Music News Digest, Nov. 23, 2018

Elton John is a fan of The Beaches (pictured), violence at a Toronto Pusha T concert, and Marianas Trench announces a major tour. Also making news are In The Dead of Winter, Jukebox Hero, hit musicals, Loud Luxury, Northern Haze, Megan Bonnell, MusicOntario, ole, Music PEI, Liona Boyd, Music NL, Eliza Pope, JD Era, and farewells to Roy Bailey and Devin Lima.

Music News Digest, Nov. 23, 2018

By Kerry Doole

An enthusiastic endorsement from Sir Elton John has members of Toronto female rockers The Beaches beaming. A feature story in The Toronto Star yesterday noted that back in June, the knight opened his Rocket Hour show on Apple Music with The Beaches single “T-Shirt.” The tune later topped his weekly Spotify playlist, and Elton later invited the gals to say hello backstage at one of his Toronto concerts in September. On Instagram, band members gushed that "tonight we met one of our heroes, one of our parents' heroes. We love you, Elton."

The Rocket Man's stamp of approval has recently also been given to Toronto record store Sonic Boom and The Senator Diner, both visited by Elton on one of his many Toronto stops.


– A Pusha T concert at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on Tuesday night made international headlines after it erupted into violence. Beer was thrown at the US rap star, concertgoers rushed the stage before being beaten back by security, and one attendee is in critical condition in hospital after being stabbed. There is speculation that the mayhem was caused by the ongoing feud between Drake and Pusha T, who ranted after the incident that “This nigga paid some niggas to throw beer. What the fuck is that?" Drake has yet to respond to the allegation. Sources:NOW, CBC Music, BlogTO

– Multi-platinum pop-rocker band Marianas Trench has announced its Suspending Gravity Canadian tour launches in Windsor, ON, on March 6, and wraps at the Orpheum in Vancouver, BC, on March 29. The 15-date romp is to include material from the group's forthcoming studio album, Phantoms. "We couldn’t be more excited. Time to dust off the shiny pants and stretch out the glutes, the Trench is back,” says lead guitarist Matt Webb. General Public tix on sale Nov. 30.  Last week, the band released the single “I Knew You When” (604 Records).


– In The Dead of Winter is a songwriter-based music festival held annually in Halifax on the last weekend of January. In 2019 it runs Jan. 24-26, hosting 30 acts at four venues. Performers just announced include The Good Lovelies, Bedouine, KAYO, Jennah Barry, T. Thomason, Moscow Apartment, Aphrose, and Sorrey. Other names TBA. Tickets and fest passes on sale here

– The new stage production Jukebox Hero, The Musical , from Jeff Parry's Calgary-based Annerin Theatricals, will play a limited engagement at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre, Feb. 20 to 24. A coming-of-age saga featuring 16 of Foreigner’s Top 30 hit songs, Jukebox Hero, The Musical is set in a rust-belt town in Pennsylvania. Workshop productions of the musical were staged earlier in Calgary and Edmonton.

– The Recording Academy will reveal the 61st Grammy Awards nominations on Dec. 5. Select nominees will be revealed on CBS This Morning, while the complete nominations list will be posted on

–  Two hit Toronto musicals have announced extended runs. This week Mirvish Productions announced that Come From Away's run will continue until June 30. It is moving from the Royal Alexandra Theatre to the Elgin Theatre on Feb. 5. Due to popular demand, a new block of tickets for performances May 28 through June 30 will be released for the first international production of the Tony & Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen. Its engagement at the Royal Alex begins March 5. Another hit musical, Bat Out Of Hell, returned to The Ed Mirvish Theatre in October for a run of shows that closed Nov. 3.


– At a media event in London, ON, yesterday, CARAS and CBC announced that London act Loud Luxury will perform at the 2019 Juno Awards in that city. this is the first Juno performer announcement. The dance music duo had a massive radio and club hit, “Body,” featuring Brando, now certified 7 times Platinum in Canada. Their latest single, “Love No More” featuring Anders, has spent the last several weeks on multiple Billboard Dance Charts, and is certified Gold in Canada.


– Arctic metal band Northern Haze releases its album Siqinnaarut (Return of the Sun) today (Nov. 23). It premiered via Billboard earlier this week, accompanied by a Karen Blissfeature. The group's first new album in over three decades, it is released on northern label Aakuluk Music.

– SOCAN surprised singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell last week with a No. 1 Song Award for co-writing “Separate Rooms,” which topped the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 chart in May. It is the title track of her current album. Bonnell co-wrote the song with Donovan Woods, Josh Van Tassel, and producer Chris Stringer. The song is also co-published by Arts & Crafts and Warner Chappell Music Canada. The presentation was made just before Bonnell's show at Toronto's Mod Club.

– MusicOntario and Toronto music venue the Hideout are partnering for the Tune Up Toronto Bout Panel series on music industry topics. The first, on Jan. 24, is entitled Stretching A Buck: cashflow tips for the indie artist. The March 28 theme is Festivals and Conferences: The art of networking. Free registration here . The series is co-presented by The Bout, a talent contest for local acts that pays out $20K in cash prizes. Register by Nov. 30.

– ole has signed an exclusive worldwide recording and publishing deal with pianist/composer, Paul Cardall, acquiring a catalogue including the master recordings from all 22 of Cardall’s past albums, master recordings of 12 additional albums from his Stone Angel Music label, and Cardall’s publishing and writer’s share on all compositions.  The new recording agreement begins with Cardall’s album, Christmas. Released on Nov. 2, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard New Age Albums chart.


The Music PEI Member Ballots are now open for voting, with a Nov. 30 midnight deadline. Those eligible can vote in eight categories of the upcoming PEI Music Awards. A jury of music industry professionals determines all other awards. The winners will be announced Jan. 27 at the Music PEI Awards Party. A full list of the nominees here

–  The audiobook version of Liona Boyd's bestselling autobiography, In My Own Key: My Life in Love and Music, will be released physically and digitally on Nov. 28. The classical guitar star's PBS Christmas concert special, A Winter Fantasy, airs four times in December. Boyd continues to perform and recently completed an extensive Ontario tour.

– Music at Memorial, AFM/CFM Local 820 and MusicNL present Making Music Work: A Workshop Series for Musicians. On Nov. 29 at 1 pm at Fred's Records in St, John's, there'll be an information session describing the themes of the workshops. It features music by Gordon Quinton and Sandy Morris. Workshop session date listings here.


– Young Toronto jazz and pop songstress Eliza Pope turned ears with her 2015 debut album, Call Me A Fool. She returns with a strong new track, "Canvas," showcasing her warm vocal style amidst a smart arrangement. Pope plays Toronto's Globe Bistro on New Year's Eve.

– Performance submissions for the 2019 edition of Paddlefest NB are open from now until Jan. 15. Apply to Paddlefest takes place in Saint-Andrews, May 16-19. 

–  Mississauga-based rapper JD Era has a new album Back From The Dead set for release Nov. 30, preceded by a new track and video, "Bankroll." Era was nominated for a Juno for Rap Recording of the Year in 2013 for No Handouts, and has twice been nominated for Best Rap Artist at the DJ Stylus Awards.


Roy Bailey, an English folk singer, died on Nov. 20, aged 83.

He started in the folk clubs around Southampton and Portsmouth in the early 60s, with a repertoire of the US-based folk and skiffle, but quickly found his voice in folk music as a popular expression of political and social dissent. Influenced by singers as diverse as Ewan MacColl and Bob Dylan, he became convinced that folk music could become a powerful vehicle for contemporary social criticism.

As folk gained in popularity, Bailey became a star attraction. His rich baritone voice, his charm and skill as a performer, together with his evocation of traditional folk themes, gave him an appeal to a much wider audience than either a purely cultural interest in folk or an unadorned political radicalism would have.

In the early years, he often sang with his wife, Val (nee Turbard), but he also formed other working partnerships. In 1964, he teamed up with Leon Rosselson, a prolific writer of songs of social comment. He later formed the Band of Hope, a group of traditional English folk musicians that also included Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick,  and Dave Swarbrick, and together they recorded the CD Rhythm and Reds (1994).

During the 80s, he became more widely known in Australia and North America, particularly on the west coast of the US and as a regularly featured performer at the Vancouver folk festival, where he met and performed with both Pete Seeger and Billy Bragg.

Rather than write his own songs, Bailey took up material provided by the many performers and writers he met on his travels, each drawing on the traditions of protest of their own country. 

 In 2000, he was appointed MBE, although he returned the award in 2006 in protest against British support of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In 1990, he and Labour politician Tony Benn first presented The Writing on the Wall, a showcase of the history of British dissent named after a book by Benn. In 2003, their show was named best live act in the BBC Radio 2 folk awards ceremony, and they continued to work together until Benn’s death in 2014. Source: The Guardian

Devin Lima, LFO singer, has died on Nov. 21 at the age of 41, from cancer.

Lima and bandmate Brad Fischetti reunited as a duo last year after splitting in 2010 following the death of bandmate Rich Cronin, who lost his fight with leukemia.

LFO were planning to tour earlier this year, but Lima's health issued forced them off the road after doctors discovered a massive tumour sitting on his adrenal gland in October 2017.

The pop group formed in Massachusetts in 1995. Lima replaced Brian “Brizz” Gillis in the band in 1999. The group's biggest hits were "Summer Girls," "Girl on TV," and "Every Other Time," and they released two albums.

Lima also found success as an actor, appearing in the films Longshot, American Pie Presents: Beta House, and All That. Source: WENN

T.I. at the BET Awards 2023 held at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2023 in Los Angeles.

T.I. at the BET Awards 2023 held at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Rb Hip Hop

T.I. Credits J. Cole for Stepping Out of Kendrick Lamar-Drake Feud: ‘That Was Quite Mature of Him’

But he also feels the two beefing artists ruined things for those "who were planning to drop" music during the battle.

While the dust appears to have settled in the Kendrick Lamar and Drake feud, other rappers are still providing their takeaways from the massive battle that swept the hip-hop world and permeated pop culture.

T.I. pulled up to Big Boy’s Neighborhood in an episode that dropped May 16, where he broke down the Drake-K. Dot battle as Big Boy peppered him with questions. Tip believes that Cole chose “peace and tranquility” when it comes to bowing out of the feud after dropping “7 Minute Drill” (which he later removed from streaming services following his apology to Lamar at Dreamville Fest).

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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