Music News Digest, May 13, 2021

Drake (pictured) is named Billboard's Artist of the Decade, the 604 Sessions Song Camp is launched, and Queen Celine returns to Vegas. Also making news are The Rock Hall of Fame, BROS, IRCPA, The Tragically Hip, TikTok, Ken Tizzard, Festival (506), Glenn Chatten, and farewell Pierre Gaudet.

Music News Digest, May 13, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Drake's latest honour is being named Billboard's Artist of the Decade. The title is based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, during the decade. After first appearing on Billboard charts in 2009, Drake banked nine Billboard 200 No. 1s in the 2010s. He also scored six Hot 100 No. 1s in that span. Since his debut, he has obliterated numerous chart records, including the most Hot 100 top 10s (45, to-date) and overall entries (232). Justin Bieber places No. 7 on the Decade list.


At the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, Drake, winner of 27 BMAs, will receive the Artist of the Decade Award. He is a finalist in seven categories at this year's show, including top artist. The Nick Jonas-hosted event will air live May 23, on NBC at 8 pm ET. This year's top nominee, The Weeknd, will perform on the show.

– Top Vancouver-based record labels 604 Records and Light Organ Records (604/LO) are launching their 2021 604 Sessions Song Camp. Aimed at unsigned artists, the camp offers 604/LO’s creative services to the greater community while also opening the door for a wider range of artists to form relationships with the labels. Applications are open now - to apply, click here.

Once the finalists are chosen, 604/LO will set up songwriting sessions with a producer and writer from each roster. Over three sessions, the unsigned artist will have the chance to work with musicians such as Coleman Hell, and Louise Burns. When the camp is over, 604/LO and the unsigned talent will mutually decide if they want to continue to work together. 

– Sibling members of The Sheepdogs,Ewan and Shamus Currie have returned to their successful side project, BROS. Out today is a new track, Theme From BROS, accompanied by an animated video by noted LA-based visual artist Rob Fidel. Ewan explains that “Theme From BROS is inspired by our love of 70's cop cinema and the film scores of composers like Lalo Schifrin. It’s the action-packed soundtrack to the cop movie that never was.” Earlier BROS cut Tell Me has become a fave at North American sports arenas and has amassed up a combined 11 million streams.


– On May 12, The Rock Hall of Fame announced its list of new inductees in three categories: Tina Turner, Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, the Go-Go’s, Carole King,  LL Cool J, Billy Preston, Randy Rhoads, Gil Scott-Heron, and Charley Patton. Music executive Clarence Avant is this year’s Ahmet Ertegun Award honoree. The Rock Hall 2021 ceremony is set to take place Oct. 30,  at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An HBO and HBO Max special will air at a later date. 

– Celine Dion is heading back to Vegas. She is one of a small group of global stars named as headliners for exclusive headliner engagements at Resorts World Las Vegas.  Concerts West/AEG Presents and Resorts World Las Vegas have announced that Dion, Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will become the founding headliners at the Strip’s highly anticipated new 3,500-room luxury destination opening June 24, and will call The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas their performing home. The 5,000-capacity, world-class theatre will open Nov. 2021 Dion returns with a brand-new show and a special opening night performance to benefit Covid-19 Relief on Nov. 5, then nine more shows. Tix for 30 Shows go on sale May 24 here.


– The local planning group of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA, a service organization for Canada’s musicians), including residents and businesses in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood, has unveiled a conceptualized logo for the musicians’ centre they envision in the historic Dominion Foundry buildings on Eastern Avenue. Of note: The logo was designed by John Harris, President of the Harris Institute. More info here 


– Collective Concerts and the Horseshoe Tavern has announced Chill-O-Rama, a star-studded live music series that can hopefully proceed at Toronto's CityView Drive-In, July 15-17. Tapped to perform are The Jim Cuddy Band, Stars, Skydiggers, The Sadies, Elliott Brood, The Arc Sound, and Ellis. All shows will also be live-streamed through Vimeo.  Livestream tix available here. All Drive-in and live-stream ticket holders will have access to watch a rebroadcast of the show for 10 days after the original event. Chill-O-Rama is designed as a benefit for the  Horseshoe Tavern, and financially supports the bands, their crews, local technicians and videographers, and the venues, while the 'Shoe's stage remains in lockdown. Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates.

– Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of The Tragically Hip’s second studio album Road Apples, TikTok has announced that the band has joined the online platform. The deal means The TikTok community will be able to use The Tragically Hip's sprawling catalogue of music in their video creations and through the TikTok Sounds page. To celebrate the partnership, guitarist Rob Baker is asking the TikTok community to duet on a stripped-down version of Ahead By A Century, adding their own vocals to Gord Downie's verse.

– TD Toronto Jazz Festival has been selected to participate in the first intake of a new initiative which will benefit nonprofits and communities across the province. Earlier this year, Toronto-based Community Researchers announced a call for proposals to award complimentary research projects to organizations across Ontario. After a review of applications by the nonprofit research organization, a proposal submitted by the TD TJF was one of eight projects selected for the new program.


– Ontario roots singer/songwriter Ken Tizzard presents the world premiere of his new album, All Together Now, on May 15, through his socials here and here (the album officially comes out on May 18). That begins at 9 pm ET, preceded, at 8 pm, by a digital concert by Tizzard and his group, Music For Goats, filmed at noted Campbellford venue, Westben. Watch live on YouTube here.

– From Oct. 21 to 24, Music·Musique NB will present some of the best developing talent New Brunswick has to offer at Festival (506). The deadline to apply here to showcase is May 14. NB: You must be a current member of Music·Musique NB to apply.

– Whitehorse-based folk singer-songwriter Glenn Chatten released his seventh album, Baked Cafe, on May 7. The full-length features both original songs and acoustic guitar instrumentals. In 2017, Chatten was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the category of Instrumental Soloist of the Year.


Pierre Gaudet, a guitarist and founding member of popular East Coast musical group 1755, died on May 4, at age 75.


During their active heyday from 1975 to 1984, 1755 was the group credited for launching the modern Acadian music scene at the international level and, in 2008, the group received the Dr. Helen Creighton lifetime achievement award at the ECMAs.

Co-founder Roland Gauvin tells FYI that Gaudet left 1755 prior to the four albums the band recorded, but had a strong influence on the development of the 1755 sound. "As the group was getting more popular and taking up more of our time Pierre decided to opt out. He was already busy as a professional accountant," explains Gauvin.

He adds that Gaudet "was the idol of myself and another founding member, Pierre Robichaud. We used to go see him when he was in The Saxons, a very popular group in the Moncton area in the '60s and into the early '70s. They were rather a tribute to the English bands, the first ones locally to play Led Zep, The Who and Cream and rock instigators. For us, it was the closest thing to being there. To eventually be able to become a friend and play music with Pierre was quite an honour for us."

Gaudet and Gauvin went into business together for a period, and remained close friends over the years, with Gaudet also serving as Gauvin's accountant until recently. Gaudet occasionally joined his comrades at 1755 reunion shows. One noted concert, at the Moncton Coliseum, during the first Acadian World Congress in 1994, was filmed and turned into a live album Les retrouvailles de la famille and a DVD video release.

Family and friends gathered to remember Gaudet's life in Moncton on May 7. Gauvin informs FYI that an annual musical celebration in his honour will follow. In Gaudet's memory, donations can be made to the local food bank or an organization of choice. Sources: TJ News, Wikipedia, Roland Gauvin.

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