Music Biz Headlines, May 23, 2018

Photos of T.O. hip-hop scene, EMI Publishing, Lyor Cohen, YouTube, and Paul Simon's farewell in Vancouver. Also in the headlines are Betty Davis, music videos, Jessie Reyez, Donald Whitton, The Last Poets, Ma Rainey, Rita Ora, and Blessed.

Music Biz Headlines, May 23, 2018

By FYI Staff

Sony buys EMI Music Publishing for US$2.3B

The deal will create world’s biggest music publisher with a catalogue of more than 4m songs – Mark Sweney, The Guardian

Everyone's worst fears about the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger have come true

Live Nation Entertainment controls "nearly every aspect" of the ticket business, producing record-high ticket prices and onerous fees, according to an investigation published last month by the New York Times. The Department of Justice is now looking into complaints that the company, which also manages hundreds of top artists, tried to coerce venues into using Ticketmaster. – House Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., The LA Times

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium: how Google is taking on Spotify and Netflix

YouTube Music gives music streamers another tune-filled option – Carrie Marshal, Tech Radar


YouTube just added songwriter, label and publisher credits to millions of songs

More than half a billion videos on YouTube will, from today, carry credits covering songwriter, label and publisher data – and that’s just the start. – MBW

Lyor the disruptor

For as long as he’s been in the music business, whether in the capacity of road manager, artist manager, major-label exec or company founder, the lore of Lyor Cohen is long and legendary. – Michelle Santosuosso, Hits Daily Double

The future of hologram tours

Will fans of Frank Zappa, Ronnie James Dio and others show up for their Virtual versions? – Cortney Harding, Billboard

How your favourite songs get on TV

Content is king, and it's everywhere. From cable to Facebook to your watch, original programming is popping up in every direction — and it needs music. But what does that mean for bands? – Danny Ross, Forbes

How to make a hit song in 2018

Why artists are rethinking old formulas for chart-topping music – Tariq Hussein, The Walrus

Twelve gorgeous photos of what Toronto hip-hop looked like before Drake

The McMichael's current photo exhibit shines a light on The Six's rap trailblazers – Luke Fox, Toronto Life

The music industry’s songwriters get their much-needed moment in Washington

For the last decade, songwriters like myself have watched the music industry go through a massive technological change with the shift toward digital streaming services – Michael McDonald, The Hill

As Paul Simon takes his final bow, thousands of voices join in singing the words of a prophet

Paul Simon emerged from the darkness to say hello to old friends in Vancouver for one last time – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail


The artful, erotic, and still misunderstood funk of Betty Davis

“I needed to ‘fit in,’ or else no contract,” the funk star Betty Davis says, in a new film that documents the singer’s short-lived but influential music career. “I learned that stars starve in silence" – Emily Lordi, New Yorker

Music videos can be too powerful to ignore—and artists know it

Videos can be produced relatively quickly, and have proved liberating for musicians and directors looking to engage with current events—and even steer the conversation – Mike Doherty, Maclean's

The beats are back on Toronto beaches after a shaky, soggy 2017

Dance music is coming back to Toronto’s beaches this summer after a shaky — and somewhat waterlogged — 2017 and there’s a renewed sense of optimism in the air along with the beats – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

YouTube picks Toronto-raised Jessie Reyez to launch new marketing blitz platform

The streaming video giant says it’s picked the Juno Award-winning singer as its inaugural YouTube Artist on the Rise, a just-launched multiplatform publicity push – David Friend, CP

Obit: Cellist Donald Whitton played with the Canadian rock band Lighthouse

Donald Whitton was one of the most unlikely rock ‘n’ roll musicians of the 1960s. He was in his mid-40s, a war veteran, married with children and had played cello with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the CBC Symphony Orchestra, but enjoyed a stint in the jazz-rock combo – Laurence Wall, Globe and Mail


The Last Poets: the hip-hop forefathers who gave black America its voice

It is half a century since the Last Poets stood in Harlem, uttered their first words in public, and created the blueprint for hip-hop. At an intimate open house session, they explain why their revolutionary words are still needed – Rebecca Bengal, The Guardian

Former DJ for A Tribe Called Red enjoying his new life down on the farm near Perth

Seven months ago, Ian Campeau quit the musical group he co-founded just as it was gaining considerable acclaim, and headed back to his farm – Jacquie Miller, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Drake’s mates and Taylor Swift’s cosplay: exploring the 2018 music video

From famous friends for hire to Kate Bush-aping interpretive dance, it’s likely the modern music video will fit one of these frameworks – Michael Cragg, The Guardian


Review: A perilous racial relationship is at the heart of the powerful play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

In the sizzling Soulpepper Theatre production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the seminal African-American blues singer is played with fiery humour by Alana Bridgewater – Martin Morrow, The Globe and Mail

It's a decade after Katy Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl'

Rita Ora reignites a debate about lyrics perpetuating bisexual stereotypes – Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post

The art-punk of Blessed is difficult, it’s demanding, and it’s worth it

You could call Abbotsford, B.C. art-punk band Blessed’s music “difficult” because it most definitely is, but that word needn’t have negative connotation – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Eminem 'Houdini' music video

Eminem 'Houdini' music video


Eminem's 'Houdini' Is This Week's Hottest New Radio Track in Canada

Also making waves on radio this week: Bob Marley grandson King Cruff's "Proppa Ghanda" team-up with Montreal production duo Banx & Ranx, Julian Taylor's "Running Away" and Victoria, B.C. indie group The Bankes Brothers' "Walkin'."

The following are tracks delivered to radio by digital distributor Yangaroo in Canada and broken down into three categories. Top Downloads and Top Canadian Downloads represent the most copied tracks in the week ending June 7. Most Active Indies blends downloads and streams, with the affiliated label and radio promotions company in parentheses.

Top Downloads

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