Music Biz Headlines, May 18, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Formed in 1969, the Legendary Downchild Blues Band still looks for respect

This year’s Canadian Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place at the National Music Centre in Calgary. Downchild will not be inducted. Therein lies the rub. There are 63 acts and artists in the hall, yet none of the blues music kind. So, no Downchild (formed in 1969), and no Powder Blues Band, no Colin James, and no Jeff Healey. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

The Weeknd is no more. The Canadian singer has reverted to his birth name on social media

The Weeknd is now officially known online by his real name – Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – after following through on plans to update his social media accounts. And the change is part of a wider plan to “kill The Weeknd,” Tesfaye told W Magazine in an interview published May 8. – Jack Guy, CNN


The Weeknd downplays ‘ridiculous’ media reports on ‘The Idol,’ hints at his next chapter

In a sprawling new cover story in Vanity Fair, the Weeknd talks about the dark rumors surrounding his forthcoming HBO series “The Idol” and speaks broadly of what will apparently be the third iteration of his musical persona. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Review: One Wayne G - Mac DeMarco

This hours-long, 199-song compilation of mostly instrumental work is a canny product of our current streaming era. But at its best, it offers a glimpse into Mac DeMarco’s unique and evolving process. – Pitchfork

Toronto folk singer Charlotte Cornfield's fine new album and more music you need hear

Here's a curated playlist of new music from across Canada and beyond, with fresh cuts from billy woods, SBTRKT, Fireboy DML and more. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

2023′s summer of concerts and festivals brings Beyoncé, Brueggergosman, Boygenius and, maybe, Neil Young

The concert business rolls on robustly. Live Nation just posted a record-breaking quarter of US$3.1-billion in revenue, with a record 19.5 million fans attending its events globally. . Here's a look at upcoming summer highlights. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Empires of wax

The story of how a Drake-scented candle came to be is a radical tale of hard-working immigrants, entrepreneurship, upward class mobility, smashed racial stereotypes and a massive whack of luck. – Ian Brown, Globe and Mail


The Redwood Theatre welcomes Bill King as artistic director

First opened as The Classic Theatre in 1914, Gerrard Street East's Redwood Theatre is becoming a popular spot for East Toronto music fans. – Beach Metro

Canadian artist La Zarra repped France at Eurovision

Born and raised in Montreal, La Zarra, whose real name is Fatima Zahra Hafdi, was hand-picked to represent France at Eurovision, but her bid fell short. – Globe and Mail

Singer-songwriter Seal says he’s ‘crushing’ life at 60

In Toronto for two Massey Hall shows, Seal says he’s been lucky with his three-decade career. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Nightlife group says Montreal is suffocating night scene with red tape

"We're still waiting on that nightlife policy, it's been six years now," while Ottawa took less than a year for its plan, says Mathieu Grondin.  – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

Sean Fischer goes global

He was born, raised, and remains based in Toronto, but Sean Fischer’s multi-hyphenate career as a songwriter, musician, composer, producer, and re-mixer is flourishing because of his global approach. Via major success in such markets as Mexico and South Korea, Fischer’s music has accumulated more than 100 million streams. – Kerry Doole, Words & Music


The 3 major music companies now jointly generate approx $2.9M per hour

How much money do the three major music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Warner Music Group – jointly generate these days? Discovering what the three majors generate in revenue these days is made simpler because each of them has recently announced their calendar Q1 results. Here's what we found. – Tim Ingham, MBW


Music streaming has a $2 billion fraud problem that goes beyond AI

With user-generated content surging on music services, bogus tracks may now account for 10% of all streams. –  Ashley Carman, Bloomberg

SoundExchange marks 20th anniversary with $10B distribution milestone

SoundExchange has announced the cumulative distribution of $10 billion in digital streaming royalties as the organization celebrates its 20th anniversary of service to the recorded music industry. – PRNewswire

Music industry organizations launch Fix The Tix coalition

A group of live event industry organizations and professionals has come together to form a new coalition called Fix The Tix. Their mission is to protect fans from price gouging and deceptive ticketing practices.– Faith Logue, NYSMusic

Dolly Parton to host Beatles, Elton John and 39 other stars on new rock album

Rockstar, Parton’s first foray into rock’n’roll, features nine originals and 21 covers of songs including Let It Be and Purple Rain. –  Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian


The biggest, messiest band breakups in music history

From the Beatles to N.W.A to Fifth Harmony. – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

Swedish singer Loreen wins Eurovision for a 2nd time with power ballad ‘Tattoo’

Sweden’s Loreen won Eurovision 2023 with the song “Tattoo” in Liverpool, northern England on Saturday, beating Finland to triumph for a second time in the contest. Britain hosted on behalf of Ukraine, which won last year but can’t take up its right to hold the contest because of the war. – Jill Lawless, AP

What is Eurovision? A guide for confused Americans

This Saturday, hundreds of millions of Europeans are expected to tune in to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual tradition that consumes the region in an enthusiastic fervor culminating in a high-energy musical extravaganza so utterly bizarre in nature that it leaves the rest of the world scratching its head. – Robert Hart, Forbes

Showbiz muffles war, familiarity trumps novelty in ‘Eurovision Song Contest 2023

The theme of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, ‘United by Music,’ announced both the annual musical extravaganza’s all-embracing intentions and its status as a joint endeavor.  The UK stepped in to reinstall this ever more spectacular circus (along with multiple Ukrainian creative personnel) in Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles. – Mike McCahill, Variety

Eurovision 2023 hits Liverpool with Ukraine at centre of activity

It is easily the cheesiest, most over-the-top singing contest in the world, where no outfit is too outlandish and no amount of glitter too much. But when the final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest took place in Liverpool on Saturday, there was a serious side to the proceedings because of the war in Ukraine. – Paul Waldie, Globe and Mail

The Beatles’ and the Stones’ dirty secrets – by the woman who kept them all

Chris O’Dell, the Arizona innocent who found herself at the centre of the 70s rock scene, on her wild times with Ringo, Keith and Mick.– The Telegraph

Mofi to pay $25M over fraudulent 'all-analog' records

Vinyl producer Mobile Fidelity, known as MoFi, has agreed to a $25 million settlement over claims that their “all analog” records were created using digital methods. – Corey Irwin, Ultimate Classic Rock


The 46 most anticipated albums of summer 2023

New releases to look forward to in the coming months, from King Krule, PJ Harvey, Noname, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, and more. – Pitchfork

AI songwriting is not a sin, says Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys

AI could help overcome writer’s block, suggests musician amid industry move to stop perceived threat of fake songs. – Jamie Grierson, The Guardian

Ex-Fugees rapper Pras plans to sue 50 Cent, Kyrie Irving, Rolling Stone for defamation

The rapper plans to sue over social media posts, as well as a Rolling Stone article that included the allegedly defamatory comments about the rapper being a "rat," "government informant" and "FBI informant." – Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times

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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