Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 26, 2021

The first Police Picnic (pictured) turns 40, Sarah McLachlan sells her Whistler retreat, and a big honour for Joni Mitchell. Also in the headlines are Drake, Mirvish Productions, Aerosmith, Warner Music Group, TuneCore, mandatory vaccinations, the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, Sirius XM, Tom T. Hall, Holly Gleason, Pixies, Billie Eilish, Newport Jazz Festival, and Nirvana.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 26, 2021

By Kerry Doole


Drake laughing after Kanye West shares address of his Bridle Path mansion in Toronto

Drake and Kanye West are actively feuding again, in full and conspicuous public view, as both artists get ready to drop highly-anticipated (and majorly-delayed) new albums. At least that's what I hope and assume is behind their latest social media beef, which incidentally just resulted in Ye publishing Drizzy's home address to Instagram.– BlogTO

The Weeknd buys $70-million mansion in priciest L.A. real estate deal this year

The nine-bedroom mansion features a music studio, movie theatre, steam spa and sauna, indoor pool and outdoor infinity pool with waterfall. – Colin McClelland, Financial Post

The Police Picnic turned the spotlight on Oakville 40 years ago 

Forty years ago today, 25,000 young people and a bunch of musical upstarts came together in a wide-open Oakville field for one of the first festivals of a new kind of music. – Steve Pecar, InSauga


Joni Mitchell has been named MusiCares’ 2022 Person of the Year.

The beloved Canadian singer-songwriter will be toasted by the music industry at the Academy’s pre-Grammys charity event in LA on Jan. 29. The evening will be centred on her career with various artists paying tribute to Mitchell’s much-lauded songs, which have won eight Grammy Awards over the decades. A dinner, reception and silent auction will be held with proceeds going to MusiCares.  – David Friend, CP

Mirvish Productions to relaunch in Dec.– with vaccination requirements for those on stage, backstage and in the audience

Mirvish Productions, Canada’s largest commercial theatre company, is set to launch a new season of live shows in its four Toronto venues starting in December – in which only fully vaccinated artists and workers will be allowed on stage and backstage. Audiences will, likewise, be required to be vaccinated. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail

Sweet surrender: after 7 years on and off market, Sarah McLachlan finally sells Whistler retreat for $11.5 million

Sarah McLachlan has finally sold her Whistler retreat. The "I Will Remember You" singer and songwriter let go of the 5476 Stonebridge Place property for $11.5 million in June The luxurious mountain estate has a 2021 B.C. Assessment valuation of $10,954,000. – Carlito Pablo, Georgia Straight

An exhibition celebrating The Rolling Stones’ impact on pop culture lands in Kitchener

If you consider yourself a die-hard Rolling Stones fan, or even a purveyor of pop culture, THEMUSEUM in Kitchener’s latest exhibit should pique your interest. – Rachel Moore, NOW


Amid Toronto’s rave renaissance, a DJ creates a solo dance floor

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer, aka DJ Me Time, stimulates dance-floor transcendence at SummerWorks. – Kevin Ritchie, NOW


Aerosmith inks deal to bring full catalog to Universal Music Group

Another week, another legendary artist announces a career-spanning global alliance with a major record company. This time, it’s Aerosmith and UMG jointly unveiling a new deal inked just ahead of the band’s 50th anniversary. As a result of the new partnership, UMG will become home to Aerosmith’s entire recorded music catalog in 2022, as well as future music releases, merchandise and audio-visual content.–  Tim Ingham, MBW

Warner Music has changed leaders in 10 key international markets since an IPO. Why?

Warner Music Group has undergone a comprehensive leadership transformation since it floated on the Nasdaq in early June last year. The bulk of that transformation has taken place in markets outside of the UK and US. The replacement of Warner Music Canada head Steve Kane was announced this week. – MBW

China is banning music that 'insults or defames others' in its 50K karaoke venues

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has just announced that, from October 1, any music that breaches a fresh set of government rules will be banned from being played within the country's near-50,000 karaoke venues. – MBW

For those about to vax: Why vaccination proof is the new standard for concert entry

Top execs from Live Nation and AEG (and influencer Jason Isbell) tell why the move to require more of concertgoers seemed abrupt but may have been inevitable. – Chris Willman, Variety


TuneCore names Andreea Gleason as new CEO

TuneCore, one of the world’s largest DIY music distribution platforms, has promoted Andreea Gleeson to the position of CEO. The company paid out over $400M to indie artists last year. Gleeson is the first CEO of TuneCore since Scott Ackerman, who exited the role in April last year. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Are Covid Delta variant fears killing the live concert comeback?

Just before the July 4th weekend,  the music industry was hailing a post-pandemic comeback, predicting the live concert business would bounce back to pre-Covi levels as early as August. But in the last few weeks, as infections and hospitalizations from variants have risen in many parts of the world, top acts like Garth Brooks, BTS, Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Nicks and Michael Bublé have canceled upcoming tour dates. – Diane Haithman, The Wrap


'It’s All Over Now'? — Lessons from the Rolling Stones school of business

Will the death of Charlie Watts bring an end to a touring business worth billions? – Colin McClelland, Financial Post

The major record labels now pull down $2.5 million an hour

Hypebot reports: “While many artists continue to struggle financially in the new streaming economy, many major labels appear to be doing just fine, bringing in more than $20 billion in global revenue over the past year.” – Digital Media Wire

Fintech veteran gears neobank toward musicians

Kasasa executive John Waupsh decided to launch Nerve after noticing musicians, struggling to access business accounts, often rely on personal checking accounts for business deposits and expenses. – Banking Dive

Sex Pistols win legal fight against Johnny Rotten over songs

High court judge rules that Paul Cook and Steve Jones are entitled to use material in Pistol TV series. – The Guardian

SiriusXM wins appeal In Turtles/Flo & Eddie pre-1972 royalty lawsuit

Sirius XM Radio has won its appeal of the partial summary judgment awarded Flo & Eddie Inc.,  the company formed by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, in the class action case seeking royalties from the satellite and streaming service for broadcasting pre-1972 music. The case follows rulings in favor of Sirius in Florida and New York.  – Perry Michael Simon, All Access

Independent Music NZ cancels Going Global Music Summit

Upon the return of Covid-19 and alert level 4 restrictions for Aotearoa (NZ), IMNZ and the NZ Music Commission have made the decision to cancel this year's Going Global Music Summit, originally to take place in September. Full refunds for ticket-holders are currently being processed. – Scoop

Remembering Tom T. Hall: That's How He Got to Nashville (1936-2021)

Hall, who died Friday at age 85, was a deceptively simple man. He looked like a banker and sang in the plainest of baritones. But he had 30 top-20 country singles, including six #1’s, and he wrote nearly as many hits for other artists. The only explanation for this paradox is the power of his songwriting. – Geoffrey Himes, Paste


Music writer Jessica Hopper’s collection of criticism offers a female perspective in a male-dominated genre

Journalist Jessica Hopper's acclaimed 2015 book, the cheekily titled The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic, was recently re-released in an expanded edition. Nearly double the length of its first incarnation, it includes more of Hopper’s incisive features, profiles and reviews from the last few years, as well as a deeply personal afterword and a new foreword by comedian Samantha Irby. – Tabassum Siddiqui, Globe and Mail

Pixies cancel US tour due to Covid-19: “This is the right decision for our fans and crew members’ safety”

The band were due to hit the road next month. – Rhian Daly, NME

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Holly Gleason, artist development consultant and music critic.

The brash, wildly talented Nashville-based journalist, author, and artist development consultant Holly Gleason was presented with the CMA Media Achievement Award in 2019. Gleason’s formidable knowledge of American country music, and rock and roll allows her to write from a place of deep knowledge. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Reflections on the 2021 Newport Jazz Festival

This week is a first for the column: coverage of the venerable Newport Jazz Festival. Established in 1954, the fest remains one of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world. It has been the site of quite a few significant moments in jazz, many live recordings, and a superb film of the 1958 fest, Jazz on a Summer’s Day. – No Depression


Billie Eilish concert film is a partly animated ‘love letter to Los Angeles’

Eilish will partner with director Robert Rodriguez and Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne for a Hollywood Bowl concert film that is also a partly animated “love letter to Los Angeles.” The special will include animation and concert footage to take fans “on a dreamlike journey through Billie’s hometown of Los Angeles and its most iconic backdrops,” according to Disney+, which will air the special on Sept. 3. – Tim Molloy MovieMaker

The baby on Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover sues band for child sexual exploitation

Spencer Elden claims that the image is child pornography, and that consent to use it was never formally granted. – Consequence

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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