Music Biz Headlines, April 8, 2021

Ontario locks live-streams down again, Justin Bieber (pictured) delivers an Easter surprise, and D.O.A. reflects upon touring life. Others in the headlines include Kim Harris, the ACM Awards, BMG, KKR, Tina Turner, Linda Dawe, dancehall, Anghami, Amoeba Music, Cathal Coughlan, DMX, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, John Lennon, Ryley Walker, Richard Thompson, and Pino Palladino.

Music Biz Headlines, April 8, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Concert venues dealt another blow as Ontario Covid-19 rules prohibit live streams

Ontario concert venue owners are being dealt another Covid-19 setback after the provincial government outlawed live streaming shows for the second time this year. The latest measures prohibit virtual concerts from taking place over the next four weeks in local venues — an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Toronto venue the Horseshoe Tavern has postponed a number of virtual concerts until early May, including shows with the Trews, Terra Lightfoot and Hawksley Workman. – David Friend, CP

'God is so good': Justin Bieber surprises fans with Easter gospel album

A Canadian pop icon is releasing a string of gospel music tracks for the first time, including adding prayers for fans. The surprise release, Freedom, came out on Easter weekend. – CHVN Radio


After years of streaming music, I am spinning vinyl instead

If you bought a collection of metal, glam rock and new wave records at a family garage sale in southern Alberta in the mid-1990s, I want to talk to you. You may have purchased my teenage collection in an unauthorized transaction organized by my mom. I want the albums back, please. I’m willing to pay. – Nicole Rhodes, The Globe and Mail

On Our Radar: D.O.A. pulls back the curtain on tour life with an animated aching-back ode to reality

D.O.A. mainman Joe Keithley has been piling into tour vans since Ronald Reagan was first making plans to move into the White House. That means over 40 years of touring not just Canada and the US, but nearly every corner of the world. Think five continents, somewhere around 50 countries, and a staggering 4,000-plus shows. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight 

Pioneering record promoter Linda Dawe was a dynamic advocate for artists

The flamboyant record business in which Linda Dawe cut her teeth was far different from the more buttoned-down environment that exists today. A child of the 1960s who in the 1970s became one of the first female major-label promotion managers in Canada, Ms. Dawe blazed an earthy, effervescent and highly determined swath across a colourfully rambunctious era. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail 


Must-watch music video: A deer in the spotlight 

Maritime singer/songwriter Kim Harris and noted filmmaker Andrea Dorfman join forces on an animated version of “Heirloom.” – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


The full superstar performance lineup for the 56th ACM Awards has been announced

Artists include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Ryan Hurd, Jack Ingram, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, CeCe Winans, and Chris Young. The event airs live on Sunday, April 18 from 8-11 pm ET on CBS. – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

BMG and KKR are ready to spend $1bn on music copyrights – and that's just for starters

Sources close to the BMG/KKR alliance tell MBW that both sides (BMG via Bertelsmann; KKR via, well, KKR) have initially committed circa $500 million each to their new deal-hunting partnership, with more cash to come when that’s been spent up. – Tim Ingham, MBW

‘Tina’ premieres to 1.1 million viewers, the most for an HBO doc since 2019’s ‘Leaving Neverland’

So, Tina Turner outdoes the Bee Gees. – Tony Maglio, The Wrap

Jamaican PM Andrew Holness criticises violent Jamaican music

The Prime Minister once again lashed out at some of the country’s popular music, which he says is contributing to the high levels of crime. Holness said that entertainers often glorify violence in their songs by saying they are reflecting society’s realities. – Sheri-Kae McLeod, Caribbean National Weekly

Dancehall artists hit back at Andrew Holness for criticism of Jamaican Music

Several Jamaican dancehall artists have hit back at Prime Minister Andrew Holness for his criticisms of some local music, which he said contributes to the high crime rate on the island. But his comments did not go over well with some members of the music fraternity in Jamaica, who said that the Prime Minister was using local music as a scapegoat. – Sheri-Kae McLeod, Caribbean National Weekly


Arab Music Streamer Anghami strengthens its position in battle against Spotify

A recent deal deal will bring an injection of $40M to Anghami, which has more than 70M registered users and partnerships with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Launched in 2012 in Beirut, it now operates in 15 countries. Its main competitors are Spotify, which launched in 2018 in the region, and Deezer, which partnered exclusively that year with Rotana Music. Anghami’s staff of more than 120 includes Lebanese native Wassim "Sal" Slaibi, the manager of The Weeknd and Doja Cat. – Alexei Barrionuevo  Billboard


Amoeba Music: A look inside the sprawling new Hollywood store

L.A. store manager Jim Henderson talks about what went into the move, as Variety offers photos and video of the new location. – Chris Willman, Variety

Lines around the block at Ameoba Music’s grand reopening in Hollywood

More than a year after the pandemic forced it to shutter, and just shy of its 20th anniversary as a Hollywood fixture, music retailer Amoeba Music reopened in its new location last Thursday morning. A line of giddy, young, mostly masked shoppers, many of whom had been waiting since early morning to enter the music Valhalla, stretched south down Argyle and around the block. – Randall Roberts, LA Times 

Cathal Coughlan: The Fatima Mansions/Microdisney singer is back with a new album

It was March 26, and a real red letter day for Cathal Coughlan. It was record-release day for the former anchor of overseas cult outfits Microdisney and Fatima Mansions, and his latest chiming, lyrically-arcane solo manifesto, Song of Co-Aklan, had just hit the metaphorical streets,. – Tom Lanham, Paste

Shai Maestro is only human

The pianist and composer’s music may sometimes suggest otherwise, but he’s very much of this world—believing in the value of intimacy, conversation, and the “Grandma Rule”. – A.D. Amorosi, JazzTimes

Legendary rapper DMX suffers a heart attack

A prayer vigil was held Monday outside the suburban New York hospital where rapper DMX remained on life support Sunday following a heart attack; Simmons’ longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was admitted to the intensive care unit at White Plains Hospital after going into cardiac arrest. – AP

NFTs go mainstream - but can be complicated

The result of the sudden surge in NFT sales and media hype is that it is dismissed by many as a bubble. – Arthur Goldstuck, Sunday Times


Paul Simon fans cry foul when NBC op-ed calls him a 'footnote' to Bob Dylan

“More than harsh, the writers view of history is simply profoundly inaccurate,” Steve Van Zandt says. – Rosemary Rossi and Brian Welk, The Wrap

Keith Urban contributes to two Taylor Swift songs

Taylor Swift’s upcoming Fearless (Taylor’s Version) re-release will feature 27 tracks, including two she has recorded with former tour mate Keith Urban. Swift hinted Urban would be part of the reworked bonus album, which will be released this week, in a cryptic video she posted online on Friday. – Music News

Love Me Do? ‘Quite good’, wrote John in revealing cache of Beatles letters

Memorabilia from the band’s Hamburg years, sent to photographer Astrid Kirchherr, will be auctioned in May. – Richard Brooks, The Observer

The night Bob Seger canceled hours before showtime

Veteran concert promoter Danny Zelisko is pulling the curtain back on nearly 50 years of transcendent highs and devastating lows in his new book, All Exce$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter. – Ultimate Classic Rock

Ryley Walker: 'Going two days sober was impossible since I was a kid'

He was hailed as the new Nick Drake, but addiction nearly destroyed him. Now he writes songs ‘in a state of joy’ and, after stacking shelves for minimum wage, has released his best work yet. –  Fergal Kinney, The Guardian

Pino Palladino, pop's greatest bassist: 'I felt like a performing monkey!'

One of the world’s most celebrated bass players has worked with everyone from Adele to Elton John, the Who and D’Angelo. But the Welsh musician has hidden from the spotlight – until now. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian


A beloved musician’s memoir is cause for celebration ... and mourning

Richard Thompson wrote a book during the pandemic. The new “Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975” is a memoir covering eight years in Thompson’s life, from the beginning of his career in 1967 through his co-founding of the landmark British folk-rock band Fairport Convention and on to his acclaimed recordings with his wife, Linda, and his embrace of Sufism. – RJ Smith, Los Angeles Times

Tickets Go On Sale For Billboard Canada Power Players at CN Tower
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Tickets Go On Sale For Billboard Canada Power Players at CN Tower

The landmark event on June 2 will honour the innovative individuals who are advancing Canadian music and boosting artists making a global impact.

One of the global music industry’s greatest achievements is coming to Canada’s highest stage.

On Sunday, June 2 at 8 PM EST, the first-ever edition of Billboard Canada Power Players will commence at the iconic CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

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