Music Biz Headlines, March 25, 2019

Guitar genius Ed Bickert (pictured) is remembered, Donna Grantis learned from Prince, and Barbra Streisand sparks outrage. Also featured: Matt Epp, Kanye West, Hailey Baldwin, Debbie Harry, Andre Williams, Phil Collins, Dubmatix, Rosanne Cash, the Stones, and Suzi Quatro.

Music Biz Headlines, March 25, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Jazz virtuoso Ed Bickert influenced a generation of Canadian guitarists

If a quiet mind is considered a crown, Ed Bickert was the king of calm jazz guitarists. The Canadian great was a celebrated introvert and a genius in the background. His nimble style and four-bar wit demanded to be heard, but only in the best hushed, economical and distinctively harmonic ways. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

What Donna Grantis learned from playing with Prince

On her new solo album, the guitarist re-asserts her connection to Toronto – using lessons she learned from her late idol and collaborator. – Michael Rancic, NOW

Toronto's iconic Great Hall is up for sale

The stately building at 1087-1089 Queen Street West—commonly known as The Great Hall—is currently on the market for a cool $17.1M. Hopes are the music venue it houses will stay open. – Blog TO


Epp and Murdoch aim to inspire hope with new show

Folke Matt Epp and acclaimed Indigenous artist and storyteller Bomgiizhik (Isaac Murdoch) will perform together at the Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound on April 5. – Greg Cowan, Owen Sound Sun-Times

What's in Your Fridge: Will Stroet

The Juno-nominated singer-songwriter and CBC Kids TV star offered revealing insights shortly before he's scheduled to perform two gigs at Festival du Bois in Coquitlam. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Coalition of publishers and songwriters has experience needed to run the new Mechanical Licensing Collective (Guest column)

The passage of the Music Modernization Act essentially directed our industry to get moving on the core compromise that is the foundation of the bill -- building a collective to administer mechanical rights that is governed by music publishers and songwriters and funded by digital interactive streaming services. – Danielle Aguirre, Billboard

As a musician I’m shocked there’s opposition to a new EU copyright law

This directive will help artists’ futures with protection from video-streaming services like YouTube. Why lobby against it? – Debbie Harry, The Guardian

Hailey Baldwin says mental health should be ‘No. 1’ after Justin Bieber asked for prayers

Baldwin is stressing the importance of mental health after husband Justin Bieber asked for fans’ prayers, revealing he’s been “struggling a lot.” The 22-year-old model said self-care can take many forms. – Cydney Henderson, USA Today


Bacon fat, corn liquor, and tail feathers: remembering R&B legend Andre Williams 

The man known as Mr. Rhythm influenced generations of rockers and rappers—and his decades-long comeback ended only with his death at 82.  – James Porter, Chicago Reader

Tower Records goes all in on the vinyl trend with its new store, Tower Vinyl

The Tokyo space, once reserved for pop-up events, now houses 70,000 records, according to the company, with more than half being secondhand. It stands as the latest sign of a renewed interest in the format. –Japan Times

Phil Collins’ ‘Still Not Dead Yet, Live!’ returns to US for fall 2019 run

Live Nation and S2BN Entertainment announce a limited run of dates d for fall 2019; however, the 15-city trek does not include any Canadian shows (as yet). – Celebrity Access

At 70, Olivia Newton-John is reclaiming her story — and selling that famed jacket·

After she checked herself into the Melbourne cancer center that bears her name, rumors spread that she was near death. Still undergoing treatment, she is animated and sharp in conversation. –  Nora Krug, Washington Post 

'Play another slow jam; this time make it sweet’

The term “slow jam” became widely popular when a song performed by Midnight Star debuted in 1983.– Longreads

Canada's dub master

In this interview, recent Juno winner Dubmatix, whose real name is Jesse King, explains why it was important to acknowledge those reggae pioneers. – Kevin Jackson, Jamaica Observer

Fyre Festival merch is going on sale to pay back Billy McFarland's $26M debt

The US Marshal's Service is selling Fyre Festival-branded tee-shirts, sweatpants, and wristbands. – Vice


Suzi Quatro on being a pioneering Female Rocker: ‘Women have balls!’

A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first prominent female musicians to front a band, and rock as hard as a man. – Katherine Turman, Variety

Barbra Streisand on Michael Jackson allegations: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs”

The singer has sparked controversy after voicing her opinion on the allegations against Michael Jackson in the wake of HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary. – Bonnie Stiernberg, Billboard 

Rosanne Cash opens up about her #MeToo experiences -- and how the industry can avoid further 'collateral damage'


"The waves of revelations wore away my compartmentalized memories about what it’s like to be a woman in the music business. The radio guys who grabbed my waist and slipped their hands down my back and over my ass, whose pecks on the cheek became unwelcome nuzzles on the neck. And much worse." – Billboard

Ain't Too Proud review – thrilling music but shallow drama in Temptations musical

There’s a chilly irony at the shrink-wrapped heart of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, the thrillingly performed and dramatically static jukebox musical on Broadway. – Alexis Soloski, The Guardian

Jenny Lewis’s rough journey to new album On the Line

Life hasn’t been easy for singer Jenny Lewis since the sunnier days when she performed while wearing a rainbow-hued pantsuit and carrying a guitar with similar bright colours. Her mother died, and a 12-year relationship ended, sending Lewis on a cross-country journey in search of herself. – David Bauder, AP

Rolling Stones’ ‘Circus,’ once lost and unfinished, will receive a theatrical release

For over two decades, “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” was a lost film, unfinished and unseen,  Now, in time for the North American leg of the Stones’ ongoing No Filter Tour, “Circus” has been remastered for a limited US theatrical run during the first week of April. – Steve Appleford, LA Times

Yoko Ono honored by St. Vincent, Shirley Manson and a powerful night of performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA

As singer Shirley Manson closed out a celebration of Yoko Ono, she admitted that as a child she believed she should hate Ono, wrongly blaming her as many once did for marrying John Lennon and the break-up of the Beatles that soon followed. But hate turned to love, Manson said, the perfect sentiment for all that John and Yoko espoused. – Peter Larsen,  LA Daily News

With his weekly 'Sunday Service,' Kanye West is finally exciting again

Kanye West is kicking off 2019 by giving fans – many of whom were left disgruntled by the rapper’s rocky 2018 – a new reason to be excited by his work. "Sunday Service" brings together a group of lucky attendees to watch West lead a choir and perform new renditions of his old hits. – Maeve McDermott, USA Today


Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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