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Monday, 20 March 2017 15:28

MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017

MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017

 

CHUCK BERRY REMEMBERED - THE ROCK MUSICIANS

 

Bruce Springsteen calls Chuck Berry ``rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived.'' Berry died Saturday outside St. Louis at the age of 90. Mick Jagger says Berry ``lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers.''

Keith Richards says, ``One of my big lights has gone out!'' Slash tweets that Berry ``was indisputably the king.'' Lenny Kravitz says to Berry, ``None of us would have been here without you.'' Joan Jett calls Berry ``Original Pure Rock n Roll,'' while Sammy Hagar tweets, ``Thank God for his rock and roll presence on this planet!'' 

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CHUCK BERRY REMEMBERED - RAP AND R-AND-B MUSICIANS

 

The way Questlove pays tribute to Chuck Berry is this: ``Thou Shall Have No Other Rock Gods Before Him.'' Berry died Saturday outside St. Louis at the age of 90. Q-Tip wishes eternal peace to ``the father of rock and roll - the genius Chuck Berry.''

Chuck D posted his artistic rendering of Berry online with the caption, ``R-I-P King of Rock and Roll.'' Cee Lo Green tweets, ``May the great Chuck Berry rest in peace and may his legacy live on forever more.'' 

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CHUCK BERRY REMEMBERED - THE COUNTRY MUSICIANS

 

Keith Urban thanks Chuck Berry ``for the poetry, the passion and the potency.'' Berry died Saturday outside St. Louis at the age of 90. Charlie Daniels calls Berry ``the greatest rock and roll lyricist ever.'' The Band Perry calls Berry a ``legend''

and an ``icon.'' Kristian Bush of Sugarland thanks Berry for ``your big idea'' and adds, ``It changed the way my heart feels the beat.''

Kenny Rogers writes on Facebook that he met Berry a few times and he was ``always incredibly nice to me, which made me feel important.'' 

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ERIC CARMEN - CHUCK BERRY'S INFLUENCE -- AND ATTITUDE

 

Chuck Berry rarely had a permanent backing band because he was aware nearly every rock band knows how to play his songs, so he'd hire local musicians to back him because it was cheaper. Bruce Springsteen, Steve Miller, The Average White Band and The Raspberries were among the acts who backed Berry in their early days. Eric Carmen of The Raspberries recalls it as was one of his worst gigs ever. He said in an April 2000 Associated Press interview Berry showed up five minutes before showtime and would not say what key he was playing in or even what song. Carmen says Berry caught him watching Berry's fretwork and purposely turned away. Carmen's response was to turn up his amp. Berry's response was to wave to the crowd and walk off. Carmen says he thought the audience was going to lynch The Raspberries but ``we got out with our lives.'' 

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CHUCK BERRY - DUCK WALK

 

If you're going to imitate Chuck Berry's style of playing, the duck walk is a must. Berry came up with that as a child. He did it so he could slip under tables. Berry did it during a concert and a journalist called it the ``duck walk.'' 

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CHUCK BERRY - ``JOHNNY B. GOODE''

 

If Chuck Berry had not changed one word of one of his songs, it may not have become the rock-and-roll standard that it is today. In the song ``Johnny B. Goode,'' Berry originally sang ``coloured boy'' instead of ``country boy.'' Radio stations probably would not have played it with the original wording. It also broadened the appeal of the song to musicians who wanted to be like Johnny. The song was partly inspired by Berry's longtime piano player, Johnnie Johnson, who collaborated with him on many hits.

Then again, if Berry had been more successful at his day job, he may not have pursued music to supplement his income. Berry had trained as a hairdresser. 

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CHUCK BERRY - ONLY ONE NUMBER-ONE

 

Can you name Chuck Berry's only song to hit number one? No, not ``Johnny B. Goode.'' No, not ``Rock and Roll Music,''

or ``Memphis,'' or ``Maybellene,'' or ``Roll Over Beethoven.'' It was ``My Ding-A-Ling,'' in 1972. The surprising part is that it didn't get a lot of radio play because of the double-entendre lyrics. ``My Ding-A-Ling'' was recorded live at the Lanchester Arts Festival in the U-K with Onnie McIntyre and Robbie McIntosh of Average White Band in Berry's backing band. The closest Berry ever got to the top spot otherwise was ``Sweet Little Sixteen,'' which hit number two in 1958. 

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CHUCK BERRY - TROUBLE

 

Chuck Berry may have been an architect of rock and roll, but he was also had a fair number of brushes with the law.

Berry served three years in prison in the mid-1940s for a crime spree involving armed robberies and car theft. He served another a year and a half in prison and nearly derailed his career in the early 1960s for violating the Mann Act, which barred transporting a minor across state lines for ``immoral purposes.'' Berry ran into tax trouble in 1979 in part because of his insistence on being paid in cash. Berry settled a case for 1.3-million in 1994 in which some of his female employees accused him of videotaping them in the bathroom of his restaurant. Berry also was sued in 2000 by his longtime piano player, Johnnie Johnson, who accused Berry of failing to pay him royalties. The case was dismissed two years later. 

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CHUCK BERRY - THE BEACH BOYS

 

The first number-one song for the Beach Boys was a rip-off of a Chuck Berry hit. ``Surfin' U-S-A'' has the same melody as Berry's song ``Sweet Little Sixteen.'' Beach Boy Mike Love writes in his book, ``Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy,'' Berry's publishing company immediately accused The Beach Boys of stealing the song. The Beach Boys settled, and Berry was given writing credit. Love writes that he doubts Berry knew much about it because he was in jail at the time for violating the Mann Act. However, he says he met Berry on a plane years later and Berry said, ``I like what you did with 'Sixteen.''' Love writes on Facebook ``Fun Fun Fun'' and ``Be True To Your School'' were also ``born of as a result of my 'going to school' at Chuck Berry University.'' Beach Boy Brian Wilson says, ``I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing - a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock 'n Roll.'' 

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``HAIL! HAIL! ROCK N ROLL'' MOVIE DIRECTOR - CHUCK BERRY

 

The director of ``Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll'' remembers him as ``more difficult than any movie star I've ever worked with.'' Taylor Hackford writes in The Hollywood Reporter that Berry was ``diabolical'' but ``at the same time, I totally loved him.'' He says Berry was asked to report at 7 a-m the first day. He showed up at 3 p-m and only after he was paid 25-hundred dollars in cash in a brown paper bag. Hackford describes Berry as ``charming'' but he could ``turn on a dime and be as dark as it gets.'' He says he loved Berry but ``every day was a negotiation.'' 

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CHUCK BERRY - NEW ALBUM

 

Chuck Berry is gone but we still have new music from him on the horizon. Berry had announced on his 90th birthday in October he was working on an album called ``Chuck'' _ featuring mostly new songs. It's his first new album in 38 years. A release date was not given, and the status of the album is unclear. 

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ASTRONAUTS - CHUCK BERRY

 

Even NASA is a little sad about the death of Chuck Berry. Astronaut Scott Kelly tweets his condolences and says, ``Your music rocketed on Earth. Then it went interstellar.'' In 1977, Berry's song ``Johnny B. Goode'' was the only rock song included on the gold-plated record sent with Voyager 1 that was meant to communicate earth culture to any extraterrestrials the spaceship would encounter. Berry's music was sometimes used as the wake-up call for astronauts on board the Space Shuttle.

 

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GLEN CAMPBELL' - NO LONGER PLAYS MUSIC

 

Glen Campbell is no longer able to play guitar.

His wife, Kim Campbell, tells The Nashville Tennessean her husband's Alzheimer's disease has progressed so that he can't talk and he doesn't understand much. She says Campbell sometimes plays air guitar and he enjoys his daughter Ashley playing songs on her guitar, especially ``You Are My Sunshine.'' Kim Campbell says her husband sometimes tries to tell jokes but they come out as gibberish. She says, ``He still has his essence.'' 

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BLUESMAN JAMES COTTON - OBIT

 

Blues singer and harmonica player James Cotton has died of pneumonia. His label, Alligator Records, says Cotton died Thursday at a hospital in Austin, Texas, as the age of 81. Cotton played blues harp with Howlin' Wolf in the 1950s, then moved on to play in Muddy Waters' band. His harmonica is heard on the Muddy Waters ``At Newport'' and ``Hard Again'' albums. He released nearly 30 albums on his own and toured with Janis Joplin.

He also worked with B.B. King, Todd Rundgren, Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Johnny Winter. 

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(The Associated Press)

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MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017

Friday, 18 August 2017 08:18
MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017

MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017

 

YVONNE ELLIMAN - ARRESTED

 

Yvonne Elliman and her husband have been ordered to stay put in Guam after their arrests for illegal drug possession. The Pacific Daily News reports Guam customs agency dogs sniffed out methamphetamine and marijuana as the couple arrived in Guam Tuesday for a benefit concert. They have been released on 10-thousand dollars personal recognizance bonds but they can't leave Guam without court permission. They're also forbidden to go to clubs or bars. Elliman is allowed to perform as planned at the concert, which will benefit a local school. She is probably best known for the 1978 hit ``If I Can't Have You.'' 

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KATY PERRY -  TOUR

 

Katy Perry says parts of her stage production were not ready in time for her rehearsals, so her tour launch will be pushed back. She was supposed to begin the tour September 7th in Columbus, Ohio. Instead, she will start September 19th in Montreal.

Noah Cyrus will open for the first part of the tour. Purity Ring will do the second part. Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen opens on all dates in 2018. 

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JOHNNY CASH'S CHILDREN - SPEAK OUT

 

Johnny Cash's children say they are ``sickened by the association'' of a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi wearing a Cash T-shirt during a Fox News interview on Saturday. The man was at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent, with one woman dead. The five children say their father protested the Vietnam War, was a voice for the poor, acted as an advocate for prisoners and worked to end gun violence among children. They say even the casual use of his name of image would have horrified him.

 

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ARETHA FRANKLIN - RETIREMENT PLANS

 

Aretha Franklin plans to spend a lot of her time in Detroit when she's done with touring. Franklin tells The Detroit Free Press she's renovating a house within the city limits that will be her permanent home. She's lived in the suburbs for some time.

Franklin also is planning to open a small nightclub in downtown Detroit where she can sing when she feels like it or invite some of her favourite music acts to perform. She says coming up with the name was easy. It will be called Aretha's. Franklin has already said she will stop touring after this year.

 

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LADY ANTEBELLUM - PREGNANCIES

 

Lady Antebellum seem to do everything together.

They're even timing their babies. The group announced on Instagram that Dave Haywood and his wife are expecting, as is Hillary Scott and her husband. The Haywoods' baby is due in December, while Scott is due in February. They call it ``baby Bellum round 2'' and accompany it with a picture of Haywood's son Cash, who is almost three, Scott's four-year-old daughter Eisele , and Charles Kelley's 18-month-old son Ward.

 

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MONDO COZMO - ``PLASTIC SOUL''

 

Mondo Cozmo got another chance to release a first album. Frontman Josh Ostrander says ``Plastic Soul'' is his first album as Mondo Cozmo, but he released albums in previous bands that failed. Ostrander says a lot of artists second-guess their work, but he feels ``Plastic Soul'' is a complete thought. The album came out two weeks ago and he's already working on the next one. Ostrander says songwriting is such second nature for him that he gets up, has a cup of coffee and starts writing every day.

 

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FOO FIGHTERS - PBS

 

Foo Fighters' concert at the Acropolis in Athens is coming to P-B-S stations this fall. P-B-S will air ``Foo Fighters - Landmarks Live In Concert'' beginning November 10th. The show takes popular musicians and asks them to perform in interesting settings. Frontman Dave Grohl says they've done some crazy things over the past 20 years, but this might be the craziest thing they've ever done. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith hosts the show and conducts an interview with the band.

 

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RALPH STANLEY - TRIBUTE CONCERT PLANNED

 

Dierks Bentley, Daryl Worley and Heidi Newfield of Trick Pony will sing in memory of Ralph Stanley. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville will host a Stanley tribute concert on October 19th. Other artists involve include T. Bone Burnett, T.

Graham Brown, Doug Supernaw and Cody McCarver of Confederate Railroad. Stanley died last year. 

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IRON MAIDEN - COMIC

 

Iron Maiden's video game is now being expanded into a five-issue comic book. ``Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast'' is about band mascot Eddie travelling across space and time to battle forces in an effort to regain pieces of his shattered soul. The video game of the same name came out last year. The first issue of the comic comes out October 11th.

 

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BONNIE TYLER - ECLIPSE

 

You got Bonnie Tyler singing ``Total Eclipse of the Heart.'' You got DNCE doing ``Cake By The Ocean.'' Passengers on the Royal Caribbean cruise to St. Maarten Monday have their soundtrack set. Tyler and DNCE will perform on the Oasis of the Seas ship as part of the ``Total Eclipse Cruise.'' It leaves Sunday from Florida and will be on its way to St. Maarten on Monday when the solar eclipse happens. DNCE will serve as Tyler's backing band.

 

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SHELBY LYNN - ALLISON MOORER

 

You'd think it would be pretty easy for sisters to make an album together. Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer never could find the time. Lynne and Moorer tried to collaborate six years ago but they didn't have time to write songs together. They tried again to make an album, only this time they decided to do cover songs. The result is the album ``Not Dark Yet,'' out today. They cover songs like ``Every Time You Leave'' by the Louvin Brothers and ``My List'' by The Killers. They did do one original, a song called ``Is It Too Much.'' Moorer calls it a love letter between them.

 

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017

Thursday, 17 August 2017 08:21
MUSIC NEWS: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017

MUSIC NEWS: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017

 

 

MANCHESTER ARENA - REOPENING CONCERT 

Noel Gallagher and his band High Flying Birds will headline a concert to reopen Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, the site of the deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande  concert in May. The Courteeners, Blossoms and Rick Astley will perform as well at the September 9th show. Twenty-two people were killed and more than 200 injured by a suicide bomber as Grande's concert finished at the arena on May 22nd.

 

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MANCHESTER ARENA VICTIMS' FAMILIES - COMPENSATION

 

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund will distribute 324 thousand dollars to each of the families of the 22 people killed at an Ariana Grande (GRAHN'-day) concert in Manchester, England, three months ago. Billboard reports fund officials announced that the payments are the result of ``the phenomenal outpouring of public support following the attack.''

Manchester councilor Sue Murphy, who is the fund's chair of trustees, says the fund will take time to figure out how to distribute the rest of the money by looking at the long-term impacts of the attack. A suicide bomber detonated a backpack full of explosives at Grande's concert on May 22nd. 

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TAYLOR SWIFT - WINDOW MESSAGES

 

 Taylor Swift has sent flowers to the Denver company that used Post-It notes to quote her songs on its windows during her sexual assault trial. A spokesman for Craftsy, an online site for crafts, says they are ``absolutely thrilled'' with the flowers. Swift's note thanked them for ``brightening my day for every day I was in Denver.'' The company posted lyrics from Swift's songs, like ``Fearless,'' ``Haters gonna hate'' and ``People throw rocks at things that shine'' in its windows as a show of support.

Swift won her case that stated former radio personality David Mueller (MYOO'-ler) grabbed her up her skirt during a meet-and-greet at a Denver concert in 2013.

 

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NILE RODGERS - FIRST SHOW

 

Nile Rodgers claims he has missed only one show in his life. He wasn't about to make it two. Billboard reports Rodgers missed his concert with Earth, Wind and Fire in Toronto on Sunday because of an undisclosed ailment that required a hospital stay. Rodgers tweeted on Tuesday as he was discharged from the hospital was that he felt like a new man, and ``1st thing this new man wants to do is a show.'' Rodgers was back on stage in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and it was in remission in 2014.

 

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THOMAS RHETT - BABY GIRL

 

Thomas Rhett is a dad for the second time in three months. Rhett announced on Instagram his wife, Lauren, gave birth to a girl on Saturday. They have named her Ada James Akins. In May, they brought home their adopted daughter, Willa Gray Akins, who is a toddler from Uganda. The couple had announced the adoption in February at the same time they announced Lauren's pregnancy. 

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BILL MEDLEY - ELVIS PRESLEY

 

Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers became friends with Elvis Presley because they both loved motorcycles and both felt lonely. Medley says they each had millions of fans, but you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.

Medley says Presley invited him to watch one of his shows from the side of the stage and that's when Medley witnessed the transformation. Medley says Presley's intro music started playing, women started screaming and Presley looked over at him. Medley says that's when he went from Elvis his buddy to Elvis Presley the star. 

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CHEAT CODES - ``NO PROMISES''

 

If you read the online comments about the song ``No Promises'' by Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato, there seem to be two recurring themes. One is, ``Is that Justin Bieber singing?''

and the other is, ``Demi and Trevor should be a couple.'' As for the first one, singer Trevor Dahl says it's only on that song that people think he sounds like Bieber, but since Bieber is a big star, he takes it as a compliment. As for the second, he jokes he used to be shy with Lovato but now he feels like he can ``put the mack down and see what happens.'' Bandmate Kevi Ford told Dahl he should say, ``Demi, I love you. You're beautiful. I'm ready to marry you.'' 

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FORMER TRAIN DRUMMER - SELLING HOME

 

The former drummer for Train is selling his home outside Nashville that's steeped in country music tradition.

The Nashville Tennessean reports Scott Underwood and his wife, Cheryl, is asking 4.2 million dollars for the estate known as ``First Lady Acres.'' George Jones bought the house in 1974 and he lived there with Tammy Wynette until 1979. Record label owner Gayron ``Moe'' Lytle then moved in. Later, songwriter George Richey and Earl and Randy Scruggs lived there. The Underwoods bought it last year for 2.4-million dollars. The house has nine bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, a gym, a pool, a theatre, a safe room and a helicopter pad. 

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BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: WHERE'S THE DRUMMER?!

 

Belle and Sebastian left something important behind during a pit stop on their way to a gig in St. Paul, Minnesota: their drummer. Singer Stuart Murdoch tells KCMP-FM in St. Paul the band stopped at a Walmart in Dickinson, North Dakota, and they accidentally left drummer Richard Colburn behind.

Colburn was in his pyjamas and only had a credit card on him.

Murdoch says Colburn had left his phone and I-D on the bus, and Colburn waited four hours, thinking someone would notice. The rest of the band had fallen asleep. Murdoch says they used to have a system for accounting for everyone but abandoned it when everyone got phones. The band even tweeted to fans for help getting Colburn to the concert. Colburn was able to get on a plane, even without an I-D, and made Tuesday's show in time.

 

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DOLLY PARTON - KIDS ALBUM

 

Dolly Parton is putting out her first children's album. Parton wrote and recorded all the songs for the album ``I Believe In You.'' It includes a new version of her song ``Coat of Many Colors,'' as well as Parton reading the book version of the song. All proceeds from the sale of the album will go to her Imagination Library, which provides books to more than one million children. The digital version of ``I Believe In You'' comes out September 29th, with physical albums available October 13th.

 

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``A A A A A VERY GOOD SONG'' - HOT SELLER ON ITUNES

 

Why would nearly ten minutes of silence be a hot seller on iTunes? It's all in the name. ``A a a a a Very Good Song'' by Samir Mezrahi is in the top 50 on i-Tunes. For a lot of smartphones that are plugged into car stereo systems, the songs play alphabetically by default. With a title like that, users get a bit of quiet for a few minutes. You'd think silence would be free, but iTunes is charging 99 cents for the track.

 

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SHANIA TWAIN - ACTING

 

Shania Twain will appear in John Travolta's upcoming racing movie. Variety reports Twain has joined the cast of ``Trading Paint.'' Travolta plays a former dirt track racing legend whose son joins a competitor's racing team. The details of Twain's role were not given. The movie will also feature Michael Madsen, Kevin Dunn and Toby Sebastian from ``Game of Thrones.'' Production began this week in Alabama. 

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DRAKE - OFF THE HOT 100 CHART

 

For the first time in eight years, Drake is not on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. His songs ``Passionfruit'' and ``Signs'' were hovering near the bottom of last week's chart and fall off completely this week. It all started when his song ``Best I Ever Had'' debuted on the chart on May 23rd, 2009.

He's been on the Hot 100 every week since, either as a lead artist or as a featured act. His streak ends with 431 weeks on the chart.

The closest contender is Lil Wayne, with 326 weeks. Rihanna is third with 216 weeks. 

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QUEEN LATIFAH - AWARD - DIDDY'S REVOLT CONFERENCE

 

Diddy is giving Queen Latifah an award. Queen Latifah will receive the Icon Award during Diddy's REVOLT music conference in Miami in mid-October. She will be honoured for her accomplishments in music, film and television. Lauryn Hill, S-Z-A and Daniel Caesar will perform at the gala. Diddy started the REVOLT channel in 2013. 

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CMA'S - JO WALKER-MEADOR DEATH

 

Former Country Music Association executive director Jo Walker-Meador has died. The C-M-A says she died yesterday in Nashville at the age of 93. She was the C-M-A's office manager when it was created in 1958. She became the executive director in 1962 and held that position for 29 years. While Walker-Meador was in charge, the C-M-A launched the fundraiser to build the Country Music Hall of Fame, started the annual C-M-A Awards television show and created Fan Fair, the precursor to the C-M-A Festival. Walker-Meador admitted when she first started with C-M-A, she didn't know anything about country music. 

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(The Associated Press)

THE WAC PRESENTS YET ANOTHER OLD FIRE HALL SHOW

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 09:15
THE WAC PRESENTS YET ANOTHER OLD FIRE HALL SHOW

MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 08:33
MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017

MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017

 

ELVIS - 40TH ANNIVERSARY

 

For many fans of Elvis Presley, today is a day to remind themselves that it's been 40 years since the music icon died. This will also be the first year that people will have to pay for the right to take part in a procession past Presley's grave.

The trek used to be free, But now, Graceland is charging 28 dollars and 75 cents for the privilege and that isn't sitting well with some Presley fans. Graceland, for its part, says it decided to add the paid wristband to update security measures at the tourist attraction. 

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TAYLOR SWIFT - TRIAL

 

The former radio host who lost that groping lawsuit to Taylor Swift says he wanted to see the matter through even if the final decision went against him. David Mueller tells The Associated Press a friend suggested he get out of the case early. But he says he ``couldn't go on'' with his life without taking steps to clear his name. As it turned out, his name became muddier as a result of the case. Swift won a symbolic one dollar judgment after the jury ruled he groped Swift during a 2013 photo op in Denver. 

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PINK - VANGUARD AWARD

 

Pink will get one of the big awards at this year's M-T-V Video Music Awards. She will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award on August 27th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The Vanguard award honours musicians who have had an impact on pop culture with their songs, fashion and music videos. Past winners include Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. Pink will also perform at the event. 

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DAVID CROSBY - TED NUGENT - ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

 

Ted Nugent has gone around suggesting the reason he isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of his politics.

But fellow musician David Crosby says there's a simple reason Nugent isn't in: he ``just isn't good enough.'' Nugent most recently speculated to an Albany, New York radio station (W-Q-B-K) last week that his right-wing views have held him back. Crosby apparently disagrees. He has been inducted into the Hall twice, once for being part of The Byrds and for his role in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. 

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MISS AMERICA JUDGES

 

Former ``American Idol'' winner Jordin Sparks and country star Thomas Rhett will be among the celebrity judges at this year' Miss American pageant. Sparks and Rhett will help judge the competition, which is set for Atlantic City on Sept. 10th. 

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ROBERT YANCY - NATALIE COLE - CHILD DIES

 

When Natalie Cole died on New Year's Eve of 2015, she left behind a son, Robert Yancy. Now the singer's only child has joined her in death. Yancy was found dead Monday at his home in Los Angeles after authorities were asked to make a welfare check on him. He was just 39. The L-A County Coroner's office says Yancy's death appears to have been caused by natural causes. But official word of what killed him won't be known until an autopsy is complete. 

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DRAKE - BILLBOARD

 

Drake's record-breaking reign on the Billboard charts is over. The Toronto rapper's unprecedented run of 431 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100 singles chart has ended. It's the first time Drake is absent from the chart since his smash hit ``Best I Ever Had'' entered at Number 92 in 2009. The Canadian has had 157 charted titles -- the most among solo artists. 

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TAYLOR SWIFT - SEX ASSAULT TRIAL

 

The former radio host who lost a groping lawsuit to Taylor Swift says he had no interest in backing away from case even though it ended up going against him. David Mueller tells The Associated Press he could have backed down but felt he couldn't go on with his life without defending himself. A jury in Denver ruled two days ago that Mueller groped Swift during a photo op before a concert in 2014. Swift's team initially tried to keep the accusation quiet by not reporting the incident to police, and instead contacting Mueller's bosses. But it became public when Mueller sued Swift for up to three million dollars, claiming her allegation cost him his 150-thousand-dollars-a-year job at country station K-Y-G-O-F-M, where he was a morning host. 

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TAYLOR SWIFT - POST-ITS

 

Taylor Swift is saying thanks to a Denver company that she says helped her get through her groping trial. The singer has sent the team at Craftsy a bouquet of flowers along with a note. The company created colourful signs featuring sticky notes of her song lyrics in its windows during her trial. And in her note, Swift thanked the company for ``brightening'' her day. A company rep says the workers are ``absolutely thrilled'' that Swift was pleased by their efforts. 

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(The Canadian Press)