Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 4, 2021

Michael Wekerle finally officially reopens the El Mocambo, Lee Aaron (pictured) rocks out again, and The Boss eyes blockbuster bucks. Also in the headlines are Leslie Bricusse, Jeffery Straker, Eric Church, Maajja, YouTube, Vevo, UMPG, Grammys, Fetty Wap, Elvis Costello, LL Cool J, Abba, Eva Cassidy, and Asleep At The Wheel.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 4, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Our Lady Peace toast Michael Wekerle’s determination as he re-opens El Mocambo

Nearly seven years after businessman Michael Wekerle began chasing the El Mocambo’s famous palm tree neon sign, he’s finally opened the concert venue that came with it. The former “Dragon’s Den” cast member snipped the ceremonious ribbon on Saturday night in decidedly homegrown fashion inviting Canadian alt-rockers Our Lady Peace to play a re-opening party for a crowd of 350 concertgoers. – David Friend, CP

Lee Aaron rocks out with Radio On!

Multi-platinum, award-winning vocalist Lee Aaron is back with Radio On!, a collection of 12 brand new original songs that continues to build upon this rock legend’s legacy. The songs are clever and hooky, and if there is an ongoing theme since her “Metal Queen” days where she sang about “taking control”, it is one of empowerment. – Roman Mitz, Music Express


Obituary: Oscar winning songwriter Leslie Bricusse was reporter at Hamilton Spectator

The legenday songwriter and composer who passed away last month wrote his first hit musical while working in the newsroom. – Hamilton Spectator

Scene & Heard: Your record of news to note from the Halifax music scene 

For all the new goings-on in the Halifax music scene this fall, we can start with the one thing that won’t be happening: The Halifax Pop Explosion appears to have shuttered, with no word yet of festival dates and no updates to the safer spaces survey it promised to deliver back in March 2021. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Jeffery Straker feels closer to his fans despite the distance created by Covid

"It actually changed the way I view performing." – Greg Harder, Star-Phoenix

"Weird' but wonderful: Eric Church rocks packed house at Rogers Arena

“It’s been a long wait, and it’s going to be a long-ass show,” the country star proclaimed. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

How a Toronto music label is bringing South Asian culture, language to world stage

Using cultural sounds and native languages, a music label in Toronto is helping South Asian musicians break through in the industry. Noel Kirthiraj, CEO and co-founder of Maajja, hopes his label will normalize South Asian music, while helping artists and listeners stay connected to their roots. – CBC


YouTube's ad business is now bigger than the entire global record business

Obviously, the major music companies are doing very well for themselves. As MBW often reports, the increase in these companies’ value and revenues in recent times has been nothing short of astonishing. YouTube, though, puts even Universal, Sony, and Warner in the shade – not to mention the entire global record industry. – MBW


Bruce Springsteen negotiating to sell album catalog, publishing to Sony Music

Bruce Springsteen is in talks to sell the rights to his recorded music to Sony Music as well as his publishing catalog, three sources confirm to Variety. While the album catalog deal is nearly done, some sources say, the publishing catalog remains in play. While Springsteen has been with Sony’s Columbia Records since 1972, he acquired the rights to his music as part of a contract renegotiation at some point in his career. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Vevo unveils 2022's Artists To Watch. Will these be music's biggest new names next year?

It's music industry tipster season, with media and digital platforms beginning to name the new acts they expect to catch fire in 2022 and beyond. One of the first – and most influential – of these annual efforts is Vevo's DSCVR Artists To Watch list, which has in the past spotlighted the likes of Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Sam Smith early in their careers. – MBW

Universal Music Publishing China opens new office in Shanghai

The company says the move 'significantly expands UMPG’s operations in China.' – MBW


Grammy NFTs on deck after Recording Academy  strikes deal with OneOf

The Recording Academy has struck a deal to release NFT collectibles for the next three Grammy awards with NFT platform OneOf, the organization tells Billboard. – Digital Media Wire

On my radar: Elvis Costello’s cultural highlights

The singer-songwriter on the joys of Summer of Soul, his favourite gadget, and a song that helped him through grief. – The Guardian

Rock Hall 2021: LL Cool J, Carole King, Tina Turner ushered into rock immortality

LL Cool J got together some of his heavyweight musical friends to usher him into rock Halldom. Part of an eclectic 2021 class that includes Carole King, Tina Turner, The Go-Gos, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren, Cool J was joined on stage by rapper Eminem and Jennifer Lopez for a powerful performance during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. – Tom Withers, AP


Abba prepare to release first album of new music in 40 years

This week, Abba will release their first album of new music in four decades, Voyage. The Swedish pop group returned earlier this year with two new singles and the announcement of a world-first virtual residency at a purpose-built arena in London. – The Independent

Kiwi stars unite to help industry professionals impacted by Covid cancellations

Social enterprise Masked Voices launches nationwide selling luxurious masks designed by NZ music stars Profits go to NZ charity MusicHelps who provide assistance to industry professionals experiencing hardship. – Scoop

Rapper Fetty Wap facing drug ring charges

The Trap Queen star was arrested on federal drugs charges by FBI agents late on Thursday afternoon on a two-count federal indictment at the Citi Field stadium in Queens, N.Y., ahead of his performance at the Rolling Loud New York Festival. The charges allege his role in a bi-coastal opioid drug ring, based in Long Island, N.Y. – WENN

‘One of the best singers ever’: remembering Eva Cassidy, 25 years after her death

The singer died at 33 of cancer before the world got to hear her sing. Those who knew and worked with her look back on an unusual talent. – Jim Farber, The Guardian

Kanye West joined by Marilyn Manson and Justin Bieber at Sunday service concert

Amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, Marilyn Manson has found an unlikely ally in Kanye West. After appearing alongside Kanye at a listening event for Donda earlier this year, the disgraced rocker was again spotted with Kanye on Sunday — this time at his Sunday Service gospel concert. Justin Bieber was also on hand. – Alex Young, Yahoo News

Backbeat: Book charts sights and sounds of Aberdeen music scene

A new book charts the sights and sounds of the Aberdeen music scene from the heady days of the 1950s to the 1980s. Its bands, its fashions and its attitude is chronicled by Hugh Falconer. –  Press and Journal

Asleep at the Wheel: The origin story

Asleep at the Wheel, the eight-time Grammy-winning, country-swing band, have been celebrating their 50th anniversary a year late, thanks to the pandemic. Their current tour seemed like a good opportunity to revisit the backwoods home in nearby West Virginia where it all began in 1970. –  Geoffrey Himes, Paste


Jade Eagleson
Ryan Nolan

Jade Eagleson


Canadian Country Music Association Awards 2024 Nominations: Jade Eagleson, Mackenzie Porter Lead The Pack

The two platinum-selling singer/songwriters have scored six nominations each for the CCMA Awards, with The Reklaws and Josh Ross hot on their heels. The biggest night in Canadian country takes place on Sept. 14 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Today (July 18), the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced the official nominees for the 2024 CCMA Awards. Topping the list of contenders with six nods apiece are Jade Eagleson and MacKenzie Porter, the latter of whom will co-host the awards show alongside American country star Thomas Rhett.

Hot on their heels with five nominations apiece are The Reklaws and Josh Ross, while High Valley, Owen Riegling and Dallas Smith are each cited in four categories. Other notable Canadian artists making the list include Dean Brody, Steven Lee Olsen, James Barker Band, Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes and Lindsay Ell.

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