Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 3, 2020

Rah Rah (pictured) says bye bye, the Elmo's tab reportedly at $28M, and Michael Wrycraft advocates for accessibility. Others in the headlines include Justin Bieber, Drake, year end lists, Jack Scott, lost venues, Tencent, UMG, Jack de Keyzer, Miranda Mulholland, Entertainment One, Glen Barros, Live Nation, Joe Smith, Depeche Mode, Linda Ronstadt, and Dr. John.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 3, 2020

By Kerry Doole

The best moments in Canadian music in 2019

Canadian musicians seemed to avoid the drama and maintained a solid year of triumphs, making for a fantastic way to round out the decade. – Adam Wallis, Global News

The last hurrah: Regina's Rah Rah retires after three final shows

"It feels like everyone is on the page where it's just time to wrap it up," says Joel Passmore, bassist for Juno-nominated Regina indie-rock band Rah Rah. – Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post 

Old club, new tech: Financier Michael Wekerle tries a different spin on music at Toronto’s El Mocambo

Under the neon glow of Toronto’s most famous palm tree, Michael Wekerle has spent the past few years quietly intertwining two very different investments. The colourful financier and trader, who once helped the company behind BlackBerry go public with GMP Securities, says he’s invested $28-million into rebuilding the El Mocambo. – Josh O'Kane, Globe and Mail


He’s a Juno winner, an album cover designer and a concert promoter, but he’s often physically barred from the music he loves

Michael Wrycraft is in a conundrum. As a music aficionado, the Juno Award-winning graphic design artist who has designed album covers for everyone ranging from Bruce Cockburn to Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, loves to attend concerts. Being wheelchair-bound this is not easy. – Nick Krewen, The Star

Justin Bieber double-doubles down on Tim Hortons lid debate with Instagram posts

 If Tim Hortons hopes to win over coffee drinkers with its revamped cup lid, it should count the pop superstar Justin Bieber out. The Canadian singer waded into the heated debate over the coffee chain's recent lid redesign by launching a poll on his Instagram account. – David Friend, CP

Justin Bieber to chronicle comeback in YouTube documentary series

Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber is opening up about his creative and personal life through a 10-part documentary ahead of a career comeback after three years away from the spotlight. "Justin Bieber: Seasons," will launch on Youtube on Jan. 27.–  Reuters

Drake, Kanye no longer friends

In his Christmas Day address, Drake made it clear he has no wish to be friends with Kanye, insisting he cannot “fix” his old pal. – WENN

Globe Arts writers pick their favourite cultural moments of 2019, from Watchmen to The Irishman, Rooney to Corin Raymond, Rembrandt, Jojo to Momo

The past year offered a wide-ranging and excitedly varied 12 months of culture, high, low and everywhere in between. The Globe and Mail’s Arts team reflects on favourite moments off their beats – and in and out of the zeitgeist. – Globe and Mail


A long list of 2019's best Canadian jazz albums, plus even more honourable mentions

List-reading fans of Canadian jazz, your patience has been rewarded. Feast your eyes and ears on the lists below, which take into account releases by Canadians living in Canada and elsewhere. – Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Jack Scott was Canadian rock 'n' roll’s forgotten star

In the late 1950s and early ’60s, there were few bigger stars than Jack Scott. With his signature mix of snarling rockers and soothing ballads, the Canadian-born, U.S.-based musician scored 19 hit singles in just 41 months, a feat achieved by only a handful of other pop acts, including the Beatles. And seven of those hits were on his self-titled debut album. – Nicholas Jennings, Globe and Mail

These musicians are over the encore, here’s why

Punk rockers Pup insist there’s a time and place for concert encores — but it’s not usually at one of their shows. Shortly before the start of their 2019 tour, the Toronto band made a pact to stop playing into one of live music’s biggest charades. – David Friend, CP

15 iconic music venues we lost in Toronto over the last decade

In the last decade, Toronto has witnessed the devastating closures of far too many music venues that many of us grew up in. From The Big Bop to Soybomb to KoolHaus to Kathedral, we salute them. – BlogTO


2020 music preview: From albums to concerts, here’s what to look forward to in the music world

Those to watch include Alanis Morissette, Pussy Riot, The Beaches and Jessie Reyez. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Surprise! Year’s end finds classical music and opera thriving in Toronto

As we cast away from the second decade of the 21st century, are classical music and opera a listing and creaking galley on the verge of being swamped by a storm at sea, or a wide-body jet boldly flying over the turbulence below? – John Terauds, The Star


Canadian blues great Jack de Keyzer reflects, looks ahead

The veteran's annual London holiday show is set for Saturday. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press

Toronto family’s Beastie Boys holiday tribute video draws online fans

A Toronto family’s Beastie Boys-inspired holiday video is spreading intergalactic Christmas cheer online. Angela Young says she’s been inundated with kudos and praise for a one-minute video in which she and her two children meticulously recreate scenes from the hip-hop group’s 1998 Intergalactic music video. – Cassandra Szklarski, CP

The Globe’s runners-up for Canadian artist of 2019

The list includes Toronto fiddler and fair-compensation advocate Miranda Mulholland. – Staff, Globe and Mail


Hasbro completes $3.8 billion acquisition of Entertainment One

Hasbro is poised to become a bigger player in entertainment now that the toy giant has completed its acquisition of Entertainment One. The US$3.8B all-cash deal was unveiled in August. Entertainment One CEO Darren Throop will report to Hasbro chairman-CEO Brian Goldner. Olivier Dumont, eOne’s president of family & brands, Steve Bertram, president, film and television, and Chris Taylor, global president of music, will also make the move to Hasbro and continue to report to Throop. – Cynthia Littleton, Variety

10% of Universal Music Group to be sold to Tencent-led consortium

They got it done before the new year. On Dec. 31, Tencent Holdings Ltd informed its shareholders that a Tencent-led Consortium has signed a share purchase agreement with Vivendi to acquire 10% of Universal Music Group. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Sir Lucian Grainge: "Our strategic vision remains the same"

Here's a statement from UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge sent to Universal’s global workforce in the past couple of hours, addressing today’s news of the Tencent move. – MBW

TikTok rival Triller announces Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, Marshmello & more among latest investors

Triller, the music-focused social video platform rivaling TikTok, has announced a mega-roster of new investors and strategic partners. – CelebrityAccess

DOJ provides additional details about Live Nation’s revised consent decree

Under the terms of the proposed extension of the consent decree, Live Nation will be prohibited from threatening venues who opt to use a non-Ticketmaster ticketing provider, or from taking punitive action such as withholding a concert from such a venue. – CelebrityAccess

Stormzy: UK is 'definitely racist' and Johnson has made it worse

Grime artist says prime minister’s racist comments have encouraged public hate. – The Guardian

The 15 best folk & bluegrass albums of 2019

Folk, in particular, has been all over the map this past year. – Lorne Thomson, Paste

That time Joe Smith sent the Grateful Dead a letter complaining about their work ethic

The music industry legend died last month at the age of 91. He was, to say the least, a hands-on guy, once writing the Grateful Dead a letter about their work ethic. – David Browne, Rolling Stone

What Depeche Mode’s seduction of Eastern Europe can teach us about late capitalism

Anyone hoping to make sense of synth-pop’s dominion over Eastern Europe could do worse than a visit to the former Soviet city of Tallinn, Estonia. There, between a traditional fabric shop and a vegan chocolatier, is the great Baltic temple to Depeche Mode. – Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork

Linda Ronstadt’s life, wide-ranging music career on display in documentary

Between the Kennedy Center Honours and a CNN documentary about her life debuting on television New Year’s Day, Linda Ronstadt is taking a career victory lap. – David Bauder, AP


Kylie on her 2019: ‘Maybe I should go back to Glastonbury and get real sloshy’

Ahead of her Christmas special, Kylie’s Secret Night, the pop icon joined Alan Carr to talk about perms, extreme fans and, most crucially of all, the strength of sticky tape. – Michael Cragg, The Guardian

The story of Dr. John was the story of New Orleans. His music was our home away from home.

A personal reflection upon the music of the late great artist. – Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.
Nykieria Chaney/Getty Images for ABA

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.

Music News

Billie Eilish Dances and Sings Along to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Not Like Us’ Drake Diss

K. Dot's track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May.

Billie Eilish was spotted vibing to Kendrick Lamar‘s “Not Like Us.”

In a video that began circulating on social media Saturday (May 18), the 22-year-old pop star is seen dancing and singing along to K. Dot’s infectious Drake diss, which recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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