MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2017
If things keep up the way they have so far, 2017 will prove to be a huge year for both Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran.
Nielsen is out with its mid-year music report and it says those two artists have the top albums so far this year. Lamar's ``DAMN.'' is setting the pace, with close to 1.8-million sales -- based on a combination of physical sales, song sales and audio streams. By that same measure, Sheeran's ``Divide'' is second, but by a narrow margin. Rounding out the top five for the first six months of the year are Drake with ``More Life,'' Bruno Mars with ``24K Magic'' and ``Culture'' by Migos. Each of those albums has reached the one-million mark in combined sales so far.
The man who used to head up security at the big venue in Atlanta says the people who ran the place discriminated against black artists. And Samuel R. Hayes III says when he called out officials at Philips Arena about that he ended up being canned.
In a lawsuit filed this week, Hayes says artists like Diddy, Kanye West and others were denied special parking or exemptions for security protocols like having to go through metal detectors before going inside. But the suit claims artists like Adele and Axl Rose were allowed to skip such screening. Hayes claimed when he beefed about the disparity, he was told ``hip hop acts draw a different crowd and the white acts being in more money.'' For their part, officials for the firm that runs Philips Arena deny any bias and say Hayes was fired for not doing his job properly.
A club that helped Madonna get her start in the music industry is in the news. Turns out people who used to hang out at the club Danceteria created a time capsule in 1985. That was when Madonna used to perform there and was even shown in the movie ``Desperately Seeking Susan'' dancing in the club. The capsule has turned up unearthed by a construction company digging on the site of the now defunct club. When construction crews found the canister, police had to be called in because it appeared to be an unexploded bomb from the second World War. But police quickly determined that it was of more recent vintage and harmless.
Madonna says the children's wing at a hospital in Malawi she has been building for two years did its first surgery last week. And now, the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open next week. The hospital is the first of its kind in the African nation, where Madonna has adopted four children. Her charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in the country and has funded the new pediatric unit. She says it's all part of her commitment to do what she can to help Malawi.
It isn't exactly a purple reign, but Prince music has found itself in a familiar spot -- near the top of the charts. The remastered version of ``Purple Rain'' is now in the top five on the Billboard top 200 albums chart. Warner Bros says the re-release -- in its various forms -- has moved 52-thousand units since it hit the streets again. Prince died a year ago in April of an accidental drug overdose.
Here's a sentence you haven't heard in a while -- Kesha (KESH'-ah) has some new music out. The single ``Praying'' is the first track from the album ``Rainbow,'' which is due out August 11th. It's her first album since 2012, when she dropped ``Warrior.''
Since then, she has been in warrior mode, waging a very public legal battle in which she accuses producer Dr. Luke of sexual assault and harassment. Dr. Luke has denied the allegations against him. Until now, the dispute kept Kesha from being able to record or release new tracks.
(The Associated Press)