Music Biz Headlines, March 13, 2020

A profile of rising star pianist Alexandra Stréliski, US Girls’ Meghan Remy talks booze and abuse, and a plethora of Coronavirus-themed stories. Also in the headlines are Madonna, Donna Summer, Merck Mercuriadis, PMR, Billie Eilish, the Beatles, and the Beastie Boys.

Music Biz Headlines, March 13, 2020

By FYI Staff

Neo-classical pianist Alexandra Stréliski carves out a niche among more pop-oriented Juno nominees

– The Globe and Mail

Alt-pop star US Girls: 'Things happened to me as a kid that broke part of my brain'

She is the face of Canada’s most vital band, creating a furious soundtrack for our collapsing world. Meghan Remy talks booze, abuse and why she’s feeling mad as hell. – 

Quebec bans indoor events of more than 250 people to help limit Coronavirus spread

Quebec Premier Francois Legault asked people returning from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days and cancelled large indoor gatherings Thursday as he called on the population to join the fight against the spread of COVID-19. – CP


Paid in booze: musicians struggle to earn a living

It is normal for some bars in Halifax to pay musicians in free drinks only, with no cash and no offer to substitute drinks with food instead. Famously, many musicians struggle with a history of alcohol and drug abuse and one local artist says for this reason paying musicians in drinks is commonly perceived as “an insult.” – Jay Heisler, Chronicle-Herald 

‘She lived a number of different lives’: the push and pull behind ‘Summer: The Donna Summer Musical’

Wherever you fall in debates about disco’s evergreen status, what cannot be disputed is the central place of the late American singer and songwriter Donna Summer in the history of the genre. –  Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

A list of events cancelled through coronavirus fears

In Canada and in the U.S., several artists have postponed concerts, while Coachella, one of North America’s largest music festivals, postponed the event until October. Here’s a list of major events, conferences and sporting events that have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. – Global News

‘Come From Away’ Chinese tour postponed over coronavirus worries

The Newfoundland-set musical was slated to open in China this spring. A spokesman for Junkyard Dog Productions says the tour has been rescheduled to 2022, citing the global impact of COVID-19.  –The Canadian Press


Live Nation, AEG, Agencies suspend major music tours until April due to Coronavirus

As concern over the spread of coronavirus spread rapidly this week, the world’s two largest live-entertainment companies, AEG and Live Nation, and several major agencies have announced that they are suspending tours for the rest of March. Jem Aswad, Variety


As Coronavirus spreads, the concert industry braces for the worst

With South by Southwest cancelled and Coachella postponed, the live-music business is facing a scenario that could lead to billions of dollars in lost income. The New York Times

The music industry has welcomed some of the announcements made by Rishi Sunak, the UK’s recently installed Chancellor Of The Exchequer, during his budget statement to Parliament yesterday. – Chris Cooke, Complete Music Update

How Coronavirus will affect the entertainment industries

The coronavirus is a global pandemic. Even if coronavirus doesn’t tip us into recession, the next few months will see a major disruption of consumer behaviour patterns with major implications for the entertainment industries. – Music Industry Blog

'No more nightlife': With Italy on lockdown, Europe's music industry enters 'uncharted water'

COVID-19 is forcing thousands of live event cancelations and mounting losses as governments crackdown on movement and gatherings. – Billboard

Live Nation stock crashes dramatically as Coronavirusis termed a pandemic by WHO

LNE continues to see its market cap valuation driven dramatically down by fears over the spread of the so-called Coronavirus. – Tim Ingham, MBW

As price falls, Live Nation CEO Rapino buys $1 Million worth of shares

The stock buy comes as share prices fell more than 16%. on Thursday. – Dave Brooks, Billboard

Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis added to FTSE 250 Index, as stock withstands coronavirus pressures

The UK-based company, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, will be added as a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, effective after market close on March 20. Hipgnosis’ stock price has largely withstood recent wider market turmoil. – Rights Tech


Global entertainment industry surpasses $100 Billion for the first time ever

The global entertainment market — consisting of theatrical and home entertainment — has surpassed $100 billion in revenues for the first time in history, according to a new report released by the Motion Picture Association. Worldwide box office receipts accounted for $42.5 billion of that haul, setting a new industry high in 2019.  Rebecca Rubin, Variety

Coronavirus could decimate touring musicians’ livelihoods

Nashville singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle on the tough choices that independent artists are facing under the threat of the pandemic. – Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone


Miami’s Ultra music fest, cancelled due to coronavirus fears, won’t offer refunds

This year’s Ultra Music Festival was officially cancelled last week. Late Monday, ticket holders received an email that made no mention of refunds. Instead, people who purchased tickets to this year’s Ultra — one of the largest and most prominent electronic music festivals in North America — will have access to either the 2021 or 2022. – Joey Flechas Miami Herald

As the coronavirus spreads around the world — forcing government officials to declare states of emergency, shutting down entertainment events and creating a trove of memes — it has also sparked an unlikely new trend: catchy songs meant to educate but also make you sing and dance. – Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times

Florida-based royalty collection firm Pro Music Rights LLC (PMR) sues “the entire music industry”

Named in the suit are Apple, Amazon, Google, Youtube, Spotify, Digital Media Association, National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee, Radio Music License Committee, Inc., The National Association Of American Wineries, Television Music License Committee, Llc, 7digital, Deezer, iHeartmedia, Connoisseur Media, Pandora, Rhapsody International and SoundCloud.  – MBW

Body of work: why Billie Eilish is right to stand her ground against shaming

Billie Eilish has done everything right in her career so far, but that’s not enough for a celebrity industry fixated on sex. – 

Peter Jackson's new documentary charting the Beatles' troubled Let It Be sessions will be released in September

Walt Disney Studios has acquired worldwide rights to the film. – Jason Chester, TheDaily Mail 

Madonna’s disastrous ‘Madame X’ tour is officially cancelled

– Ashley King,  Digital Music News

Burt Bacharach, 91, would love to collaborate with Billie Eilish. Who says no?

The legendary pop songwriter has real respect for the young star. – The LA Times

The bizarre history of the copyright symbol

The copyright symbol (©) is one of the most ubiquitous and most easily-recognized symbols in the world. – Jonathan Bailey, Plagiarism Today


Spike Jonze has released the first full-length trailer for his upcoming documentary, Beastie Boys Story.

The film will chronicle the history of the Beastie Boys with archival footage of members Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch. – Live For Live Music

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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