Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 20, 2018

An interview with Aretha reprised, fraud poses a problem for streaming, and Joni Mitchell's music is honoured in Saskatoon. Also making headlines are Armored Saint, Conan, Madonna, Piknic Électronik, phone songs, CNE, and Ryley Walker.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 20, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Aretha Franklin in 2007: An interview with the Queen of Soul on family, Sinatra, and more

Here, as the whole world mourns the loss of one of music's greatest legends ever, she reflects on her early days, family, being introduced by Frank Sinatra at the Oscars and more. – Steve Baltin, Forbes

Fraud has become the latest hurdle for music streaming

For Twitter, fake accounts can create a shadow army of followers that has comparatively little monetary effect. But perform the same manipulation with music streams, and it constitutes fraud. – Cherie Hu, Variety

'We're revering her music': Circle Game all about the songs of Joni Mitchell

A production featuring the music of one of Saskatoon's greatest music icons is taking the stage at Persephone Theatre as a summer "bonus show."  – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix


Armored Saint's John Bush on the tumultuous period around Symbol of Salvation

Shortly before the band flew to Europe for a run of festival gigs, we caught up with the metal veteran for an interview.  – Jason Roche, LA Weekly

‘Conan’ cuts music performances; Booker Roey Hershkovitz to exit

Beginning in January 2019, the TBS show is doing away with regular musical performances to focus more on comedy and what host Conan O’Brien calls a “leaner” late-night program. –Shirley Halperin, Variety

Aretha Franklin’s long-buried concert film could finally go public

For nearly half a century, footage of a signature performance by Aretha Franklin has stayed locked in the vault, stuck in legal limbo. Now the wait could be coming to an end. – Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post

Madonna: The business behind the music

The Queen of Pop, then a dead-broke 22-year-old, didn’t even land a full record contract on her first go-around. Within a decade, she would sign a huge deal with a reported $60M advance from Time Warner. – Courtney Smith,

Toronto electronic music fans should put Piknic Électronik on their summer bucket list

DJs Kim Ann Foxman and Toronto's Bambii were among the highlights from the long-running Montreal music festival. –  Michelle Da Silva, NOW

Hung up on you: why nothing can disconnect pop's phone obsession

From Abba to Cardi B, songs about missed calls and answering machines are never out of the charts. But why are there so few hits about texting?–  Peter Robinson, The Guardian

Labour dispute heats up as CNE opens amid worker lockout

A war of words has erupted between the City of Toronto and workers locked out from the CNE, with the former claiming union rules are making Exhibition Place uncompetitive and the latter arguing the city wants to contract out good jobs.  – Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Toronto Star


The Enthusiast: I love Ryley Walker’s music, but his tweets? He’s a social media mastermind

The underdog and self-deprecating US indie singer/songwriter is attracting a cult following.  –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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