Music Biz Headlines, May 6, 2020

Emm Gryner (pictured) pays tribute to nurses, creative types deal with the pandemic, and global music revenues rise. Also in the headlines are Ron Sexsmith, VSO, Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, Jerry Leger, Grimes, Sunset Sound, Luke Combs, Twitch, Imagine Music, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Wiz Khalifa.

Music Biz Headlines, May 6, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Emm Gryner says 'thank you' to hometown Sarnia hospital and staff

Emm Gryner’s mother’s background as a nurse helped inspire the singer-songwriter to release a new single, Stronger Someone, to support the Bluewater Health Foundation and its covid-19 fund. – Paul Morden, London Free Press

Pandemic poems, kitchen concerts and documentaries: Here’s how we’re creating – and consuming – art online

Behind every cultural byproduct of covid-19 lies a creative person struggling with boredom, frustration, fear or all three. Ian Brown checks in on them. – The Globe and Mail

 The 2020 Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival has been cancelled.

The two-day celebration of blues, country, folk, and indie music was scheduled to take place in Deer Lake Park on August 7-8. Organisers are hopeful of a 2021 return. – Georgia Straight

Interview: Jerry Leger talks live streaming, lockdown and staying positive

Like thousands of other artists, the impact of the terrifying spread of Covid-19 is a game-changer for Jerry in the same way it is so many others who depend on the touring circuit to earn a living. the Canadian was slated to play 28 shows throughout Europe this month, but all are cancelled. – Americana UK


May the Fourth be with you video of the day: Vancouver musicians cook up a crazy-great tribute to Star Wars cantina band

There are no Bith aliens and no extraterrestrial woodwinds, but the hilarious cover of Star Wars' Cantina Band song just released by homebound members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is going to make your day anyway. – Janet Smith, Georgia Straight


The global recorded music industry generated $20.2bn in wholesale revenues in 2019

This figure was up 8.2% on the prior year ($18.7bn), according to official industry data revealed in the latest IFPI Global Music Report today (May 4). The growth in streaming revenues slowed however. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Opinion: Let’s play music and pay musicians as coronavirus stirs the sounds of silence

The coronavirus pandemic has shut concert halls, outdoor theaters and clubs, and many won’t reopen anytime soon. With musicians not being able to make income from their live performances, they are in a tenuous situation. One estimate is that event cancellations will result in a loss to the concert industry of almost $9 billion. But there are ways in which we can support them during and after the pandemic. – Kabir Sehgal Market Watch


Battered by coronavirus, L.A.'s legendary recording studios prep for a post-shutdown ‘resurgence’

In the six decades since the late recording legend and Disney sound engineer Salvador “Tutti” Camarata opened Sunset Sound Recorders in the heart of Hollywood, the studio has been continually powered up and ready for whatever musical inspiration may come its way. Covid-19 has forced its first-ever shutdown. – Randall Roberts, LA Times

Luke Combs and Bon Jovi amongst those penning songs about life during covid-19

With masks over their mouths and gloves on their hands, country superstar Luke Combs and his band went to a music studio — in separate rooms — and recorded a new song reflecting the mood of a world dramatically altered by the spreading coronavirus. – Meskin Fekadu, AP

Soundcloud to launch originally produced live programming on Twitch

Amazon-owned live streaming service Twitch is becoming an increasingly important platform in the music business. The new SoundCloud on Twitch channel will launch with a slate of originally produced live programming. – Murray Stassen, MBW 

Coronavirus canceled wedding season. So what’s a wedding singer to do?

Almost every weekend this spring, Susie Garcia and her husband, Pepe Martinez Jr., were booked to perform traditional music at cultural events and regale young couples at weddings across Southern California. That is, until early March when covid-19 turned everyone’s future around. – August Brown, LA Times

Imagine Music inks global distribution deal with Ingrooves Music Group

Imagine Music has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with Ingrooves Music Group, one of the world’s leading independent marketing services and distribution companies. The first releases under the new deal are scheduled for May 2020 feature acts represented by Imagine, which is also a full-service management company. – MI2N


Grimes and Elon Musk welcome a new baby

The healthy boy is named X Æ A-12 Musk, according to a tweet of indeterminate sincerity by the father. – Pitchfork

Beyoncé launches covid-19 testing campaign in Houston

Queen Bey and Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson will provide 1,000 test kits, as well as face masks, gloves, and more to Houstonians this Mother’s Day Weekend. – Matthew Strauss, Pitchfork

Kelly Rowland: ‘Coffee’ song, video is my ode to black women

Rowland debuted the breezy R&B track and video featuring black women across a spectrum of shades and colours two weeks ago. – Mesfin Fekadu, AP


10 of the best Star Wars references in music

From The Mountain Goats to Kanye West, here are a few of the many Star Wars moments in popular music.  Ellen Johnson, Paste

The Sampler: Reb Fountain/Ron Sexsmith/The Dream Syndicate

Nick Bollinger reviews a set of travellers’ testimonies from Reb Fountain; psych-rock space jams from The Dream Syndicate; and unashamed romanticism from Ron Sexsmith. – Radio NZ

Wiz Khalifa on the importance of being your own boss

Wiz Khalifa has urged up-and-coming rappers to “be the captain of your own ship”, stressing the importance of having unique ideas in order to sustain success over a period of time.– Noise11

The Black Keys
Jim Herrington

The Black Keys

Music News

The Black Keys Cancel North American Leg of International Players Tour

The rock duo's 31-date arena trek was scheduled to launch in September and included a date at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 11, 2024.

The Black Keys have abruptly canceled their upcoming North American tour.

The 31-date arena trek — which was scheduled to launch Sept. 17 in Tulsa, Okla., and wrap Nov. 12 in Detroit — quietly disappeared from Ticketmaster’s website without explanation on Friday (May 24).

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