Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 4, 2019

The Weeknd (pictured) partners with Mercedes-Benz, a Toronto firm to revamp Geffen Hall, and Drake's powerful impact. Others in the headlines include Domenic Troiano, Wayne Rostad, Spotify, Jon Singer, Airbnb, UK bestsellers, Chris Martin, David Byrne, John Sinclair, and Beck.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 4, 2019

By FYI Staff

Canadian firm leads revamp of Lincoln Center's iconic Geffen Hall in NYC

Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects has designed musical spaces across Canada, U.S. and Russia. – Zulekha Nathoo, CBC News

The Weeknd becomes face and sound of luxury electric car ad

The Weeknd is working with Mercedes-Benz to promote the manufacturer’s new EQC car. His new single, Blinding Lights, soundtracks the glossy ad in a deal struck between Mercedes-Benz and Universal Music Group & Brands.  – MusicAlly

Rappers are singers now, thanks to Drake

Drake’s So Far Gone mixtape — released in February 2009 — marked the arrival of a new path: singing as rapping, rapping as singing, singing and rapping all woven together into one holistic whole. – Jon Caramanica, New York Times  

The Queen in Me is a damning inside scoop on Canadian opera’s exclusivity problem

Midway through the one-person show The Queen in Me, Toronto-based soprano Teiya Kasahara begins an epic takedown of the opera industry. It’s full of sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia, goes the reproach. It objectifies its women, the fictional characters and the real-life singers who play them. In a word, opera is problematic. – Jenna Simeonov, The Globe and Mail


Rock My World Canada, chapter 122: Domenic Troiano

Domenic Troiano was a Toronto rock guitarist, most notable for his contributions to Mandala, The James Gang, The Guess Who and as a solo artist. – Mike Carr, A Journal of Musical Things

He wants to leave his country to work in Canada. Will a music video help?

Colombian tradesman Wilman Antonio “Junior” Guerrero created a music video highlighting his skills as a construction worker in hopes of attracting the attention of a Canadian company who might hire him under the Federal Skill Trades Program. –  Nicole Bogart, CTV News

Wayne Rostad ready to kick off Christmas in The Valley 2019 tour

The Canadian musician and former television star is again taking his popular Christmas show to various venues throughout Ottawa and eastern Ontario. –  Ottawa Matters

How Indo-Canadian Producer Arnob Bal is shaping the sound of Indian indie musicians

The Mumbai-based sound engineer has recently worked on music with Indian artists Tejas, Short Round and The Koniac Net. –  David Britto, Rolling Stone


Love the game: Drake and Taylor Swift's decade in pop dominance

Since 2009, Drake has become a cross-genre streaming star, while Swift’s glow-up has transformed her into a blockbuster brand – and their co-command of ‘pop 2.0’ isn’t wavering yet.  –Michael Cragg, The Guardian

List of the UK’s best-selling albums of the 21st Century revealed

Adele and Ed Sheeran are the big hits on the list, and Michael Buble places 2 in the top 20. – Will Lavin, NME

'My goal is to have 250,000 songs and be worth $1 billion.'

Spirit Music Group boss Jon Singer candidly recalls the moment his $350 million recapitalization and buyout of the independent publisher was confirmed. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Music royalties reach record high but songwriters ‘on minimum wage‘

The money artists receive when their tracks get played has just hit a record high. In 2018 £746 million was collected – a rise of 4% in 2017. PRS for music, which gathers the royalties for artists, counted songs used on Facebook and Instagram Stories for the first time. But according to singer-songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham, “a lot of songwriters are making less than minimum wage.” – Stock Daily Dish


Beyoncé and Mariah Carey helped turn Airbnb into a luxury brand

Las Vegas showman Jeff Beacher helped the company pioneer a new form of celebrity marketing involving free mansions and promotional Instagram posts. – Anne Vandermey, Bloomberg

Spotify now has an actual Head of Hits, as Ned Monahan joins from Interscope

The streaming giant just hired a Head of Global Hits. The newly-created position is filled by Ned Monahan, who was previously Marketing Director at Interscope. – Tim Ingham, MBW 

The Rolling Stone Interview: Chris Martin

Coldplay’s frontman goes deep like never before, discussing religion, sexuality, his drive, insecurities and Coldplay’s place in the world today. – Rolling Stone

Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich on 40 years of chaos, flubs and impromptu immortality

Veteran TV producer and director Ken Ehrlich began working the Grammy Awards telecast in 1980, and in four decades presiding over the broadcast has become perhaps best known for mashup live performances featuring musicians from often wildly disparate genres and generations. The 62nd Grammys on Jan. 26 will be his final night at the helm. – Randy Lewis, LA Times


Many have been turning to art, cars, wine and even music royalties as a diversification strategy. In these particularly tricky market conditions, is investing in non-traditional assets the right way to go? –  Cristian Angeloni, International Adviser 

David Byrne is building a neuroscience-powered hall of mirrors somewhere in Denver

The world premiere of the project from the Talking Heads frontman and the Denver Center's Off-Center will blend immersive virtual reality in a warehouse show. – Joanne Ostrow, Colorado Sun

Activist and poet John Sinclair among first to purchase legal recreational marijuana in Michigan, 50 years after his historic arrest

The White Panther Party founder was an icon of the 60s counterculture. – Gus Burns,  MLive

Tom Jones, Eric Clapton and more set for Music For The Marsden Concert

Sir Tom Jones, Eric Clapton and more are set to perform at The O2 in London on March 3, 2020, to raise funds for a new state of the art cancer research centre at The Royal Marsden Hospital.– Female First


Exit 111 Music Festival not returning in 2020

After debuting last month with headliners that included Guns N Roses, Def Leppard, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, organizers for the Exit 111 Music Festival announced the event will not return next year. The inaugural edition drew about 25,000 fans to rural Manchester, Tennessee. – Ian Courtney, Celebrity Access

Former Scientologists are really, really mad at Beck right now

 These are the words of actress and outspoken former Scientologist Leah Remini, referring to popular musician Beck’s recent denial that he had anything to do with Scientology. – National Post

Linkin Park Debuts at No. 1 on Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart With ‘Friendly Fire’
Chart Beat

Linkin Park Debuts at No. 1 on Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart With ‘Friendly Fire’

It's the band's third leading entrance.

The fifth No. 1 debut in the history of Billboard’s Rock & Alternative Airplay chart belongs to Linkin Park, whose “Friendly Fire” premieres atop the March 9-dated tally.

“Friendly Fire” bows with 7.9 million radio audience impressions earned Feb. 23-29, according to Luminate.

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