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Music News

Music Biz Headlines: Shania Twain Gets A Barbie, Canadian Arts Festivals & More

Our compendium of national and international stories also features music store closings, YouTube, Taylor Swift, Live Nation and Pussy Riot.

Shania Twain with Barbie

Shania Twain with Barbie

Courtesy Mattel

Shania Twain Now Has a Barbie Modelled After Her: 'My Own Projection of Myself'

As a young girl, Shania Twain says she used to make her own dolls, modelled after Barbie.– Nicole Thompson, CP


Can New Artistic Leadership Revive Two Toronto Summer Festivals?

Rachel Kennedy and Laura Paduch will lead Toronto Fringe Festival, while Olivia Ansell has been named artistic director of the Luminato Festival. – Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

Billboard Women In Music Expands to Canada in 2024

This June, Billboard Canada is recognizing the trailblazing women making waves in the Canadian music industry. – Richard Trapunski, Billboard Canada

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KPU Set to Host Second Annual Wake Up! Festival

A free festival is set to rock the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus in Surrey,. Wake Up! Social Justice Music Festival highlights queer and BIPOC artists, promoting social and climate justice through song and community. – V. S. Wells Georgia Straight

Shaw Festival Records Largest Deficit in History Amid Wider Theatre Industry Woes

The Shaw Festival, one of Canada’s largest theatre companies, ran the biggest single-season deficit in its history in 2023, spending $5.7-million more than it brought in. – J.K. Nestruck, Globe & Mail

Hamilton's Mountain Music Will Soon Shutter

Co-owners Scott and Craig Kerr say they are looking forward to relaxing and having some free time. – Hamilton Spectator

Jean-Marie Zeitouni to Make HPO Debut

The HPO has assigned Zeitouni four pieces to conduct, two of which are Canadian works.– Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

International

Could YouTube Be the Music-first Social Platform the Industry Needs?

Users are finding that some of their favourite artists’ music is unavailable, cutting back the all-you-can-eat buffet of content with a little bit of (dare we say, needed) scarcity. It is a useful moment to consider another possibly idealistic thought experiment: what a music-first social platform could look like. – Tatiana Cirisano, MIDIA

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Live Nation is ‘Surprised and Thrilled’ Its All-In Ticket Pricing is a Success

The era of “all-in” pricing for concert tickets is finally arriving in the United States – and the law will back it, Live Nation’s leadership predicts. – Daniel Tencer, Music Business Worldwide

Swift Notes: How the Eras Tour Ticketing Debacle Reflects – and Distorts – US Industry Reform

As US lawmakers investigate ticketing practices from antitrust investigations to ‘speculative’ sales, do these proposals prioritise consumers or corporations – and why do some bear Swift’s name? – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

At the Tom Verlaine Book Sale

The ace guitarist and Television co-founder was a voracious book collector. The sale of his vast collection attracted many notables and old friends. – London Review of Books

‘It’s Terrifying’: Songwriter Behind Robbie Williams Hits Out at AI in the Music Industry

Guy Chambers says future albums may need disclaimers about how they were made amid rise of AI’s use for writing songs. – The Guardian

Catching Up with the SXSW Festival's Chief Programming Officer on What’s New and Noteworthy

BizBash tapped SXSW’s longtime programming chief, Hugh Forrest, to dish on what to expect at this year’s fest, taking place March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. – Shannon Thaler, BizBash

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Charges Are Dropped Midtrial in 'Hotel California' Lyrics Case

From the start, the case was highly unusual: a criminal prosecution centred on the disputed ownership of a cache of hand-drafted lyrics to “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits. Don Henley plans to fight on. – Jennifer Peltz, AP

Pussy Riot Co-founder on Alexey Navalny’s Sacrifice and Her Warnings For the West

Russian art protest collective Pussy Riot, currently performing in Western Canada, has altered its multimedia concert Riot Days for the worst of reasons. The group’s first show on this tour, in Kelowna, was also its first since the death of Alexey Navalny. – Marsha Lederman, Globe & Mail

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Legendary Sam Ash Music Store Closing After a Century of Harmonizing Manhattan’s Music

One of the last reminders of Midtown’s famed Music Row is about to play its final riff. City musicians are in mourning at the news that the legendary Sam Ash Music retail store on W34th Street plans to close its doors. Sarah Beling, W42St.com

Sonny Days for Cher! Music Icon May Win $1 Million Music Royalty Battle Against Mary Bono

InMusic legend Cher is on the verge of winning a bitter $1 million music royalty battle against Mary Bono, the widow of the Dark Lady’s sadly departed first hubby and singing partner, Sonny Bono. – In Touch

'Barbie' Ballad Makes Billie Eilish the Youngest Person to Win 2 Oscars

What were Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell made for? Winning awards, apparently. The sibling duo’s “Barbie” blockbuster ballad “What Was I Made For?” won the Academy Award for best original song on Sunday night.– Maria Sherman, AP

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Legal News

The Guess Who's Burton Cummings Will Give Up His Royalties to Stop Alleged 'Cover Band'

The Canadian musician has cancelled performing license agreements for all of his songs, which will prevent the act currently performing under The Guess Who name from playing hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes."

Canadian musician Burton Cummings is giving up his royalties to protect his legacy.

The "American Woman" singer and co-founder of classic Winnipeg band The Guess Who has cancelled his performance license agreements, Rolling Stone reports, in an effort to prevent the current iteration of The Guess Who from performing.

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