Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 16, 2019

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 16, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Five Songs About true crime

In this edition, we bring you five songs about true crimes and the criminals who commit them. Which, admittedly, might not offer much in the way of escape from this cold, cruel world, but at least the music is good. – Staff, Georgia Straight

Chris Brown has a new No. 1 hit. Why does he keep getting a pass?

Two Fridays ago, as occasionally happens, a new release from Chris Brown landed in my inbox. Few things have the capacity to enrage me more, and that’s not because I harbour any great personal distaste for the music made by the 29-year-old American R&B star. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Review: Kacey Musgraves was versatile and inclusive at Danforth Music Hall

The rising star showed she's just as comfortable reinventing country tropes as branching out into 70s disco. – Rachna Raj Kaur, NOW


"It's about keeping the energy flowing": The Blue Mules enjoy making blues fans move

"I just wanted to be a better guitar player. It was really about learning as much as I could and then trying to forget it, to just play what you hear in your head." - The Blue Mules guitarist-singer Trent Schmiedge. – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Country music star Toby Keith added to 2019 Big Valley Jamboree lineup

Keith is set to hit the country music festival’s main stage for the event’s Friday night this year. The festival goes down in Camrose, Alta., over the August long weekend.  – Global News

A behind-the-scenes look at the Toronto premiere of Betty: They Say I’m Different

The documentary on the soul queen premiered in Toronto at The Royal Cinema this past fall. – Chayne Japal, On The A Side

28 wicked guitarists to hear in Vancouver this year

I love hearing wicked guitarists rip it up in concert. Here's a bunch that'll be doing some six-string damage in the Metro Vancouver area this year, including Colin James, Pat Travers and Steve Hackett. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

A$AP Rocky can play in the big leagues

In a sense, his gig at the Coca-Cola Coliseum could have been viewed as a dry run for an eventual headlining slot in a major-league rink the size of the Scotiabank Arena.  – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star



Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller Q&A: 'The music industry is an utter mess'

We spoke with the British-born executive about the power of brand partnerships, the return of ABBA and The Spice Girls and why he "couldn't give a monkey's [ass]" about streaming numbers. – Richard Smieke, Billboard

Spotify has entered into a global content deal with T-Series,

With over 160,000 songs, India’s largest homegrown record company, T-Series has a catalogue that includes some of the most popular Indian music recorded over the past 30 years and will be made available to all Spotify users from Jan. 14. – MBW

Tidal 'fake streams': Criminal probe under way over potential data fraud in Norway

Norwegian collection society Tono, which represents around 30,000 songwriters, filed an official police complaint against TIDAL. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Tidal responds to criminal investigation report

Tidal has responded to reports that the Norwegian criminal justice unit Økokrim has opened an investigation into hundreds of millions of possible fake streams that benefited new releases by Kanye West and Beyonce. In a statement, Tidal denied that they are even a suspect in the probe. – Hypebot

Classical music streaming is up. Good news, but there's plenty more to win

BPI statistics reveal a rise in streams of classical tracks that is outpacing the rest of the sector. The industry needs to continue to embrace its democratic and digital future. –  Steve Long, The Guardian

Why world music doesn’t (or shouldn’t) exist

The case against a genre that generalizes the planet. The term “world music” is not only odd, but it is also sometimes used in a way that’s almost perversely Western-centric. – Sarah Boumedda 


Paradigm, CAA, ICM face federal subpoenas in connection with the Fyre Festival bankruptcy

The post-Fyre Festival stink keeps getting worse.  Now, major booking agencies are being subpoenaed. – Digital Music News

'Fyre Fraud,' documentary about disastrous Fyre Festival, now streaming on Hulu

Fyre Fraud, a documentary chronicling the lead-up and aftermath of  2017’s disastrous Fyre Festival, is airing now on Hulu. The film was released Monday morning (Jan. 14) with no advance notice. Netflix’s competing documentary, Fyre, hits the streaming service Jan. 18. – Melinda Newman, Billboard

SABC money troubles hit the music industry

The SABC needs billions of rands by March to pay its staff and other expenses. The SABC stopped paying royalties for music used on its radio and television stations last year, making the local South African music industry the latest victim of the public broadcaster’s financial implosion. – Dewald van Rensburg  City Press


How many songwriters does it take to write a hit? 9.1

While the process of group-writing a song is not a new concept, a recent look at the Top Ten hits suggests that having more songwriters involved in the creation of a song can improve its chances of topping the charts. – Bobby Owsinski Hypebot

A Boogie’s new album went No. 1 despite selling only 823 copies

A Boogie's new album Hoodie SZN is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in its third week of release. But out of the 83 million streams and 58,000 equivalent album units moved the week ending Jan. 10, only 823 were actual copies of Hoodie SZN were purchased, according to a NYT report. – Jordan Darville, The Fader

Robbie Williams accused of tormenting Jimmy Page by blasting out Black Sabbath

There are also claims that the pop star dressed up as Robert Plant to get under the skin of the former Led Zeppelin guitarist. The London neighbours have an ongoing feud. – Scott Munro, Classic Rock

The Weeknd blasted for homophobic lyrics in new song

The singer recently released Lost in the Fire, a collaboration with French producer Gesaffelstein, and almost instantly, fans and followers began to criticise the content of the track on social media. –

​​​​​​The Killers address gun violence, border wall in scathing new song ‘Land of the Free’

“How many daughters, tell me how many sons, do we have to put in the ground before we just break down and face it? We’ve got a problem with guns,” Brandon Flowers sings. – Rolling Stone

Dave Laing obituary

Music writer, rock correspondent and academic who understood and communicated the cultural worth of pop. – Tony Russell, The Guardian

Bryan Ferry announces 2019 North American tour of Roxy Music’s Avalon

Just months after Roxy Music gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ferry will return stateside for a special North American tour in which he’ll be playing songs from Avalon, in addition to other solo and Roxy hits. – Lior Phillips, CoS


Billboard Editorial Director Hannah Karp at CMW 2024
Grant W. Martin Photography Courtesy Canadian Music Week

Billboard Editorial Director Hannah Karp at CMW 2024


The Best Advice from Billboard's Pitching to Media Panel at Canadian Music Week 2024

Billboard Editorial Director Hannah Karp moderated a panel that that included Billboard Canada editor Richard Trapunski, Red Umbrella P.R. owner Charlotte Thompson and Pure Country Radio Director Dayna Bourgoin. This was their best advice for upstart musicians and publicists looking for coverage.

Billboard hosted a panel on pitching to media at Canadian Music Week 2024.

The panel was moderated by Billboard’s Editorial Director Hannah Karp and featured members of multiple sides of the industry coin, including Red Umbrella P.R.’s Owner and President Charlotte Thompson, Pure Country Radio’s National Music Director Dayna Bourgoin and Billboard Canada editor Richard Trapunski.

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