Music News

Music Biz Headlines: A Legal Take on Drake/Kendrick Lamar Feud, Ottawa's Canada Day Concert

Our weekly compendium of stories from across Canada and beyond also features Hamilton's former Copps Coliseum, Spotify royalties and the latest on Diddy.



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Kendrick-Drake Feud: How do U.S.-Canada Defamation Laws Compare?

If either Drake or Lamar decided to sue the other for defamation, what would the law say? – Lisa Macklem, Calgary Herald

TikTok Hit Keeps Kendrick-Drake Feud from Top Spot on Canadian Billboard Chart

Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s rap beef held a tight grip on social media last week, but neither star could turn the attention into a No. 1 hit on the Canadian pop charts. – David Friend, Canadian Press

Soleil Launière Wins the Francouvertes

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages. – Amelie Revert, Billboard Canada


Remembering Notable Local Rock Music Photographer Dee Lippingwell

Lippingwell, who once photographed for the Straight, among other publications, spent over five decades capturing some of the world’s biggest rockstars on camera. “Lippingwell shot a Who's Who of major international rock stars, plus hundreds of Canadian artists,” writes Billboard Canada in a recent obit. – Vicki Duong, Georgia Straight

Chromeo and Maestro Fresh Wes Among Acts Headed to Ottawa Concert on Canada Day

Funk masters Chromeo, rap legend Maestro Fresh Wes and rock band Metric are headed to Ottawa for Canada Day. –Toronto Star

This Could Be the Last Call For the Building Formerly Known As Copps Coliseum

Sure it’s a cliché, but whenever it happens, it really will be the end of an era, writes Scott Radley. –Hamilton Spectator

James S. Kahane is The Next Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Considered a rising star, the 28-year-old Frenchman is principal conductor of the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, where he is a founding member. He will assume his new role in September at the start of the 2024-2025 season. – Hamilton City Magazine


Mirvish Shows Ineligible for Toronto’s Top Theatre Award After Producer Withdraws from Arts Alliance

Mirvish says it withdrew as a member of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts in October 2023. – Toronto Star

Mom-of-five Sentenced in Ambush Killing of ex-Helix Guitarist

Allana Lebars may not have wielded the knife that stabbed and killed Daniel Fawcett, but she played a significant part in his death. – Jane Sims, London Free Press

Rex Murphy, a Dominant Pundit on the Right in Canada, Dies at 77

In newspaper columns and on radio and TV, he was his country's “premier provocateur,” gaining a wide audience for his conservative attacks. –The New York Times


Spotify Sued by the MLC for Cutting Pay Rate to Songwriters via Premium Bundles

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has filed a lawsuit against Spotify in the United States for allegedly underpaying royalties to songwriters and publishers. – Music Business Worldwide

Stax: Soulsville U.S.A.: The Legendary Record Label Gets Its Close-Up Doc Series

Some of the greatest music of the pop/R&B/Soul era came out of a recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Songs like Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay, Soul Man, Try A Little Tenderness, Green Onions, The Theme From Shaft, are classics that helped define R&B, soul and the Memphis sound. – Karen Gordon, Original Cin


Famed Rapper Diddy Faces Increased Scrutiny as Legal Woes Intensify

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs was already at the center of a federal probe, with accusations of sexual abuse mounting. Then, Friday, video surveillance footage surfaced that will only add more urgency to a federal sex-trafficking investigation into the star. – Los Angeles Times

An Annual Rich List says Paul McCartney is Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

According to figures released Friday, the former member of the Fab Four is the first British musician to be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion). – Associated Press


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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