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Music News

Music Biz Headlines: The Punjabi Wave Continues, Black Musicians Snubbed at Canadian Blues Awards

Our weekly compendium of stories from across Canada and beyond also features Joni Mitchell, Celine Dion, festival news, Triumph and the Rock Hall, Elton John honours and more.

AP Dhillon

AP Dhillon

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With Karan Aujla's history-making Junos win this week, Canadian media is catching on to the Punjabi Wave as featured on Billboard's first Canadian digital cover story last October. Read on for stories on Punjabi-Canadian musicians' success story, as well as stories on global music revenues, Vancouver festival news and much more.

Five Canadian Songs to Hear From the Rising Punjabi Music Scene


With Punjabi-Canadian musicians like AP Dhillon growing in popularity on a global scale, there's already a storied history of how the genre went from a relative niche to a formidable streaming force. – David Friend, Canadian Press

Punjabi Music is Taking the World by Storm and Its New Sound is Based in Canada

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Ikwinder Singh is too young to remember the last time Punjabi music was on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream in Canada. – David Friend, CP

Artists Call for Change After Black Musicians Snubbed at Canadian Blues Awards

The low number of Black award recipients has been a long simmering issue within the country’s blues community and now it has come to a head. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Joni Mitchell’s Classic Catalog Back on Spotify After Neil Young’s Return to Service

Mitchell pulled her music from the streamer in solidarity with Young in 2022 in protest vs Joe Rogan's COVID-19 misinformation on his podcast. – Gil Kaufman, Billboard

Vancouver's PNE Announces its 2024 Dates

After that, the annual PNE Fair, which includes trade shows, concerts, and entertainment events like SuperDogs, will keep the party going from August 17 until the end of Labour Day long weekend (September 2). – Georgia Straight

Jill Barber heads a powerful line-up of women songwriters at Vancouver's SongBird North

SongBird North—the long-running songwriters’ showcase that has called the Roundhouse home since 2005—is back for its 28th season, showcasing an all-women lineup of some of Canada’s best singer-songwriters on April 4. – V. S. Wells, Georgia Straight

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NXNE Announces First 150 Bands for 2024 Music Festival

Artists from Morocco, Mexico, Norway, Australia and more join strong Canadian lineup. – NEXT MAGAZINE

Stratford Festival Reports Surplus and Higher Attendance in 2023

They came for Shakespeare and stayed to donate: Stratford shows off impressive numbers. –JK Nestruck, Globe & Mail

Rik Emmett: Triumph Won't Make Rock Hall Due to "Huge Prejudice"

He points a finger at exiled Hall co-founder Jann Wenner. – Ultimate Classic Rock

Do the Junos Still Matter? We Spoke to Four First-time Nominees About What the Awards Show Means Today

We caught up with Omega Mighty, Bambii, Smalltown DJs and Zoon to discuss the importance of the biggest award show in Canadian music. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

Celine Dion Reads Starting Lineup for the Boston Bruins, To the Dismay of Canadian Hockey Fans

The singer, diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome in 2022, has made a number of recent public appearances. – Andy Takagi, Toronto Star

Rod Stewart, Offspring, Andrew Dice Clay Coming to Niagara Casinos

New shows announced for OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino and Seneca Niagara Casino. – Niagara Falls Review

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International

IFPI Global Report 2024: Music Revenues Climb 10% to $28.6 Billion

The total figure is the highest mark since 1999, not counting for inflation, while the number of paid streaming subscriptions passed 500 million for the first time. – Richard Smirke, Billboard

After a Stabilizing Decade, Record Labels Grapple with TikTok, AI and Moderating Growth

Since the rise of Napster, the recorded-music industry’s financial health has been tied, for better or worse, to technological change. New insights from its global lobbying group Thursday show that the industry is still struggling to define what success looks like. – Josh O'Kane, Globe and Mail

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Danish Man Found Guilty of Fraudulently Profiting from Music Streaming Royalties

Unnamed 53-year-old made at least £230,000 from artificially generated plays of hundreds of tracks. – The Guardian

Elton John and Bernie Taupin Honoured With Prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

Sir Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin won the honor, making a point to underscore that their musical legacy is in harmony with their philanthropy, especially the Elton John AIDS Foundation. – John Carucci, The AssociatedPress

‘Don’t Say: What if We Did This Reggae Style?’ The Huge yet Humble Lives of Unofficial Band Members

From Manic Street Preachers to Simple Minds, few bands are complete without their full-time touring players. They discuss the peaks and practicalities of life on the sidelines. The Guardian

Tired of Inflated Ticket Prices, Yungblud is Launching His Own Affordable Music Festival

Bludfest takes place on Aug. 11 in the iconic Milton Keynes Bowl in Buckinghamshire, England, northwest of London. Yungblud (Dom Harrison) thinks that currently festivals are “unrepresentative of people” — so he’s fixing the price point of Bludfest at 49.50 pounds (around $63). – Sian Watson , AP

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AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella
Instagram/Coachella

AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella

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AP Dhillon Drops Off Coachella's Second Weekend

The Punjabi-Canadian star has faced backlash in Indian media and on social media for his guitar smash on weekend one, but the festival says he's cancelling due to scheduling conflicts.

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind. Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival's second weekend as planned, citing scheduling conflicts. The festival announced it in a follow up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added.

While Dhillon's first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he's also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

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