History

    June 27, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Florida Georgia Line , the duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard , earns its 11th No. 1 on Billboard 's Country Airplay chart (dated July 8) as "God, Your Mama, and Me," featuring Backstreet Boys , ascends 2-1. In its 24th week on t ...

  4. Jail and High Decibels: RKM & Ken-Y Speak for the First Time About Their Reunion

    June 26, 2017 2:42 PM EDT Following a four-year split, Puerto Rican duo RKM & Ken-Y are getting together again, Billboard has learned. The duo, known for their blend of reggaeton (courtesy of RKM) and melodic vocals (Ken-Y), are working on new music that will be out in ...

  5. BMG Will Release a Book on Metal Blade Records on Their Iconic History Later This Summer

    June 26, 2017 9:34 AM EDT Since the '80s, Metal Blade Records has been one of the most legendary heavy metal labels to date. Because of their rich history, the genre purveyors have written a new book, The Sake of Heaviness: the History of Metal Blade Records, to docum ...

  6. How BMG Is Helping Nickelback and Others Return to The Charts

    June 23, 2017 4:49 PM EDT The band's new album is set to debut in the top ten of the Billboard 200 this weekend. They've had petitions circulated to prevent them from performing in places as wide-ranging as the countries of Australia and the United Kingdom to an ...

  7. Grenfell Tower Benefit Single Becomes Fastest-Selling U.K. Single of the Decade

    June 23, 2017 3:00 PM EDT "Bridge Over Troubled Water" remake hits No. 1 on U.K. singles chart after just 40 hours of sales. The all-star, fundraising remake of Simon & Garfunkel 's “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Syco Music/Sony), recorded in response to ...

  8. Yep Roc Records Announces 20th Anniversary Concerts: Exclusive

    June 23, 2017 10:11 AM EDT Yep Roc Records turns 20 this year, and it's throwing a party to celebrate. Label artists Nick Lowe, Dave and Phil Alvin, Los Straitjackets, Tony Joe White and the Stray Birds are the first announced performers for a series of concerts taking ...

  9. The Wild West of Record Deals: With Industry in Flux, Labels and Artists Shake Things Up

    June 22, 2017 2:02 PM EDT Amid the changing economics of the music industry, all parties are venturing away from standard contracts, experimenting with new ideas and fresh approaches. Marshmello , a dance-music DJ spinning at clubs and festivals around the world this sum ...

  10. German Label Giegling Faces Backlash After Founder Konstantin Says Women 'Usually Worse DJs Than Men'

    June 22, 2017 1:10 PM EDT German DJ and Giegling label boss Konstantin is in hot water over comments he made to German magazine Groove. He was quoted as saying women are “usually worse DJs than men,” a comment that was covered by Mixmag and other dance music publications. ...

  11. Capitol Music Group Relaunches Priority Records as an Indie-Leaning Distributor: Exclusive

    June 22, 2017 11:06 AM EDT The legendary rap imprint, which gained notoriety and respect as a pioneering distributor of early West Coast gangsta rap, returns with an independent focus Few record labels were as important to the rise of West Coast hip-hop as Priority Records ...

  12. Venezuelan Phenom Danny Ocean Signs to Warner Music Group: Exclusive

    June 22, 2017 10:19 AM EDT A month ago, Spotify was calling Venezuelan Danny Ocean the "hottest unsigned Latin artist on Spotify." The accolades came in the wake of a single song, "Me rehuso," which has steadily climbed Spotify’s playlists and now sits a ...

  13. Zayn Malik Says He Used to Be Profiled at U.S. Airports

    June 21, 2017 2:50 PM EDT What’s that gentle, cologne-scented breeze? Could it be—the first whispers of Zayn’s second solo album cycle? Indeed! In a new interview with the U.K.’s  Evening Standard , the former One Direction member born Zayn Malik talks about coping with hi ...

  14. Third Man's Lillie Mae Is Carving Her Solo Path, With Jack White's Help

    June 21, 2017 11:00 AM EDT "The best stuff coming out of Nashville is all by women," said musician Steve Earle in a recent interview with The Guardian , echoing a thought that has been expressed often in recent months. While he didn’t specifically name any artists ...

  15. 'Reckless' Duo Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, Sugar Sugar's Andy Kim Win Top Honors at SOCAN Awards

    June 21, 2017 4:37 AM EDT The writers behind Canada’s biggest songs of 2016 were honored at the annual SOCAN Awards Monday night (June 19) in Toronto, along with veterans with decades of hits and creators with that one song that defined them. From Shaun Frank’s “Closer” wi ...

  16. Mobb Deep's Prodigy 'Made Some of the Best Hip-Hop Records of All Time,' Steve Rifkind Says

    June 20, 2017 9:43 PM EDT The label head knew the late rapper for nearly a quarter-century. The death of Prodigy (a.k.a. Albert Johnson ) of Mobb Deep on Tuesday (June 20) drew an avalanche of condolences and remembrances from across the hip-hop community, recognizing the ...

  17. Small Russian Labels Balk at 'Unfavorable' Licensing Deals From VKontakte

    June 20, 2017 2:45 PM EDT The social network VKontakte -- aka "The Russian Facebook" -- which recently launched a paid music service and has license agreements with Sony, Warner and Universal, is having trouble signing deals with smaller, local labels. "Judg ...

  18. How Irv Gotti Brought Murder Inc. to 300 Entertainment

    June 20, 2017 12:41 PM EDT In May, Irv Gotti announced on Instagram that he was reviving his label Murder Inc., a roster co-founded with his brother, Chris Gotti, that was comprised of Ja Rule , Ashanti and others who delivered chart-topping Rap&B hits in the early augh ...

  19. Lady Antebellum, Dan + Shay Earn No. 1s on Country Charts; Shania Twain Returns

    June 20, 2017 11:02 AM EDT Heart Break , the sixth studio album from Lady Antebellum , debuts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums (dated July 1), earning 53,000 equivalent albums, with 47,000 in pure sales, during the week ending June 15, according to Nielsen Music. On the all-g ...

  20. Disney Music and DigiTour Media Co-Founders Launch RMI Recordings Label: Exclusive

    June 20, 2017 9:00 AM EDT The new label will sign 'digital-first' talent. Disney Music Group with Chris Rojas and Meridith Valiando Rojas , the co-founders of DigiTour Media, today announced the formation of their new label, RMI Recordings which will sign “digita ...

  21. Industry Executives Express Cautious Optimism About Grammys' Rap Changes: 'We Need People Who Understand the Culture'

    June 16, 2017 3:01 PM EDT The urban music industry weighs in on the Recording Academy’s decision to add a rap nomination review committee. While the Recording Academy’s addition of a nomination review committee for the rap  fields at the Grammy Awards is welcome news for t ...

  22. Lyrics Stuck in Your Head? Soon You'll Be Able to Put Them on Shirts, Mugs, Pillow Cases, Shower Curtains...

    June 16, 2017 1:27 PM EDT LyricFind is preparing to launch LyricMerch to serve up on-demand (and fully licensed) lyric merchandise. LyricFind, the global leader in licensed lyrics with a catalogue of more than 1 million songs from deals with over 4000 music publishers, is ...

  23. Steve Madden's 5Towns Label Announces First Signing

    June 16, 2017 12:26 PM EDT Steve Madden is adding “music” to the front of his perennial mogul status after signing New York singer EZI as the first artist for his recently launched 5Towns Records, a venture with music industry veteran and frequent collaborator Steve Feinber ...

  24. Innovation In Music Awards Honor John Esposito, Bobby Bones and More Industry Vanguards

    June 16, 2017 10:38 AM EDT The inaugural Innovation in Music Awards (IMAs) were celebrated June 6 at Nashville’s Westin Hotel, honoring mostly major players in the industry who, according to the awards criteria, "have played a critical role in the development and advan ...

  25. BMG Inks Deal For New Building on Nashville's Music Row

    June 15, 2017 9:15 PM EDT The 120,000-square-foot building will be named, most appropriately, ‘The BMG Building.' BMG today announced it has signed a deal to begin development of a new full-service music facility on Nashville’s Music Row. The planned state-of-the-art ...

  26. How Amazon's Echo Is Making Major Labels Rethink Their Tunes

    June 15, 2017 1:16 PM EDT As voice-activation technology from Amazon, Google and Apple goes mainstream, labels are looking to adapt to -- and capitalize on -- the latest frontier. Recently, Sony Music Entertainment assembled a six-person squad to crack what is shaping up t ...

  27. 'Glee' Music Supervisor PJ Bloom Joins Warner Bros. Records as SVP of Film & TV

    June 15, 2017 12:49 PM EDT Music supervisor PJ Bloom , whose credits include the entire Glee series and over 50 films, has joined Warner Bros. Records as senior vice president of film and television music and soundtracks. The award-winning supervisor and publishing exec wil ...

  28. Lucian Grainge Pens Tribute to Late Brother Nigel: Exclusive

    June 15, 2017 12:38 PM EDT Esteemed A&R executive Nigel Grainge died June 11 at age 70 after a storied career, during which he developed stars such as Sinéad O’Connor and the Steve Miller Band. After founding Ensign Records in 1976, he started and sold music publisher D ...

  29. The Success of 'Despacito' Has Labels Looking to Latin

    June 15, 2017 11:30 AM EDT As the Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber collab dominates the summer, A&R executives spot a trend. "Despacito," the first mostly Spanish-language song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 20 years, has already brought ...

  30. Clive Davis to Be Honored at Italy's Ischia Fest

    June 15, 2017 10:32 AM EDT Record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis is no stranger to the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest. After being feted twice previously with the fest’s legend award and platinum telegatto, Davis is now set to be honored July 11 with ...

  31. Billboard's Dance Power Players 2017: The DJs, Execs and Tastemakers Cueing Up Tomorrow

    June 15, 2017 10:14 AM EDT The Chainsmokers' manager Adam Alpert leads Billboard's annual list of DJ-producers, tastemakers and other movers and shakers who are driving the $7.4 billion global genre. Adam Alpert , 37 |  CEO, Disruptor Records, Selector Songs " ...

  32. Exclusive: Amazon Music and Fat Possum Records Team Up For 'Worried Blues' Series of Blues Rarities

    June 15, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Fat Possum Records and Amazon Music are partnering to release Worried Blues , 10 albums of rare, long out-of-print recordings from such historic Delta blues artists as Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, R.L. Burnside , Reverend Gary Davis and Hone ...

  33. Grammys Make Sweeping Changes to Voting, Top Album and Rap Categories

    June 14, 2017 10:55 AM EDT A slew of changes to the rules and procedures governing the Grammy Awards could curb fraud, boost songwriters’ profiles, increase voting participation from touring musicians and young voters, and help shift races such as the best rap music from po ...

  34. Blake Shelton, Sara Evans and Scott Borchetta on Entering the Alcohol Biz: 'If We Do This Right, This Culture Outlives All of Us'

    June 14, 2017 9:47 AM EDT "One hundred years from now, [our bottle] could be sitting on a table," said Borchetta, just one of several country music figures pitching their spirits at the CMA Fest. "If we do this right, this culture outlives all of us." C ...

  35. Sony Music's Rob Stringer to Receive U.K.'s Music Industry Trusts Award

    June 14, 2017 12:32 AM EDT Rob Stringer , the relatively new CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, is already receiving industry honors. It was announced today (June 9) that he will receive the U.K.’s prestigious Music Industry Trusts Award in recognition of his outstanding cont ...

  36. CIMA Awards: Canadian Indies Honor Arts & Crafts for Gord Downie Project, Iconic Promoter Donald Tarlton

    June 13, 2017 3:17 PM EDT Stories of partnerships, loyalty, community and mentorship were key themes in the video tributes and acceptances speeches from the handful of carefully selected recipients at this year's CIMA Awards, held last night at the Glass Factory in To ...

  37. Darius Rucker Claims First Country Airplay No. 1 Since 2013

    June 13, 2017 11:53 AM EDT Darius Rucker 's "If I Told You" ascends 2-1 in its 47th week on Billboard 's Country Airplay chart (dated June 24), increasing 5 percent to 44.1 million audience impressions in the week ending June 11, according to Nielsen Mus ...

  38. LCD Soundsystem Scoff at Rhino Reissues: '[We] Aren't Announcing S--t'

    June 13, 2017 9:44 AM EDT Earlier this week, Rhino announced that they will reissue LCD Soundsystem ’s self-titled album as well as 45:33 , This Is Happening , and London Sessions on vinyl. As it turns out, all of those titles have been available for years on the DFA web s ...

  39. Nigel Grainge, Ensign Records Founder and A&R Legend, Dead at 70

    June 12, 2017 10:55 AM EDT Music executive Nigel Grainge , who  Billboard once dubbed "one of the most respected and knowledgeable A&R men in the business," died at home in Santa Monica, Calif. Sunday. He was 70.  The cause of death was complications from rece ...

  40. Halsey Earns First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom'

    June 11, 2017 4:33 PM EDT Pop singer-songwriter Halsey notches her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as her second full-length studio effort, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, debuts atop the list. The set, which was released on June 2 through Astralwerks Records, ear ...

  41. Universal's Michele Anthony on Blending Philanthropy and Music

    June 09, 2017 2:57 PM EDT Sitting down with the veteran label executive, dedicated philanthropist and UJA Music Visionary of the Year. "I'm a child of the '60s," says Michele Anthony . "So there's no demarcation between work and ­philanthropy ...

  42. Music Biz Reacts to Shock UK Election as Brexit Looms: 'We Will Be Holding Their Feet to the Fire'

    June 09, 2017 11:33 AM EDT Representatives of the U.K. music industry have warned about the potential impact that the British election will have on Brexit negotiations and business in general, following a shock result that left Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly clinging o ...

  43. Merlin Reveals $353 Million in Payments to Label Members, a 52 Percent Jump

    June 08, 2017 2:11 PM EDT Merlin said on Thursday that payouts to its 700 indie label members rose 52 percent to $353 million during the year ended March 2017, up from $232 million in the prior year. Its overall revenue has grown considerably, compared to back when streami ...

  44. Epic Records Keeps Buzzing Under Sylvia Rhone After L.A. Reid's Exit

    June 08, 2017 1:08 PM EDT It has been four weeks since Sony Music's new CEO Rob Stringer oversaw the abrupt exit of Antonio "L.A." Reid from the top job at Epic Records, a bold move that both shocked and impressed the industry amid allegations Reid had sexua ...

  45. Def Jam CEO Says Kanye's 'Always Working'

    June 08, 2017 10:04 AM EDT A few weeks ago, word on the Internet was that Kanye West was reportedly  holing up in a mountaintop retreat (whether in Wyoming or Utah remains unclear) and working on a new album. In a new interview with  Variety , the CEO of 'Ye's lab ...

  46. Def Jam's Steve Bartels Talks A&R, Artistry & The Ultimate '80s DJ Tracks in Midem Keynote Address

    June 07, 2017 8:20 PM EDT The very essence of the artist, more so than the intricacies of the inner-workings of a record label, were at the heart of the Midem keynote with Def Jam Recordings CEO Steve Bartels. Interviewed by music writer and former Billboard editor Joe Lev ...

  47. Country Vocal Groups Are Resonating Again On the Charts: 5 Acts to Watch

    June 07, 2017 2:00 PM EDT Watch out, country music awards shows: Your vocal group categories have just gotten a whole lot more competitive. With more than 20 groups now signed to significant Nashville labels, it’s a fertile time for the field. In fact, there arguably hasn’ ...

  48. Reservoir Buys Publishing Catalog of Metal Label Century Media, Home of Deicide and Shadows Fall

    June 07, 2017 11:36 AM EDT Reservoir Media has acquired the publishing catalog of heavy metal label Century Media, giving it the rights to 9,000 songs and the contracts of more than 350 songwriters, the company has announced. This deal, the terms of which were undisclosed, ...

  49. Capitol Music Group Appoints No I.D. as Executive Vice President

    June 06, 2017 12:20 PM EDT Capitol Music Group has named veteran producer Dion "No I.D." Wilson as executive vice president. In his new role at the label, No I.D. will be responsible for A&R and production and will work with senior management to assist on the ...

  50. Warner Music Creates Arts Music Division, Launches Joint Venture With Sh-K-Boom Records

    June 06, 2017 2:00 AM EDT Kevin Gore, formerly of Rhino Records, joins as president of new division focusing on classical, musical theatre, jazz and more non-pop genres. Warner Music has doubled down on music outside the pop mainstream with the creation of a new repertoir ...

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