Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 5, 2020

The Toronto Blues Society turns 35 (pictured), Drake turns to pot, and Bad Child gets a MVP boost. Others in the headlines include The Judges, Jully Black, Guns N’ Roses, SOCAN, Super Bowl show, SiriusXM, Metallica, Debbie Harry, Lucinda Williams, Billie Eilish, Bob Mould, Britney Spears, and Sass Jordan.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 5, 2020

By FYI Staff

Audiam Investors say SOCAN owes them $16 million in performance payouts

The original investors of music publishing rights management firm Audiam are suing SOCAN, which bought it in 2016, claiming they are owed $16 million in performance payouts since the Jeff Price-founded company hit subsequent performance targets. — Ed Christman, Billboard

Toronto Blues Society celebrates 35 years

On the eve of the Maple Blues Awards, we sat down with co-founder Derek Andrews to talk about the past, present and future of blues in the city. — CV Grier, NOW

Is Drake the next superstar of the cannabis industry?

In November 2019, Drake announced his first involvement in the cannabis industry would be a joint venture with Canadian giant Canopy Growth Corporation. The collaboration is more than just another celebrity endorsement. The cannabis and wellness brand More Life Growth is majority-owned by Drake, who has a 60% share of the company, with Canopy holding the other 40%. — Benzinga Cannabis


RBC grant helping local musician grow his success

Kitchener's Bad Child is one of 33 artists selected for the Music Video Production (MVP) Project sponsored by RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. — Ariel Deutschmann,  Kitchener Today

Toronto concerts in February 2020: 18 we're most looking forward to

Valentine's Day options for the single and cuffed, plus Poppy, Tory Lanez's early career nostalgia tour, a family affair from Rufus & Martha Wainwright and more. — Staff, NOW

The Judges bang the gavel on Live! Sentence

The songs sound catchier, funnier, and faster on their new Live! Sentence release (recorded live at the Rickshaw). What gives, Judge Derby? — Allan MacInnis, Georgia Straight

Jully Black says vocal cord hemorrhage led to emergency surgery last year

The “Sweat of Your Brow” singer says the combination of prolonged stress on her voice and a lengthy winter flu caused an injury that doctors urged her to deal with immediately. — David Friend, The Canadian Press

Guns N' Roses are coming to Toronto on 2020 tour

Famed rock band Guns N' Roses just announced a North American leg of their 2020 tour, The band will stop at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 13, marking the only Canadian stop on the tour. — BlogTO



Event producers weigh In on Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira

They give the booty-shaking spectacle a high mark. — BizBash

SiriusXM’s annual revenues up 35% n 2019, but Pandora slumps

SiriusXM posted its Q4 and full-year 2019 operating and financial results today (February 4), reporting revenue of $2.1 billion and $7.8bn, respectively, increasing 38% and 35% compared to the prior-year periods.  — Murray Stassen, MBW

Who are the way-too-early contenders for the 2021 Grammys?

Listen, we know the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards just occurred. You may be thinking a piece predicting potential 2021 Grammy nominees is a bit presumptuous of us -- but hear us out. — J'na Jefferson, Billboard

Metallica’s James Hetfield returns to public life after rehab stint

The Metallica vocalist and guitarist officially opened his classic car exhibition in Los Angeles last night. — Scott Munro, Metal Hammer

50 great tracks for February from David Bowie, Waxahatchee, J Hus and more

From US Girls’ ritzy funk to Jeff Parker’s melodic revamp of a Joe Henderson classic, check out 50 new tracks and read about our 10 favourites. — Staff, The Guardian

Noah Baumbach casts Debbie Harry as the ultimate Queen of New York

It’s the coldest day of a dreary New York winter, and 74 years old Debbie Harry is posing for the camera in front of a billowing steam pipe in the middle of First Avenue, staring down oncoming traffic in knee-high white patent-leather boots with four-inch heels. — Jenny Comita, W Mag

Where politics and country music collide

In his excellent new book, I’d Fight the World: A Political History of Old-Time, Hillbilly, and Country Music, Peter La Chapelle offers a deeply absorbing chronicle of the intersections between country music and politics. — Henry Carrigan, No Depression


Lucinda Williams talks new album, memoir, Americana and next week's Fort Myers show

She’s won three Grammy Awards and loads of critical praise for groundbreaking albums like “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. But back in the '80s, nobody knew what to make of her. — Charles Runnells, Fort Myers News

Billie Eilish’s bedroom studio costs less than $3,000 — What’s your excuse?

Billie Eilish swept the 2020 Grammys, taking all four major awards. Her bedroom studio where those hits were created cost less than $3,000 to put together — on the high end. — Ashley King, Digital Music News


Bob Mould showcases catalog, ejects right-wing heckler at tour opener

Mould may have embraced a sunnier perspective since moving to Berlin three years ago — as evidenced by his new solo album, “Sunshine Rock” — but he’s still a passionate punk rocker at heart, as one outspoken fan discovered. — Chris Parker, Variety

At the Britney Spears pop-up museum (yes, museum), a vacant Kmart becomes a selfie shrine

ByThe Zone: Britney Spears, an interactive pop-up museum dedicated to the 38-year-old pop star emeritus, is housed in a large building on West 3rd Street in the Fairfax district that until recently was a Kmart. — Molly Lambert, The Los Angeles Times

Concert review: A Bowie celebration

The band was joined onstage by a succession of singers, including Sass Jordan, who took to the stage for different numbers. — Jerusalem Post

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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