Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 29, 2018

Taylor Swift (pictured) is sure to score huge bucks, Aretha is back in the charts, and Hey Jude turns 50. Also in the headlines are Viv Albertine, Ariana Grande, Drake, Robert Plant, Culture Club, Edmonton Blues Festival, Elliott Smith, Adidas, Cryptorips, and Rory Gallagher.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 29, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Taylor Swift stands to make music business history as a free agent

Come November, the superstar will be able to sign a new deal for the first time since she was 15. And it's sure to be a big one. – Chris Willman, Variety

Aretha Franklin's '30 Greatest Hits' becomes her highest charting album in 50 years

Aretha Franklin’s 30 Greatest Hits album climbs 7-6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, granting the late Queen of Soul her highest-charting album in 50 years. It ascends on the list dated Sept. 1 with 52,000 units earned in the tracking week ending Aug. 23 (up 49 percent), according to Nielsen Music, with 18,000 of that sum coming from traditional album sales (up 47 percent). – Keith Caulfield, Billboard


‘Hey Jude’ at 50: Celebrating the Beatles’ most open-hearted masterpiece

The band’s biggest hit was a tribute to everything the members loved and respected about each other. –  Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

Viv Albertine’s got something to say

For her second memoir, the irreverent punk icon mixes a bit of vulnerability with a lot of grit. – James Parker, The Atlantic

Ariana Grande celebrates her No. 1 album with an intimate fan show·

“I really don’t have any plan for how this will go,” Ariana Grande announced to a packed audience at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Saturday night. “It’s really spontaneous and we just hang out.” –Gerrick Kennedy, LA Times

Drake’s Madison Square Garden show was one long victory lap

On Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Drake mulled over his decade-long relationship with New York City — reminisced about his first show at the small downtown club SOBs, and the first time he heard his breakout hit “Best I Ever Had” played on Hot 97, the city’s hip-hop institution.  – Elias Light, Rolling Stone

Robert Plant on The Stones, rocking through retirement and the tragedy that still haunts him..

We’re in his changing room at a West Country rock festival and Plant, guitar in hand, is telling me about his remarkable life and career. For a while in the Seventies Led Zeppelin ran the world and Plant was the president, filling stadiums and selling over 300 million albums. – Michael Hodges, Event

Boy George & Culture Club sounded both nostalgic and fresh at the Sony Centre

It felt like a return to the 80s for the new wave legends, but it wasn't just a throwback. – Chaka V. Grier, NOW


Quebec nurse donates Taylor Swift tickets to Michigan teen with brain injury

When Taylor Swift took the stage at Detroit’s Ford Field Tuesday night, tens of thousands of fans sang along to every word. For one 15-year-old fan who attended the show with the help of a nurse from Quebec, that would have been impossible just a few months ago.  – Adam Burns, CP

New voices, seasoned veterans help celebrate Blues Festival's 20th year

By the end of its second night, Edmonton’s 20th annual Blues Festival had already offered choice opportunities for making new musical acquaintances and catching up  The Saturday box office came within double digits of a sellout. – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Elliott Smith's producer and archivist reflect on XO at 20

His producer Rob Schnapf doesn't jibe with the despondent myth of the deceased singer-songwriter and his breakout 1998 album, XO.  – Billboard

In the Shadow of Cryptorips 

Two years after recording Shadow Up Gold—and two months after its surprise release—the Halifax-four-piece finally celebrated with a hometown show.  –Jonathan Briggins, The Coast

How Adidas rethought the music festival with a fan-first event

In a partnership with Journeys, the event used interactive art installations, free ticket prices, and an unexpected city choice to connect with consumers in a new way.  – Claire Hoffman, Biz Bash

Rory Gallagher fans will get a good taste of the Irish guitar legend when Band of Friends plays Vancouver

Rory Gallagher fans who've never stopped loving the Irish guitar great since his liver-related death in 1995 are in for a treat this winter. His former comrades play in Band of Friends, set for a Fox Cabaret show on Dec. 14. –  Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


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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