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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 27, 2019

Choir! Choir! Choir! (pictured with Rick Astley) is a feel good sensation, John Mann is remembered, and Shania slams ageist country stations. Also in the headlines are Celine, Keith Urban, Hipgnosis, Bruce Cockburn, Drake, Harris Institute, Viagogo, Billboard, audiobooks, Andrea Bocelli, the AMAs, and Eric Clapton.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 27, 2019

By FYI Staff

Why Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! is a feel good and viral sensation

Eight years on, the live singalongs and compositions that Choir! Choir! Choir! continue to create have ballooned in popularity. They attract thousands of voices and a long list of famous figures from the pop and rock world. Patti Smith, Tegan and Sara, Rufus Wainwright and Rick Astley have all attended events and supported Adilman and Goldman’s creative endeavors. – Ello Iannacci, Globe and Mail


The soul of the man from Spirit of the West: Three stories of John Mann

John Mann was doing what he loved. Surrounded by his bandmates, the frontman for Spirit of the West was on stage at Massey Hall in Toronto, singing the songs that had made them famous, before a vibrant crowd there to show its love. – Melanie Green, The Star 

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Review: Keith Urban keeps things moving during the Grey Cup halftime show

The 52-year-old country music artist, born and bred in New Zealand and Australia, was the Grey Cup halftime performer on Sunday night in Calgary at McMahon Stadium. And it turned out the charismatic country crooner from Down Under was a pretty good fit for Canada’s Cow Town — a country music mecca — as he delivered an engaging and high-energy 12-minute medley of five of his songs. – Jane Stevenson, Postmedia

Shania Twain blasts 'ageist' country music stations

Shania Twain has slammed “very ageist” country music radio stations for not playing songs by older female artists such as herself, Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless. – WENN

Celine Dion reveals she didn't want to record 'My Heart Will Go On' at first on 'WWHL'

Celine Dion answered all the questions on Watch What Happens Live last week. With excitable host Andy Cohen putting the Canadian siren through the paces, Dion and even judged a drag competition during an action-packed, higher-than-high camp blitz through her legendary career. – Gil Kaufman, Billboard

Bruce Cockburn back on tour, plenty of books in tow

Bruce Cockburn has been on tour one day, and he's already been given two bags of books. Cockburn is an avid reader, and he has authored a book himself: "Rumours of Glory," a memoir released in 2014. "People give me books all the time," said Cockburn in a phone interview during a tour for "Crowing Ignites," an all-instrumental CD that came out in September. – Ann Wright, The Daily Sentinel

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All about the Benjamins: Drake’s tattoo artist gives rapper unique housewarming gift

Drake’s tattoo artist wanted to give the Toronto rapper a truly unique housewarming gift to celebrate his move into a new multimillion dollar mansion in the upscale Bridle Path neighbourhood. But what do you get a global superstar who seemingly can buy whatever he wants?–  David Friend, Canadian Press

A 10-year journey from Stoney Creek to the Royal Albert Hall

Ten years ago, Carly Paradis was playing the local club scene in an indie rock band called Oceanship. Now the Stoney Creek native is an award-winning composer, based in England and writing soundtracks for film and television. – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Dinuk Wijeratne stays wylin’ 

The Halifax-raised composer and multi-instrumentalist continues to deliver exciting, explosive music. – Chris Stoodley,The Coast

Harris achieves fifth 0% student loan default rate

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities released the 2018 Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for Student Loan Default Rates for all post secondary schools in Ontario. The ministry publishes the indicators "to help students assess the financial risk and learn about prior student loan borrower outcomes". – Yahoo Finance

International

Viagogo acquires secondary ticketing rival StubHub for $4.05 billion

The landmark deal brings together the world’s two largest secondary ticket sellers and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. – Celebrity Access

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Top Touring Artists of the Decade

We have spent the decade chronicling the live industry that has seen the touring titans of the era – both old and new – take it to the next level. Rising stars like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift have emerged to join the ranks of U2 (the decade’s No. 1 artist,), The Rolling Stones, Pink, Beyoncé & Jay-Z. – Pollstar

Billboard announces new rules for album/merch bundles

Billboard is tightening the rules on a popular strategy used to sell more music at a time when streaming has become the dominant music delivery method. Every No. 1 album on the current Billboard 200 chart has gotten a sales boost from a bundle.  Under the new rules, all the items in a bundle must also be available for purchase concurrently and individually on the artist’s official direct to consumer site for it to be counted as a bundled album sale. – Hypebot

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Merck Mercuriadis' Hipgnosis Songs Fund is already worth more than $850m

Can big-spending Mercuriadis build a music company worth more than $1 billion within two years of trading? Don't bet against it. This week brought some rosy news for his Hipgnosis Songs Fund. The acquisitive company – which started trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in July 2018 – is committed to undertaking a semi-annual valuation of its song portfolio, conducted by an independent valuer, and the results are impressive. – Tim ingham, MBW

Congress proposes radio royalties for artists

A new bill introduced into the US Congress would require broadcast radio to pay fair market value for the music they use. The Ask Musicians for Music Act of 2019 (AM-FM Act) has been introduced for consideration. – Hypebot

New rules: the destruction of the female pop role model

Somewhere between Britney and Billie Eilish, liberated by social media and their direct relationship with fans, millennial and Gen Z women claimed the right to be complicated pop auteurs.  – i

How James Taylor’s new audio-only memoir explores audiobooks’ potential

In 2020, audiobooks are evolving. At least, they are if Audible Originals have anything to do with it: James Taylor’s just-announced audio-only memoir Break Shot is one example. Written with Bill Flanagan and read by Taylor himself, the audiobook goes beyond just the spoken word: It’ll also include musical interludes recorded by Taylor. – Adam Rowe, Forbes

Inside the wild world of ‘Love & Hip Hop,’ where the line between reality and fantasy is blurred

Since 2011, “Love & Hip Hop” has documented the melodrama of women and men orbiting rap scenes across America, starting in the genre’s birthplace of New York and spinning off to cover the south (Atlanta and Miami) and the West Coast, which films across Los Angeles. – Gerrick D. Kennedy, LA Times

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Opera star Andrea Bocelli’s foundation donates to Royal College Of Music

The large sum (£750,000) will help up-and-coming singers overcome financial barriers. – Sherna Noah,independent

Eric Clapton has organised a Tribute To Ginger Baker concert

it s set for February 2020. The Baker family has chosen charity Leonard Cheshire as the beneficiary of the event. Leonard Cheshire is the UK based organization that has been supporting disabled people around the world for over 70 years. – Paul Cashmere, Noise 11

How a lost Harry Nilsson record came together 25 years  after his death

The legendary singer-songwriter's final recordings were carried across the finish line by his friends and family. – inside Hook

Bob explains why the American Music Awards were so darned magical

So rarely does an Awards Show come along that enthralls as well as entertains, educates as well as enlightens, and stinks up a room less than a Tour Bus full of used KFC Buckets, and two weeks worth of Green Day’s unwashed sweaty stage socks, and the urinal odor of R. Kelly’s bedroom, but this year’s AMA’s managed to do just that. – Bob Segarini, Don't Believe A Word

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Celia Cruz (1925 - 2003) performs at the JVC Jazz Festival concert 'Two Divas and a Lion' at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York, July 1, 1995.
Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Celia Cruz (1925 - 2003) performs at the JVC Jazz Festival concert 'Two Divas and a Lion' at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York, July 1, 1995.

Latin

A Rare Live Recording by 'Queen of Salsa' Celia Cruz Is Coming Soon

How a lost 1986 recording will finally be released, marking the launch of the centennial of Cruz's birth.

South Florida radio personality Albertico Rodríguez was cleaning out his closet last year when he found something unexpected: an audio reel recording of Celia Cruz, from a live show at the now defunct Casanova Club in Miami in 1986 or 1987.

Rodríguez, who emceed many shows in which the legendary Cruz performed, had recorded this particular performance, put it away and forgotten about it. Now, almost 21 years after Cruz’s death, he had an unexpected treasure in his hands: a previously unknown recording of Celia Cruz, an extremely rare commodity in 2024.

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