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FYI

Obituaries, June 15, 2023

Otis Grand (born Fuad Bishti), a Lebanese-born British blues artist who gained prominence in the US, has died at age 73. His death was announced on June 9.

Obituaries, June 15, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Otis Grand (born Fuad Bishti), a Lebanese-born British blues artist who gained prominence in the US, has died at age 73. His death was announced on June 9.


He was best known for his album, Perfume and Grime (1996) and his exciting live performances. He was honoured with The Presidential Medal for Arts for The Republic of Lebanon in 2009.

US blues star Joe Louis Walker produced his debut album, Always Hot (1988). Grand was voted 'Best UK Blues Guitarist' seven years running (1990–1996) by Blues Connection magazine. Such US blues stars as Walker, Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis, Curtis Salgado, Sugar Ray Norcia, Kim Wilson, Anson Funderburgh, Debbie Davies, Luther Allison, Guitar Shorty and Darrell Nulisch appeared on various Grand albums.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Discogs

Jack Lee, an American songwriter and musician best known for composing the song Hanging on the Telephone, covered by Blondie, died on May 26, at the age of 71, from colon cancer.

Alongside Paul Collins and Peter Case, Lee formed the seminal yet short-lived '70s Los Angeles power pop trio The Nerves. Their recorded output consisted of just one self-titled four-song EP in 1976, released on Bomp!, which had the Lee songs Hanging on the Telephone and Working Too Hard.

Lee also wrote the songs Come Back and Stay, covered by singer Paul Young and a sizeable UK hit, and You Are My Lover, recorded by Suzi Quatro.

Sources: Variety, Wikipedia

George Winston, a Grammy-winning pianist and composer, died on June 4, of cancer, at age 74.

Winston wrote music for films and television projects including The Velveteen Rabbit,' and This Is America, Charlie Brown. His work sold millions of records and earned a Grammy Award,

Throughout his cancer treatments, Winston continued to write and record new music, performing for live audiences while raising funds for Feeding America.

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His own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano was called folk piano. In 1972, he recorded his first solo piano album, Ballads and Blues 1972, for the late guitarist John Fahey's Takoma label,. He found commercial success starting in the 1980s with two platinum-certified albums, Autumn and Winter into Spring, which were followed by the three-times platinum-certified December.

His 1994 album Forest won the Grammy Award for best new age album. His most recent album, Night, was released in May 2022. Throughout his career, Winston sold over 15 million records and performed nearly 100 concerts annually. Sources:People, NPR

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Hipgnosis Songs Fund logo
Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Hipgnosis Songs Fund logo

Business News

Hipgnosis Slashes Valuation of Portfolio By 26%

The London-listed fund said it will focus on paying down debts and therefore extend its pause on paying dividends.

LONDON — Hipgnosis Songs Fund has cut the value of its portfolio by more than a quarter and told investors that it does not intend to recommence paying dividends “for the foreseeable future” as it focuses on paying down debts.

The London-listed fund, which owns full or partial rights to the song catalogs of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Justin Bieber and Blondie, among many others, announced the updated valuation on Monday (March 4).

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