Music Biz Headlines, March 31, 2022

Neon Dreams (pictured) go platinum in South Africa, Tafelmusik pays tribute to Jeanne Lamon, and Anthem Entertainment is up for sale again. Others in the headlines include Greg Wells, Allie X, Corneille, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Spotify, Firefly, Eric Church, Roxy Music, viral artists, the Grammys, Daryl Hall, Taylor Hawkins, Genesis, BTS, and John Legend.

Music Biz Headlines, March 31, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Tafelmusik concerts pay tribute to former music director Jeanne Lamon

The late Jeanne Lamon never mounted a podium at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre. She performed, with bow in hand, from the concertmaster’s chair, William Littler recalls. – Toronto Star

Neon Dreams come true in South Africa

It’s not unheard of for some Canadian artists to achieve far greater success in a single country abroad than they do at home. Historical examples include Saga in Germany and the Tea Party in Australia, and you can now add Neon Dreams in South Africa to that list. – Kerry Doole, SOCAN Words & Music

Toronto singer Allie X cancels tour as autoimmune illness leaves her bedridden

Canadian experimental pop performer Allie X says she’s cancelling her North American tour as a chronic and painful autoimmune illness flares up. She turned to her Instagram account on Monday to share a message with fans explaining that she’s sicker than she’s been in two decades and unable to move. – David Friend, CP


Meet the Ont.-born music producer who’s worked with Michael Bublé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Quincy Jones and more

Humber College music attendee, arranger, mixer, instrumentalist and songwriter, Greg Wells has accumulated 130 million album sales on projects to which he contributed. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star 

Corneille's lessons

On Encre rose, his ninth album, Corneille sincerely lays bare his lucid vision of the world, and gives life to a dream he’s been cherishing for a long time: paying homage to early-‘80s soul and R&B. – Olivier Boisvert-Magnen, Words & Music

Alpha Yaya Diallo brings an African groove, with a bit of everything, to Festival du Bois

As a youngster growing up in Guinea, West Africa, world music star Alpha Yaya Diallo took in a lot of culture. His traveled around the country with his father, an in-demand doctor, and was exposed to musical influences from the Susu, Mandinka, his own Fulani people, and Senegal, and heard the sounds emanating from Cape Verde and the Caribbean. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Anthem Entertainment up for sale, again

With its hodgepodge of music assets, the Canadian company is running into the same challenges it did when it was previously shopped in 2017.  – Ed Christman, Billboard


Remember Spotify's fake artists? They're still going strong

Sweden’s Firefly Entertainment generated over 65 million SEK – or around $7 million at annual exchange rates – in 2020.  According to Swedish newspaper, DN, Firefly Entertainment is doing a roaring trade in what some would call “fake artists” on Spotify. These are the now-well-known pseudonymous artists on the streaming platform – artists with no discernible online footprint – whose music fills up many of Spotify’s own key mood and chillout playlists. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Is the music industry wasting money on viral artists? “These artists are screeching to a red light”

Perhaps the billion-dollar question is this: can artists that have gone viral — on TikTok or elsewhere — transition into becoming long-term superstar acts? That is becoming a more serious question as a hangover settles in over a string of knee-jerk viral signings. Now, seasoned music industry leaders are increasingly saying it out loud. – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Grammys put spotlight on the performers: seven storylines to watch

A week after the chaotic Oscars ceremony, the awards show will try to let the music do the talking on Sunday night. – Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Roxy Music reunite for first tour in 11 years

St. Vincent will open the North American shows by the glam rock pioneers. – CoS

Daryl Hall talks about the ups and downs of duo-dom, his secrets to aging well and hating Jann Wenner

On the eve of a new collection of solo material, Hall holds forth on everything from Joni Mitchell and Donald Trump to his possibly Oates-less future. – Rob Tannenbaum, LA Times


Genesis plays its final show in London with Peter Gabriel in audience

Genesis brought their career to a end in London on Mar. 26, 2022, and former frontman Peter Gabriel was in the audience to see it happen. The closing show on the band’s Last Domino? tour had already been described as their final performance together, coming after a two-year road trip, interrupted by Covid, which marked their first shows in over 13 years. – Ultimate Classic Rock

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and the sad appeal of self destruction

Live fast, drum faster. Keith Moon’s sad demise and legendary drug and alcohol consumption serves the music world’s myth of romantic self-destruction. Taylor Hawkins, the hard-hitting and smile-flashing drummer with the American rock band Foo Fighters, died on Friday. Preliminary toxicological tests showed a variety of psychoactive substances and medicines in Hawkins’s system. No official cause of death has been determined. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Foo Fighters cancel all dates following Taylor Hawkins’ death

Foo Fighters have cancelled all upcoming concert dates following the death of the band’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins. The rockers had been scheduled to play at the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, followed by shows in the US, Europe, UK and Canada. –  Mark Kennedy, AP

John Legend to receive Grammy’s first Global Impact Award

John Legend will receive the Award at the Recording Academy Honors event on 2 April. The 2022 Global Impact Award is the first of its kind at the Recording Academy Honors, and will be celebrated with a performance by Summer Walker. D-Nice and MC Lyte will also make appearances during the ceremony.– Music-News

BTS K-Pop star tests positive to Covid days before Grammy appearance

Jungkook tested positive for Covid-19 after he arrived in Las Vegas ahead of the Grammys on Sunday. The K-pop group’s label Big Hit Music issued a statement on Weverse on Monday in which they explained that the 24-year-old tested negative for coronavirus when he took a test before his flight from South Korea to America on Sunday. – Music-News

Ukraine's biggest rock star, Svyatoslav ‘Slava’ Vakarchuk, ‘Kyiv now fights for the future of all human beings’

On the day Russia declared war on Ukraine, the country’s biggest rock star, Svyatoslav ‘Slava’ Vakarchuk got on to Kyiv’s glass bridge in a show of solidarity. As people gathered around him, singing along, Slava said that the people of Ukraine were together and “We shall overcome.” – Rahul Pandita, Open

Eric Church askes fans to accept ‘selfish’ cancellation of arena show to attend NCAA game

Country superstar Eric Church's status in his native North Carolina is probably on the rise, with the news that he’d do anything to cheer on his beloved Tar Heels in an NCAA basketball tournament game this Saturday. He announced Tuesday that he was canceling a sold-out show at AT&T Center in San Antonio, scheduled for that same date, to attend the game. – Chris Willman, Variety


Ariana Grande
Katia Temkin

Ariana Grande

Chart Beat

Ariana Grande’s ‘We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)’ Hits No. 1 on Pop Airplay Chart

She becomes the sixth act with 10 or more leaders on the list.

Ariana Grande’s “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)” lifts to No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart (dated May 25).

With the track, from Grande’s Republic Records album Eternal Sunshine, she notches her 10th Pop Airplay leader, becoming the sixth act to amass a double-digit total. Taylor Swift boasts a record 13 No. 1s, followed by Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Rihanna (11 each), Justin Bieber, Grande (10 each), Bruno Mars and P!nk (nine each).

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