Music Biz Headlines, May 20, 2020

The new love songs of David Myles (pictured), a look back at cult folk singer Elyse Weinberg, and a socially distanced US rock show. Others in the headlines include Leonard Cohen, Toronto’s African artists, Century Egg, Spotify, Reeperbahn fest, Reservoir, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Keith Urban, Splice, Abba, Bruce Allen, Ian Curtis, Guns ‘N Roses, Rod Stewart, The Human League, Ian Anderson, and Devo.

Music Biz Headlines, May 20, 2020

By FYI Staff

Forgotten folk singer Elyse Weinberg had a surprising late-in-life comeback

She was one of Yorkville’s forgotten female folkies, a contemporary of Joni Mitchell and a friend of Neil Young who left Toronto in 1968 for the hills above Los Angeles. But disillusionment with the music business eventually caused the husky-voiced singer to drop out, move to the rural northwest and change her name. – Nicholas Jennings, The Globe and Mail

David Myles, hopeless romantic 

Why Leave Tonight will make you believe in love songs—and easy listening. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

The many lives of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

Since its release, “Hallelujah” has been covered by more than 300 artists and become a staple of TV singing shows. Not bad for a song that Cohen’s own record label hated. – Kenneth Partridge, Mental Floss


'The puzzle that we all need to solve': Canada's theatre community ponders comeback amid covid-19

'We need to prepare for the worst-case scenarios,' says head of theatres association. – Jessica Wong, CBC News ·

'I’m still winning': Vancouver music manager Bruce Allen turns 75

Manager has consistently taken acts to stardom, from Bachman-Turner Overdrive to Loverboy, Bryan Adams and Michael Buble. – John Mackie, Vancouver Sun

10 African Artists from Toronto to watch

African-rooted artists are growing in numbers and contributing to the success of the Toronto music scene. Here are ten to follow, including Amaal. – Minzi Roberta, Okay Africa 

Century Egg’s new record is a sunny-side-up return

Halifax's Mandopop saviour drops a five-track EP to help you have a "fairyland kind of view" of life. – Sam Gillett, The Coast


Musicians call for industry shake-up to protect artists during lockdown

Two new campaigns call for artists to receive a greater cut of Spotify and streaming royalties. –The Guardian

America’s first concert in months rocks an Arkansas stage

Fans who had to have their temperatures taken and wear masks for the Travis McCready show said it was worth it for the experience of hearing live music again.  – Bret Schulte, New York Times

Reeperbahn festival plans to go ahead in September with social distancing

Last month, the German government banned large scale events until the end of August 2020 in an attempt to slow the spread of covid-19. While some of the country’s most prominent music festivals have been forced to cancel their 2020 editions, Hamburg’s showcase festival and music business conference Reeperbahn, which takes place from September 16-19, has revealed today (May 18) that it will be going ahead this year. – MBW


New York-based Reservoir acquires 16,000 copyrights in a deal with Shapiro Bernstein

Reservoir is now firmly established as one of the ascendant independent music rightsholders of the modern age – and it’s just grown again by making a deal to bring storied US music publisher Shapiro Bernstein into its ranks, acquiring over 16,000 copyrights in the process. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Facing extinction, local DC rock clubs hire lobbyists to plead with Congress

Many fear they'll never be able to reopen in the wake of covid-19. – Chris Francescani, ABC News

“You can buy No. 1s on Billboard,” says disgruntled rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine

He claims 30,000 Ariana Grande/Justin Bieber single sales  were purchased using six credit cards. – MBW

Keith Urban plays a Nashville area drive-in concert for frontline workers

The country star is used to playing massive stages full of lights, speakers and screens in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans, but his latest gig was mostly just him and two other musicians playing on a flatbed truck in front of about 125 cars. – AP

Music creation marketplace Splice acquires​ ​audio tech firm Superpowered​

Splice’s music production platform is used by more than 3 million people while Superpowered powers the audio for thousands of apps that, it claims, have been installed billions of times.  –Murray Stassen, MBW

Abba's Waterloo voted best Eurovision song of all time

Eurovision: Come Together on the BBC saw the public vote for their favourites, on the night that this year's song contest was due to take place. The 2020 competition was cancelled in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.– BBC News


Hacker group leaks confidential Lady Gaga files, threatens to next take down Donald Trump

Files were stolen from a prominent celebrity law firm that also represents Bruce Springsteen, Drake, and LeBron James.– Luke Schatz, CoS

Joy Division on the death of Ian Curtis: ‘Listening to Closer, you think, f***ing hell, how did I miss this?’

Forty years on from the day the singer took his own life, Mark Beaumont talks to bandmates Peter Hook and Stephen Morris plus Tim Burgess, Grian Chatten, Orlando Weeks and Jon Savage about the man, the artist and his legacy. – The Independent


Guns N’ Roses tears into Trump with ‘Live N’ Let Die with covid- 45′ Shirt

Guns ‘N Roses slammed President Donald Trump and his response to the coronavirus pandemic with a t-shirt for sale that reads “Live ‘N Let Die With Covid 45.”The rock band unveiled the new shirt on its Twitter account on Wednesday, and posted it on its merchandise website. – Jordan Moreau, Variety

Billy Joel, Sting, Mariah Carey raise millions on virus telethon

A telethon broadcast in New York City last week collected $115 million for coronavirus relief, according to organizers.– Reuters

The music industry mourns its losses 

Within four days in early May, we saw three music legends leave this world-  Andre Harrell, Betty Wright and Little Richard. – The Chicago Crusader

Rod Stewart surprises covid survivor with $6G cheque

Rod Stewart has left a student nurse in Wales stunned after sending her a $6,000 cheque to help her out following a serious battle with coronavirus. The Maggie May hitmaker was moved by video footage of Natasha Jenkins reuniting with her three children following a five-week stay at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where she had spent 22 days on a ventilator. – WENN

The Human LeagueDare

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the high-art synth-pop of the Human League’s Dare, a prismatic album that all pop music would soon pass through. – Brad Nelson, Pitchfork

Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull frontman, reveals he has "incurable lung disease’

Thanks for your concern but no worries about my diagnosed COPD and Asthma,” he wrote. “The conditions I have are early-stage and I plan to keep them that way. I really meant when talking to Dan Rather that my days as a singer were numbered rather than days to live.” – Variety

Plinofficial: Russian rapper who loved dollars arrested by FBI

A court in Pennsylvania last week took up the case against a 29-year-old Russian rapper, known as Plinofficial, accused of cybercrimes. He once dreamt of becoming the biggest rap artist on the planet. Where did it go wrong? – Andrei Soshnikov, BBC Russian


Devo begins selling energy dome face shields to combat coronavirus

Now that face coverings are a part of our foreseeable future, Devo wants to ensure fans are protected from the coronavirus — with style. The quirky, sci-fi rockers, whose 1980 hit Whip It launched them into mainstream popularity, on Friday shared an online store featuring coronavirus merchandise. – LA Times

Céline Dion in 'I Am : Céline Dion'
Prime Video

Céline Dion in 'I Am : Céline Dion'

Tv Film

Céline Dion Calls Prime Video Documentary 'A Love Letter To My Fans' In a Message at Her Montreal Premiere

The Quebec artist is as vulnerable as ever in 'I Am: Céline Dion,' which premiered on June 17 before its official release on June 25. Here's what we learned from the sneak peek of the film, which is raw and vulnerable and sometimes hard to watch.

The Maisonneuve Theatre in Montreal was packed to celebrate Quebec's national treasure, Céline Dion.

Monday evening, June 17, Prime Video organized a handful of previews of Irene Taylor's highly anticipated documentary I Am: Céline Dion. In Montreal, where Billboard Canada was among the guests, many people came to attend the special screening.

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