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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 12, 2020

Angela Hewitt (pictured) suffers a major loss, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien debuts in Toronto, and Billie Eilish defends Drake. Others in the headlines include William Prince, Tencent, Cheapies, Taylor Swift, SoundCloud, Oscars, vinyl, and Bob Marley.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 12, 2020

By Kerry Doole

'It was my best friend': Angela Hewitt devastated by destruction of her piano

Accidentally dropped by movers, the Fazioli concert grand owned by the Canadian virtuoso is not salvageable. — Robert Rowat, CBC Music


How Canadian songwriter William Prince found resilience and hope on new album ‘Reliever’

“Breathless” singer recorded latest LP with Scott Nolan in Winnipeg and Dave Cobb in Nashville. — Rolling Stone

Review: Radiohead's Ed O'Brien played his first ever solo show in Toronto

The English guitarist unveiled his new solo project EOB at an intimate show at the Great Hall, delivering a set full of earnest, open-hearted rock music and a few long jams. — Richard Trapunski, NOW

'Everybody's so sensitive': Billie Eilish defends Drake after claims of creepy texting

Online trolls have called their friendship inappropriate, but Eilish says it's built on respect for one another. — National Post

​​​​​How should media respond when an artist limits reviews to critics who are Indigenous, black and people of colour?

It’s a basic principle of mainstream cultural journalism that artists should not pick which critics review them. But should artists be allowed to choose which colour of critic reviews them? — JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail

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Hamilton’s legendary record store Cheapies is closing in March

The downtown fixture on King Street East has been around since 1980. — Jeff Mahoney, The Hamilton Spectator

International

Tencent, set to control 10% of Universal, also owns 9.1% of Spotify

Who is the most powerful company in the music business?Increasingly, the evidence is beginning to point towards China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. A new Spotify SEC filing posted Feb. 10earlier today shows that Tencent owned 9.1% of common stock in Spotify at the end of 2019.  — Tim Ingham, MBW

Taylor Swift’s next big deal is for her songwriting

In recent months, Taylor Swift was quietly plotting a move to consolidate another aspect of her musical empire: her songwriting rights. She has now announced a global deal with the Universal Music Publishing Group to represent her work as a writer, ending a relationship with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company that had signed her when she was just 14. — Ben Sisario, The New York Times

SoundCloud secures $75m investment from Pandora owner Sirius XM

SoundCloud has just announced that it has secured $75 million investment from Sirius XM – which acquired another leading music streaming platform, Pandora, last year in a $3.5bn all-stock transaction. Sirius's investment in SoundCloud comes three weeks after MBW revealed that SoundCloud had posted a $200m annual revenue run-rate in the final months of 2019. — Tim Ingham, MBW

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TV Ratings: Oscars fall to all-time lows

ABC's broadcast comes in about 3 million viewers behind the previous low in 2018. The Oscars were down 20 percent year to year in viewers and 31 percent in the key ad-sales demo of adults 18-49. — Rick Porter, Hollywood Reporter

One fire at one factory in California is going to create MASSIVE problems for fans of vinyl.

The fire on February 6 at Apollo Transco, a manufacturing plant in Banning, California, was apparently very, very bad. Apollo is just one of two facilities in the world that produces the lacquer discs needed to press vinyl records, so the global supply of vinyl is now under threat. — Allan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things 

Bob Marley at 75: how a ghetto reggae star rebranded Jamaica

At 7am on 6 February, on what would have been Bob Marley’s 75th birthday, the abeng conch shell blows at his old home at uptown Kingston’s 56 Hope Road – now the Bob Marley museum– as it did as a call to slave uprisings on the plantation. — Vivien Goldman, The Guardian

Pussy Riot say Russian police shut down video shoot, citing “gay propaganda”

The “БЕСИТ / RAGE” shoot was thwarted at a cost of $15,000, the group says. — Pitchfork

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Eminem rises through the Oscars stage floor: ‘Sorry it took me 18 years to get here’

Still, nothing on the show rivalled Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper crooning Shallow in 2019. — Chris Knight, Postmedia

Drive-By Truckers: 'We have redneck in us. No one tells us what to do'

The band are shocking their fanbase with new album The Unraveling, full of fury about the state of America – from school shootings to caged kids. We meet the angry Alabamians. — Michael Hann, The Guardian

Holden Matthews: Man admits burning churches to raise 'black metal' profile

A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to intentionally setting fire to three African-American churches in the US state of Louisiana. Matthews, 22, admitted to starting the fires to raise his profile as a "black metal" musician, prosecutors said. — BBC

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The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024

Awards

The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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