Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 13, 2019

Céline Dion dazzles in Toronto, Derrick Ross profiled, and Alanis musical earns raves. Others in the headlines include Frigs, Keithmas, Gillian Smith, Xmas records, Hipgnosis, Ed Sheeran, Virgin Fest LA, Best Of lists, Eagles, Def Leppard, Tidal, and Cyndi Lauper.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 13, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Céline Dion was flawless in Toronto, with vocal power, charm and hits to burn

Céline Dion was already in tears by the end of her first song at the Scotiabank Arena on Monday night. . And those tears would reappear periodically throughout the rest of a two-hour performance that consistently projected a warmth and humanity to rival its polish and professionalism. – Ben Rayner, The Star

The man behind the music

Derrick Ross is helping aspiring Canadian musicians get their big break. – Ovation

Frigs' lessons from Orville Peck

After backing up the breakout country star for most of 2019, the Toronto post-punk band are back on their own path. Here's what they've learned. – Michael Rancic, NOW

Jagged Little Pill review – Alanis musical hits Broadway with a bang

Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody has brought Alanis Morissette’s music to the stage with a contrived yet hugely entertaining show. – Alexis Soloski, The Guardian


Toronto fans encounter chaos as they flock to buy Alanis Morissette presale tickets

Even though the venue has a capacity of 16,000, presale tickets sold out within minutes, to the dismay of many would-be concertgoers who had signed up for Morissette's mailing list. – BlogTO

Mile End record stores uncertain about future as they face fines over business hours

Those open late on Record Store Day have now received fines for thousands of dollars. – Colin Harris, CBC News 

Started as an excuse for a party, and now one of Vancouver's premiere social events, Keithmas celebrates its first decade

 Keithmas, which began a decade ago as a small, and appropriately booze-soaked, celebration of both Christmas and the birthday of Keith Richards, one of rock’s most beloved showmen. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Graham Rockingham’s best bets

Lowdown Dirty Mojos, Steve Strongman, LTtheMonk, Bad Communication and Chantal Kreviazuk are all playing in the city this week. – Hamilton Spectator

Gillian Smith highlights Canadian women composers

When it came time for Smith to conceive of her first album, she knew that she wanted to perform contemporary work written by women, who continue to be under-represented in classical music repertoire. – Meredith Dault, SOCAN magazine

Christmas albums of 2019 yield some truly great gold and plenty of Pentatonix-brand crap

 New albums by Ana Gasteyer, Los Lobos, and Robson Singers are worth your while this holiday season. – Staff, Georgia Straight

Kyle Lowry among celebrities to make onstage cameos in The Nutcracker

Toronto Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry is set to be a pointe guard in The Nutcracker. Other special guests this season include soprano Measha Brueggergosman, Stars lead singer Torquil Campbell and WE co-founder Marc Kielburger. – CP



Having spent $665m on songs, Hipgnosis now owns slices of Shape Of You and Uptown Funk

Hipgnosis Songs Fund now co-owns a run of the world’s biggest hits from the past decade. – Tim Ingham, MBW

79 weeks at No 1: Ed Sheeran named UK artist of the decade

Official Charts Company awards singer-songwriter for having the most No 1s this decade, and the highest number of weeks on top of the singles and albums charts combined. – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

The 100 Best Songs of 2019

The past and the future combined in 2019, a year of satisfying comebacks from veteran artists and exciting breakouts from newer ones. It felt both like the culmination of the decade that was, and also a glimpse of the first two or three years of the next one. – Billboard Staff

String of suicides highlights the pressures on young entertainers in South Korea

Experts say a number of factors in South Korea are contributing to a sense of desperation felt by many young entertainers: the demand that they present a perfect public image, their rigorous training schedule — especially for musical performers — and a culture of online bullying that especially targets outspoken women like Sulli and Hara. – Jae-Ha KimVariety

Sir Richard Branson announces new details of Virgin Fest LA from the roof of Banc of California Stadium

Sir Richard Branson says the inaugural Virgin Fest Los Angeles will take place on June 6 & 7 at Banc of California Stadium and Exposition Park. While the festival was first announced in October 2018, Branson provided new details about the event in a video featuring him atop the stadium’s roof. – Celebrity Access


The best reissues and archival albums of 2019

This year, record labels and sleuthing researchers leaned on those scrawled morsels of information on tape boxes to bring out an astonishing array of music from the vaults. These include massive hauls of demo recordings, odd never-released curiosities and well known works that have been restored to the artist's original vision. Here are the best of them from this year. – Tom Moon, NPR


Jazz wars in the ’70s

“Maybe the best that can be said of jazz in the ’70s is that it didn’t just survive. It established its own precedents and raised important questions about an art that was finally pushed beyond its golden age.” – Gary Giddins, Village Voice

How Moondog captured the sounds of New York

Synchronizing his work to traffic and footsteps, the musician and composer translated the clamor of street life into song. – Amanda Petrusich,  New Yorker

Eagles add to ‘Hotel California’ 2020 Tour

The Eagles have added dates to their 2020 tour in which they will perform their Hotel California album in its entirety. The dates will begin in February 2020.– Best Classic Bands

Dolby Atmos Music comes to Jay-Z's Tidal service

Dolby takes on Sony's 360 Reality Audio by bringing its immersive Atmos Music format to Tidal Hi-Fi subscribers. – C-Net

Cyndi Lauper honored with United Nations Human Rights award for LGBTQ+ advocacy

The legendary Cyndi Lauper was honored in Los Angeles Tuesday night for her enduring support of the LGBTQ+ community and her message of tolerance inspiring people to be true to themselves. Presented by pop star Kesha, Lauper accepted the United Nation's High Note Global Prize. – Tony Morrison, Good Morning America 

Def Leppard signs worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act Def Leppard has signed a global administration deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Billboard is reporting. Over the course of a 40 plus year career, Def Leppard has secured a whopping 19 Billboard Hot 100 hits and clocked 29 songs on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. The albums Pyromania and Hysteria, have both sold more than 10 million copies each.– Celebrity Access

Liam Gallagher sound cut during final Melbourne song

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was mid-way through his former Oasis hit Supersonic last night when the power was cut. The venue has an 11 pm curfew, with the fine for going over set at $250,000. – Tim Cashmere, Noise 11

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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