Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 2, 2021

Stewart Goodyear (pictured) partners with the RCM, Bryan Adams contributes to the Pirelli calendar, and it is Messiah season again. Also in the headlines are Massey Hall, the Boathouse, Mozart’s Requiem, Billy Bragg, Motley Crue, Believe, Stephen Sondheim, Rihanna, Tony Bennett, Alice Cooper, Virgil Abloh, Kronos Quartet, Neil Young, Let It Be, Trey Songz, and Adele.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 2, 2021

By Kerry Doole


Get your double, double dose of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Hallelujah, rejoice greatly, for that pre-Christmas tradition, Handel’s “Messiah,” is upon us. Locally, four in-person performances of the sacred oratorio are on tap, two each by the Brott Music Festival and the Bach Elgar Choir. – Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

Man with rare autoimmune disease says making music lifts his spirit up

A man who was diagnosed with a debilitating condition and lost the ability to use his hands and legs, was back performing music on stage in Edmonton recently.   "With this condition, I know it's bringing me down, but I'm going to keep pushing on." – CBC/Radio-Canada

Massey Hall pulls off 'minor miracle’ to reopen after 3-Year, $146M revamp

After 40 months and $146 million (US) in renovations, Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall reopened to the public on Nov. 25 with the first of three sold-out shows by Gordon Lightfoot, a regular at the 127-year-old venue with at least 170 appearances under his belt. The Canadian icon played the last show before renovations began on Canada Day (July 1) in 2018. – Karen Bliss, Billboard


Bryan Adams dedicates Pirelli's 2022 calendar to 'the great stars of music'

Pirelli has unveiled "On the Road," its 2022 calendar starring some of the music industry's biggest names, including Iggy Pop, Cher, Grimes and Jennifer Hudson. – Leah Dolan, CNN

Toronto pianist Stewart Goodyear finds a special homecoming at the Royal Conservatory of Music

With any luck, I’ll be spending a cold Feb. 9 in the warmth of Koerner Hall, listening to a concert by Stewart Goodyear that should have taken place in 2020. Had the concert taken place as originally scheduled — minus Covid— I would have been listening to a Toronto pianist with an international career. As it is, I’ll be listening to the same pianist, but this time also as the first artist in residence in the history of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. – William Littler, Toronto Star

Can the Boathouse in Victoria Park be a live music venue again?

Kitchener is considering making the Boathouse a live music venue again. For two years, the city-owned building in Victoria Park has sat empty. On Tuesday, the city announced a request for proposal process asking potential applicants to come forward with their plans and submit them to the city by Jan. 10. – Liz Monteiro, Record 


Make space for a new kind of ‘Mozart’s Requiem,’ an opera project with an indie made-in-Toronto twist

Two powerhouse opera companies in Toronto have teamed up for the first time to produce a radical new interpretation of a classic work. Against the Grain Theatre (AtG)  has collaborated with the venerable Canadian Opera Company to present a filmed production of Mozart’s “Requiem,” streaming online for free. – Joshua Chong, Spectator


BMG buys Motley Crue recordings catalog for around $90M

BMG is turning up the heat in the already fierce catalog acquisitions market. Off the back of acquiring a range of rights from Tina Turner last month, today (November 30) the company has announced that it has acquired the entire recordings catalog of Mötley Crüe. The Bertelsmann-owned company says the Mötley Crüe buyout is its “largest single catalog acquisition” since it was founded in 2008. – Tim Ingham, MBW

UK’s ‘Brennan Bill’ proposes far-reaching creator compensation changes 

Weeks after Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge’s reportedly $201 million salary made headlines – and a little over a month after a competition watchdog announced a formal “probe into music streaming” – a newly introduced bill has proposed far-reaching changes to the way that UK creators are compensated. – Digital Music News


Believe buys controlling stake in Think Music for $14.6M

Paris-headquartered music company Believe has acquired a 76% stake in South India-based Think Music for €13 million (approx. $14.6m). The news marks Believe’s latest acquisition in the market, following its buyout of Indian music record label company Venus Music in 2019, which was renamed Ishtar in June 2021. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Small music venues are closing, here’s why

Small venues are essential for the survival of a city’s grassroots scene from which legends emerge. However, factors such as gentrification, higher rents, taxes, housing monopolies, lack of supports by governments, and, most recently Covid-19, have all made it difficult for small venues to survive in the face of massive challenges. –  Celebrity Access


How music created Silicon Valley

The tech titans couldn't have built their empires without songs—and now they are destroying the cultural ecosystem that made them rich. – Ted Gioia, Substack

Farewell to Stephen Sondheim

His legacy is one that will be debated and argued over as long as people care about musical theatre. – Adam Gopnik, New Yorker

How Stephen Sondheim saved my life

I heard the news that Stephen Sondheim, one of my greatest teachers and the man who showed me what might be possible in life, had died midday on Friday. It was a balm to have the news delivered by an old friend who knew the importance of the man in my life. – Michael Schellenberg Globe and Mail

Rihanna named Barbados hero, officially bestowed ‘right excellent’

Rihanna smiled under her face mask as she heard her name called in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, but hesitated before she stood up. Rihanna had just been declared a national hero by the Barbadian government and bestowed with a title, “the right excellent,” as the island bade farewell to Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and celebrated becoming a republic for the first time in history. – Danica Coto,  AP

Tony Bennett leaves his heart onstage in a moving final concert with Lady Gaga

The 95-year-old legend has lived "The Good Life" indeed. – CNN

'It was a perfect creative machine': An oral history of Alice Cooper's 'Killer' at 50

Alice Cooper and his bandmates had been working toward the mainstream breakthrough they enjoyed with "I'm Eighteen," the hit single that drove the success of their third album "Love It to Death," through some pretty lean years. – Ed Masley, Arizona Republic

Dublin’s famous music pub The Cobblestone saved from developers

Ireland’s most famous traditional music pub has been saved after a Dublin city council planning decision that is being heralded as a landmark victory over property developers. The Guardian

From Kanye to A$AP Rocky: Here are 7 iconic hip hop album covers designed by the late Virgil Abloh

On Sunday, famed fashion designer Virgil Abloh died from a rare and aggressive form of cancer, at just 41. And while known as the founder of the streetwear and sneaker brand Off-White, his influence on the world of music and hip hop culture also looms large.Over the past decade, Abloh designed iconic album covers for Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Pop Smoke, Kid Cudi and more. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star 


Four centuries of Black American history are told in new Kronos Quartet performance

Since 1973, Kronos has been fiddling on the edge of what concert music can be, performing everything from newfangled minimalism to Jimi Hendrix. Harrington contacted Finney about a collaboration, with the initial idea of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. – Tim Grieving, NPR

Four more families of Astroworld victims reject Travis Scott's 'demeaning' offer to pay for funeral costs

More families who lost loved ones in the Astroworld festival tragedy have declined rapper Travis Scott's offer to cover funeral costs. Relatives of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, refused Scott's offer in a previously reported blistering response written by the family's lawyer; now Rolling Stone reports several more families are taking the same stance. – Newshub

Fate stomped all over Moby Grape, but Tacoma guitar god Jerry Miller is still rocking

Jerry Miller is one of our musical treasures. He plays the guitar in a way that’s both accomplished and melodic, and no less a judge than Eric Clapton has called him the greatest virtuoso of his generation. – Christopher Sandford, The Seattle Times

Neil Young announces release of 1987 demos he doesn’t remember recording

Research is still underway to “completely verify the recording history” of the collection titled ‘Summer Songs.’ – Daniel Peters, NME


Original ‘Let It Be’ director defends his film: ‘I don’t care’ that Ringo hates it

Michael Lindsay-Hogg looks back on his time with the Beatles, from hearing John and Yoko’s audio sex tape to watching (and recording) George quit the band. – Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

Slot machines and tearjerkers: Adele is heading to Las Vegas for a residency

Adele is chasing pavements no more: She will be taking up residency at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for three months starting next year. “Weekends With Adele” will see the 33-year-old singer playing Saturdays and Sundays at Caesars’ Colosseum from Jan. 21-April 16. – Christie D, Los Angeles Times

Ever get the feeling you've cheated yourself? Billy Bragg live in Southend

Tim Burrows leaves his cynicism about the Bard of Barking at the door when attending a gig that's a kind of homecoming and finds a new sense of regret at ignoring one of the greatest songwriters of the past 40 years. – The Quietus

R&B star Trey Songz investigated over sexual assault allegation

Las Vegas police confirm that star is cooperating following complaint, and has not been arrested.  – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

Sabrina Carpenter
Bryce Anderson

Sabrina Carpenter


Sabrina Carpenter is Coming to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on 2024 Short N’ Sweet North American Arena Tour

The singer will also fill-in for Tyler, The Creator at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco following the rapper's announcement that he's dropped off the bill.

Sabrina Carpenter announced the dates for her upcoming fall 2024 North American headlining arena tour on Thursday (June 20), with the Short n’ Sweet outing slated to kick off on Sept. 23 in Columbus, Ohio followed by Sept. 25 at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena. The 29-date tour will travel across the U.S. and Canada from September through mid-November, with stops in Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas, Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego and Phoenix before winding down on Nov. 15 at Arena in Los Angeles.

Support acts on the tour include Amaarae, Griff and Declan McKenna, with the singer partnering with PLUS1 to launch the Sabrina Carpenter Fund to support the well-being of people and animals to provide support for mental health, animal welfare and the LGBTQ+ community on the swing.

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