Music News Digest, Oct. 28, 2019

Shawn Mendes (pictured) and Drake earn multiple AMA noms, Neil Young set to become American, and Eurythmics to reunite for Sting. Also in the news: Indie Week, Reykjavik Calling, CIMA, Prairie Sound Records, Edmonton Music Prize, and farewell Paul Barrere and Ted Triebner. With video.

Music News Digest, Oct. 28, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Post Malone is the top contender at the 2019 American Music Awards, scoring seven nominations, followed by newcomer Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande, who each earned six nominations. Taylor Swift is up for five awards and could surpass Michael Jackson’s record for most wins at the show (24). The fan-voted AMAs will air Nov. 24 on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in LA. Swift, Malone and Grande, along with Drake and Halsey, are nominated for the top prize: artist of the year. Drake has four noms in total, Shawn Mendes has three. Newer artists cited nominated include Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Luke Combs, and Ella Mai. A full list here. Sources:  APBillboard.


 Neil Young will soon become an American citizen, the LA Times reports. “I’ve passed all the tests; I’ve got my appointment, and if everything goes as planned, I’ll be taking the oath of citizenship,” Young told a Times reporter. He has lived approximately two-thirds of his life in California.

– Indie Week in Toronto has added a People’s Choice Award to its annual Awards Show, held Nov. 17 at the Mod Club. You can vote for one artist a day until Nov. 1. The top 4 artists with the most votes will perform at the show, and judging by a panel of music industry reps will determine the winner. Vote here. Indie Week runs Nov. 13-17.

– As part of the Taste of Iceland fest in Toronto, the annual Reykjavik Calling show is set for the Dakota Tavern on Nov. 16, featuring Icelandic acts Kælan Mikla and Sólstafir. A free event. 

– A reminder that Nov. 9 is the deadline for submissions for CIMA's 2020 Canadian Blast BBQ at Austin’s SXSW, on March 18. The mission will mark the 15th year that CIMA will be in attendance for what is considered the most influential music festival and conference in North America. Apply here


– Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart will perform together as Eurythmics for the first time in over five years on Dec. 9, at NYC's Beacon Theatre. The occasion is Sting’s ‘Sting & Friends We’ll Be Together’ Rainforest Fund 30th anniversary concert, a benefit that also features Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Bob Geldof, Ricky Martin, and H.E.R.

– Irish-Canadian punk veterans The Mahones celebrate the 25th anniversary of their album Draggn' The Days with a one-night-only presentation of the album at Cherry Cola's in Toronto on Nov. 2.

– The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) – of which CIMA is a founding member – and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have announced a cross-industry collaboration to create Repertoire Data Exchange (RDx), a centralised industry data exchange service. RDx will enable record companies and music licensing companies (MLCs) to submit and access authoritative recording data via a single point. Source: CIMA

– The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) and Alberta Music, in collaboration with the Edmonton Arts Council, has announced that entries for the 2019 Edmonton Film Prize & Edmonton Music Prize are now open. Launched in 2013, the Edmonton Music Prize awards the winner a $10K cash prize, with two runners-up receiving $1K. The Film Prize has the same cash allotment. Enter here 


– Alberta Music's 2019 member survey is ready for the input of its members. Fill it out here.

– A new Saskatchewan-based label, Prairie Sound Records, launched on Oct. 25 with the track Innocent Days by Eliza Mary Doyle and Valerie Raye, written by Big River, Sask. songwriter Gavin Millikin. Operated by Raye, Prairie Sound Records will focus on working in tandem with government music industry associations (Alberta Music, Sask Music, Manitoba Music), as well as Sâkêwêwak Indigenous Artists’ Collective, who all share the goal of promoting prairie musicians and artists.



Paul Barrere, singer and guitarist of American rock band Little Feat, died Oct. 26, at the age of 71. A statement released by the band attributed the cause of death to complications from liver disease.

After auditioning for Little Feat as a bassist, he joined the band on guitar three years later, before the recording of Little Feat's third LP, the gold-certified Dixie Chicken.

Little Feat released 16 studio albums over 41 years, the last being Rooster Rag,  in 2012. Barrere released three solo albums: On My Own Two Feet (1983), Real Lies (1984), and  If the Phone Don’t Ring (1986). Read more here. Source: NME

Edward (Ted) Triebner, guitarist and singer in Ontario bands UIC and Positively Stompin', died Oct. 16, age 59. The cause of death has not been reported.

Triebner was a founding member of indie rockers UIC, formed in Exeter, ON, in 1982. The group put out four albums and earned a national following. Triebner left in 1990, then fronted outlaw country group Positively Stompin', which released one album, Junk Drawer, in 1994. He later moved out West and away from music, but in recent years did play shows with a reunited UIC.

Visitation will be held at the Haskett Funeral Home, 370 William Street, Exeter, ON, on Oct. 30 from 9:30 – 10:30 AM, followed by a memorial service. The family would appreciate donations to Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada, or charity of choice. 

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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