Dauphin, Canada

MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY MAY 7, 2018

 

(ECMA-Sunday)

A 16-year-old girl walked away with an East Coast Music Award Sunday night, making her one of the youngest winners in the event's 30-year history. Makayla Lynn of Elmsdale, N.S., nabbed Country Recording of the Year for her fourth album, ``On A Dare and a Prayer.'' She accepted the award at Sunday's 2018 East Coast Music and Industry Awards celebration, which marked the end of this year's event. Sunday's other winners include Halifax singer-songwriters Mo Kenney, who won Solo Recording of the Year, and Rose Cousins, who took Folk Recording of the Year for her album ``Natural Conclusion.'' Awards were also handed out to people in the East Coast music industry who work to promote and produce for musicians.

The 2019 East Coast Music Awards will be held in Charlottetown, P.E.I.  (The Canadian Press)

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  1. R. KELLY - UNAUTHORIZED STATEMENT

R. Kelly's management is disavowing a statement that defends him. Katie Thompson, on behalf of R. Kelly Tours, sent out a statement early Friday morning that says Kelly is ``heartbroken'' that the media is trying to distort his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women. Kelly's management tells The Associated Press the statement was not authorized. Thompson's relationship to Kelly is not clear, and his management says it's possible she may work for Kelly. Last week, the organization Time's Up joined the social media movement #MuteRKelly demanding an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kelly.

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SPRINGSTEEN - STEVEN VAN ZANDT - N.J. HALL OF FAME

Bruce Springsteen has inducted Steven Van Zandt into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The man known as The Boss made a surprise appearance last night to introduce his longtime guitarist. Springsteen was a member of the Jersey Hall of Fame's inaugural class 10 years ago. The two of them closed out the induction ceremony performing ``I Don't Want To Go Home'' _ and invited all of the inductees onstage as the song wound down.

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JORDIN SPARKS - BABY BOY

Jordin Sparks is a mom. She tells People magazine her son, Dana Isaiah Thomas Jr., was born Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Sparks and her husband, Dana Isaiah, plan to call him D-J. Sparks and Isaiah had secretly gotten married last July. They found out six weeks later they were expecting.

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JOHNNY CASH BOYHOOD HOME

Johnny Cash's boyhood home has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Cash lived in the five-room farmhouse in the small Arkansas town of Dyess (DYS) from the age of three through high school. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Arkansas State University owns the house and spent 575-thousand dollars to restore the property. According to the paperwork submitted to the national register, the Cash family was selected in 1935 as one of 500 farming families for the newly established Dyess Colony. The paperwork says the house had indoor toilet and bath facilities but the plumbing was never operational while the Cash family lived there.

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TAYLOR SWIFT - SURPRISE VISIT

Taylor Swift surprised an eight-year-old fan recovering from a burn accident with a hospital visit. The Arizona Republic reports she showed up unannounced Saturday at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix to see Isabella McCune. She is recovering from third-degree burns on over 65 per cent of her body from a bonfire accident on St. Patrick's Day. The girl's family had made a video asking Swift to visit because McCune could not go to Swift's concert. Swift brought shirts and sweatshirts from her tour, signed autographs and stayed for about 20 minutes. McCune says hugs sometimes hurt but she asked for one from Swift, who happily obliged. McCune's family agreed not to tell anyone about Swift's visit until she had left the burn unit.

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LADY ANTEBELLUM - APOLOGY

In the words of Lady Antebellum, ``Welp. We're human too, y'all.'' Lady A got tripped up on the words of the national anthem while performing before the Nashville Predators-Winnipeg Jets game on Saturday. Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott were singing different lines at the same time. Lady A posted an Instagram photo that appears to show Scott comforting Kelley while he hides his face and Dave Haywood shrugs. Kelley tweets from his own account: ``Sang the anthem a thousand times, sorry for messing up one of the lines. Prob won't sleep tonight now.''

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(The Canadian Press)

MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018

 

HUMBOLDT-TRIBUTE

Organizers behind the Humboldt Broncos tribute concert say they've raised nearly half-a-million dollars for families affected by the tragic bus crash. The Country Thunder Music Festival in Saskatoon last week brought in more than 588-thousand dollars from tickets, raffles and other fundraising efforts. About 428-thouand will be divided between the 29 families affected by the collision after covering expenses related to venue staff and production. The tribute featured country singers Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford, Jess Moskaluke and the Hunter Brothers. The show drew some controversy over racial jokes made by its American comedy hosts Bruce Williams and Terry Ree, who later apologized for offending some audience members.

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JAY-Z ORDERED TO ANSWER SUBPOENA

 A judge has ordered Jay-Z to explain why he's avoiding a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal judge says Jay-Z must show up to court on Tuesday to say why he's ignoring the subpoena issued in February regarding the sale of his Rocawear clothing line to Iconix for 204-million dollars a decade ago. If he doesn't have a reasonable excuse, he must appear before the S-E-C in Washington next Friday. The S-E-C says in court papers it's investigating whether federal securities laws were violated when Iconix reported financial results, including some related to Rocawear. The S-E-C says Iconix and Jay-Z continued to do business. Jay-Z's representative says he's not involved in this matter.

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MEEK MILL

Meek Mill says he knows the errors of the criminal justice system because he's tangled with it since he was 18. Mill joined Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf yesterday in Philadelphia to call on state lawmakers to enact criminal justice reforms. Mill says he's committed to speaking for the voiceless.

Mill was released from prison last week after a court ordered that he get a new trial on his probation violation because of credibility questions about the arresting officer. Variety reports Mill also will do a six-part documentary for Amazon about his situation. The documentary is set to premiere in 2019.

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RIC OCASEK AND PAULINA PORIZKOVA SEPARATE

So far, Ric Ocasek has not commented on the breakup of his marriage to model Paulina Porizkova . She posted on Instagram they've been ``peaceably separated'' for about a year, although she did show up to The Cars'

induction into the Rock Hall last month. Porizkova says they still are a happy family, but they just aren't a couple anymore. They had been married for 28 years and have two children.

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MARC ANTHONY IS HANGING IN THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

Marc Anthony's portrait is on display in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington after winning an online vote. The photo by Puerto Rican photographer Adal shows Anthony with his shirt open and arms raised to the sky. The gallery invited visitors to its social media pages to vote on one of three portraits of celebrities turning 50 this year to mark the gallery's 50th anniversary. The portrait of Anthony beat out ones of actor Daniel Dae Kim and actress Molly Ringwald. The photo is now hanging on the gallery's ``Recognize'' wall, created to display portraits of popular interest.

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JAMES BAY GOES FOR A NEW LOOK WITH NEW ALBUM

James Bay without the hat and with shorter hair is still James Bay. He says he spent the past year exploring artistic ideas and he decided that it was better to move forward than to stand still. He says people can read into what his haircut means all they want, but they'll learn more about him from his songs. As for the hats, Bay says they're in a cupboard. He says he hasn't touched them as ``an artistic choice.'' Bay's new album, ``Electric Light,'' comes out May 18th.

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GEORGE HARRISON'S GUITAR IS FOR SALE

George Harrison's first electric guitar is up for auction. Harrison's Hofner Club 40 is expected to sell for as much as 400-thouand dollars when it's sold May 19th in New York, according to Julien's Auctions. Harrison traded his acoustic guitar to get the Hofner from Ray Ennis of The Swinging Blue Jeans. Ennis says in those days they used to swap guitars a lot because they'd get fed up with the ones they had. He doesn't have Harrison's acoustic anymore because he had no idea The Beatles would become anything.

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PAUL McCARTNEY DONATES PHOTOS TO LONDON MUSEUM

Some of the photographs that Linda McCartney took have never been seen publicly, but they will go on display in London on October 12th. Paul McCartney donated 63 of his late wife's photos to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The photos include nature shots as well as portraits of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. The McCartney family's vacation photos also are part of the collection.

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CELINE-DION-DEADPOOL

Celine Dion has released a new song and music video for the ``Deadpool 2'' soundtrack that combines heart and humour. ``Ashes'' starts off with the Quebec native singing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas about dreams going up in smoke. She's seen onstage at The Colosseum in a flowing light-blue gown as images from the superhero comedy flash onscreen. At the end, ``Deadpool'' star and fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds appears in the theatre in character, and at first he praises her singing. He then tells her in typical ``Deadpool'' deadpan humour that her performance was too good for the film.

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BRAD PAISLEY JOINS ``THE GONG SHOW''

We know how Brad Paisley is with a guitar.

Let's see how he handles a gong. Paisley will be one of the judges on the return of ``The Gong Show'' on A-B-C. Other celebrity judges include Jimmy Kimmel, Alyson Hannigan, Dana Carvey, Ken Jeong and Will Arnett. The show premieres June 21st.

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LEONA LEWIS, CHARLES ESTEN SIGN ON FOR MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT

Leona Lewis and singer-actor Charles Esten of the TV show ``Nashville'' will headline the Memorial Day concert in Washington. Other performers include Broadway stars Megan Hilty, Cynthia Erivo and Alfie Boe, as well as Gary Sinise (suh-NEES') and the Lieutenant Dan Band. Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host. The concert will air live on PBS on May 27th.

 

Female singer songwriters reign at East Coast Music Awards gala

Female singer-songwriters reigned at this year's East Coast Music Awards gala Thursday, including a P.E.I. artist rewarded for an intimate music video detailing her heartbreaking story of adolescent rape.

KINLEY picked up the Rising Star Recording of the Year for her debut solo album ``Letters Never Sent,'' and also took home the Fan Choice Video of the Year for her song ``Microphone.''

Island-born, Halifax-based artist Rose Cousins captured the coveted Album of the Year for her melancholic heartbreak record ``Natural Conclusion,'' and also won Song of the Year for ``Grace.''

Meanwhile, Halifax's Jenn Grant nabbed Pop Recording of the Year for her album ``Paradise,'' which weaves folk music with ambient pop.

Sloan, one of Halifax's most acclaimed alternative rock exports, received an honourary award and also performed at the gala event in downtown Halifax.

Hosted by actor Jonathan Torrens, the 30th annual East Coast Music Awards show also featured performances from Cape Breton's Port Cities, rapper Classified of Enfield, N.S., Halifax electronic pop group Neon Dreams and Cape Breton darlings The Barra MacNeils.

(The Canadian Press)

 

MUSIC NEWS: THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018

 

GEORGE MICHAEL - NO MORE TRIBUTES

George Michael's family is asking fans to stop with the tributes outside his homes because the family is trying to be good neighbours. Michael's family posted a statement asking fans to remove flowers, photos and other gifts left at his home in London and the one in Goring, about 80-kilometres away, by the end of the month. They point out that Michael liked his privacy and the family cannot expect the neighbours to continue to be gracious about the tributes. Instead, the family suggests that fans remember Michael through charitable contributions, volunteering or random acts of kindness.

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JAMES BROWN DRUMMER - REMEMBERED

Bootsy Collins remembers James Brown drummer John ``Jab'o'' (JAB'-oh) Starks as, ``Wow, what a funky drummer.''

Questlove calls Starks ``a serious funk god'' whose drumming spawned New Jack Swing and other R-and-B movements of the 1990s. Starks, along with Clyde Stubblefield, was part of the two-drummer lineup in James Brown's band in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He played on hits like ``Sex Machine,'' ''Super Bad`` and ''The Playback.`` Starks died Tuesday in Mobile, Alabama, at the age of 79. He had entered hospice care for cancer and a bone marrow disorder.

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ROBIN ZANDER - ONLINE COMIC

Robin Zander of Cheap Trick has been working on an online comic that he thinks could be ``revolutionary.'' Zander says it's called ``The High Priest of Rhythmic Noise'' after a song co-written by bandmate Rick Nielsen.

Zander describes it as a graphic novel cut into segments, but he doesn't want to say too much because he's afraid someone will steal his idea. He started working on the concept in 1983, but at the time he thought he was writing a movie. He says he's done about ten rewrites, but he's still looking for the best way to put it out.

Cheap Trick will kick off a tour with Poison beginning May 18th in Irvine, California.

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YES - GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY EVENTS

The band Yes will mark 50 years together this year with an anniversary tour and fan convention. Founding keyboardist Tony Kaye will join Yes on tour beginning June 5th outside Chicago. The current version of Yes includes Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Alan White. Cover artist Roger Dean will appear at select dates to sell special tour prints. The Yes Fan Convention will take place in Philadelphia on July 21st. A five-album vinyl boxed set featuring remixed versions of early Yes albums comes out June 29th.

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LINDSAY ELL - JOHN MAYER'S ``CONTINUUM''

Lindsay Ell will release her homework as an album. Ell will put out her version of John Mayer's ``Continuum" album on May 25th as ``The Continuum Project.'' Kristian Bush of Sugarland produced Ell's debut album, and to get her ready, he asked her what her favourite album was. She said ``Continuum.'' He assigned her to remake it with three rules: she had to play all the instruments, she had to record it by herself and she had two weeks to do it. Ell says remaking Mayer's album helped her create her own vision for her music.

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018

 

ALABAMA - BENEFIT CONCERT

The band Alabama will headline a benefit concert for tornado relief in Jacksonville, Alabama. A storm hit the campus of Jacksonville State University in March. AL-dot-com reports the Sept. 26th concert also will include the Charlie Daniels Band, Jamey Johnson and Shenandoah. Alabama singer Randy Owen says J-S-U is near and dear to his heart as an alumnus and they are ready to do their part to help.

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GIBSON GUITARS - BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

Chuck Berry played Gibson guitars. So did B.B. King, and Pete Townshend and Joan Jett and Eric Clapton and Santana and hundreds of other guitarists,. The company that makes those guitars has filed for bankruptcy protection after years of debt. Gibson Brands will still sell guitars as it continues operations with 135-million dollars in financing from lenders.

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ASHLEE SIMPSON - REALITY SERIES

Ashlee Simpson and her husband, Evan Ross, will do a reality show based on their upcoming duets album. The E!

Channel will follow Simpson and Ross, who is the son of Diana Ross, as they record the album and raise a family. The show has a working title of ``Ashlee and Evan.'' It will premiere later this year.

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BRIAN WILSON - POSTPONES TOUR

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys is calling off his May concert dates because he needs immediate back surgery. Wilson says in a statement he's been having issues and recently the pain has gotten worse. He says his doctors are optimistic that the surgery will relieve the pain. Wilson's tour to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys album ``Pet Sounds'' was to begin Monday in Washington. His next scheduled date is June 15th outside Victoria, B-C.

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TONY AWARDS -  MUSICALS

If ``Spongebob SquarePants: The Musical'' wins the Tony Award for best original score, it could be a who's who of music accepting it. The score was a collaborative effort with top artists each writing one song. The songwriters include Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Sara Bareilles , The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic At The Disco, Plain White T's, T.I. and They Might Be Giants. Bruce Springsteen will be given a special Tony Award for his run of shows on Broadway.

Ariana LaBose and LaChanze, two of the actresses who play Donna Summer in ``Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,'' got nominations.

Jimmy Buffett's musical ``Escape to Margaritaville'' was snubbed.

The Tonys will be given out June 10th in New York.

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LANCE BASS - 'N SYNC

Lance Bass says he did not come out as gay during the height of 'N Sync's popularity because he didn't want to mess things up for the other four. Bass said during the unveiling of the group's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday he didn't want to jeopardize the careers of his group-mates or the hundreds of other people who helped make 'N Sync possible. Bass says he'd see young gay fans from the stage who were singing their hearts out and he wanted to let them know he was one of them. He says he didn't have the strength then, but he does now.

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KANYE WEST - SLAVERY

Before the last one had a chance to simmer down, Kanye West has caused another stir. This time he's getting attention for calling American slavery a ``choice,'' It happened in an interview on ``T-M-Z Live'' _ when he was trying to explain his previous controversy: his expressed support for U-S President Donald Trump. The dismissal of slavery as a choice didn't sit well with the T-M-Z staffers. At one point, West asked ``Do you feel like I'm thinking free and feel free?'' One responded: ``''I actually don't think you're thinking anything.``

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JOHNNY CASH - GOLD RECORD

 Visitors to the Johnny Cash Museum will finally be able to see his first gold record. The plaque for ``I Walk The Line'' has been in the hands of private collectors since it was sold to an anonymous buyer shortly after Cash's death. Museum founder Bill Miller purchased the plaque from a private collector in Germany earlier this year. It's now on display with Cash's other gold and platinum records.

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: TUESDAY MAY 1, 2018

 

  1. R. KELLY GAINS - SOCIAL MEDIA MOVEMENT

The organizer of the social media movement #MuteRKelly is glad that the Time's Up campaign is taking up her cause. Oronike Odeleye (or-eh-NEE'-kay oh-deh-LAY'-ay) says the movement will ``not stop until R. Kelly is held accountable for his sexual misconduct against Black girls and women.'' The movement calls for record companies, radio stations, streaming platforms and concert venues to cut ties with Kelly because of allegations of sexual abuse against him. Kelly has denied the allegations. The Time's Up campaign issued a statement yesterday calling for an investigation into Kelly's behaviour. Over the last year, Kelly has been accused of isolating women in a sex cult and engaging in abusive relationships.

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  1. R. KELLY - CHICAGO CONCERT CANCELLED

R. Kelly says he doesn't know why his upcoming performance in Chicago has been cancelled but hints legal action may be in order. The Chicago Tribune reports Kelly was dropped from the lineup of the Love Jam concert on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago on Saturday. Kelly says in an Instagram video posted Sunday he's ``never heard of a show being cancelled because of rumours.'' He says he doesn't know why he was cancelled, but he and his lawyers will get to the bottom of it. A petition drive on the U-I-C campus called for the cancellation of the show because of sexual abuse allegations against Kelly. The concert will still go on, featuring Xscape, K Michelle and Lyfe Jennings.

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BONNIE RAITT - MEDICAL SITUATION

Bonnie Raitt is giving no clues as to what's wrong with her, only that it requires surgery and she will be fine.

Raitt is pulling out of the first leg of her tour with James Taylor due to an unspecified ``medical situation.'' She says it was discovered during her annual physical. Raitt says in a statement she's feeling strong and the prognosis is good. She intends to be good to go for the second leg of the tour in June.

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KEITH URBAN - ``GRAFFITI U'' - INFLUENCE

Nicole Kidman's influence is all over Keith Urban's new album, ``Graffiti U.'' In fact, she's ON the album. She sings backing vocals on his song ``Female'' because Urban says she happened to be home when he was working on that song. Songwriter Julia Michaels asked Urban what Kidman is like and he said, ``She's a Gemini.'' That's what inspired the song ``Gemini.'' The song ``Steal My Thunder'' was inspired by Kidman. Urban says it's about ``being totally OK with a girl stealing my thunder.'' He adds, ``Many, many guys, I think, will get this song.''

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INTERPRETING JOHNNY CASH - NEW ALBUM

One of the last things Chris Cornell recorded was a Johnny Cash poem for the album ``Johnny Cash: Forever Words.'' On the poem ``You Never Knew My Mind,'' Cornell sings, ``You did not see me well enough to recognize the signs.'' Cash's son, John Carter Cash, says Cornell connected deeply with his father's words. He says Cornell's take on ``You Never Knew My Mind'' tied his own life to Cash's on an honest level. Other musicians on the album include Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Jewel, John Mellencamp and Kacey Musgraves and her husband, Ruston Kelly.

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SHANIA TWAIN - JAKE OWEN - ``REAL COUNTRY''

Shania Twain and Jake Owen are on a quest for country music talent. Twain and Owen will head up an eight-episode reality show called ``Real Country'' that will tape this summer in Nashville. Twain and Owen will select country musicians, duos and groups to perform in showcases for specific country traditions or genres. The best musicians will advance to the finale. The show will premiere in the fall. Casting information is at realcountry-dot-castingcrane-dot-com .

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(The Associated Press)

GEORGE CLINTON - RETIREMENT

George Clinton plans to retire from touring in a year. Clinton, who is 76, tells Billboard magazine anyone who has been coming to his shows in the past couple of years would have noticed that he's out front less and less. He says his recent pacemaker surgery is not the reason why he will retire. He says Parliament-Funkadelic has always been about the music and it will continue long after he stops. Clinton plans to do his last show in May 2019.

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BOB DYLAN - A WHISKEY MAN

Bob Dylan is getting into the premium whiskey business. The New York Times reports Dylan's Heaven's Door whiskey will go on sale next month for 50 to 80-dollars a bottle. A limited-edition Bootleg Series will go on sale next year for 300-dollars. Dylan paired with liquor maker Marc Bushala to create it, and Bushala says the hardest part was decoding what Dylan wanted. Bushala says sometimes Dylan's feedback would just be a long look, or he'd say something like the whiskey ``should feel like being in a wood structure.''

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DIERKS BENTLEY - FLIP PHONE

Dierks Bentley's quest to be a more authentic person means he's given up the smartphone. Bentley says he uses a flip phone, which helps him be more present in the moment. Bentley says it means he has to carry more stuff that his iPhone used to do for him, like a camera, a voice recorder, a guitar tuner and even pen and paper. He's planning only a few years of being ``untethered,'' though. His daughter is nine years old and he figures within two years an iPhone is going to be the only way he'll be able to communicate with her.

 

.AJ. COLE'S ``KOD'' - NUMBER ONE

 AJ. Cole has had a huge debut with his new album, ``KOD.'' It moved 397-thousand units in its first week of release, putting it at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

It's J. Cole's fifth number-one album. ``Invasion of Privacy'' by Cardi B is number two. ``Eat The Elephant'' by A Perfect Circle is third. ``The Greatest Showman'' is fourth, and last week's number one, Jason Aldean's ``Rearview Town,'' falls to fifth.

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PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST - LAS VEGAS SHOOTINGS

Police in Las Vegas will meet today to decide how and when to release documents related to the Route 91 Harvest Festival shootings in Las Vegas in October. Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled against a bid by police to delay the release of records that include officer body camera videos, 9-1-1 recordings, evidence logs and interview reports. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds injured during the festival by a gunman firing from a hotel window. The Associated Press and other news organizations had sought the release of records related to the investigation. Police department lawyers argue the investigation is not complete and it would be time-consuming to comply with the public records request.

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(The Canadian Press)

Humboldt Tribute

By Ryan McKenna

More than 30 current and former NHL players are expected at a tribute concert in Saskatoon tonight for the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens and Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames are two of the players anticipated to be there.

Other NHL stars such as Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs won't be there.

But they and the other players are donating jerseys to an online auction raising money for the families of those who died or were injured in the April 6 crash.

Winners will have an opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet with the players after the concert.

Featured performers include Juno Award winners Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel and Jess Moskaluke.

(The Canadian Press)

 

Festival-No-Diversity

A Halifax indie rock band is pulling out of a Nova Scotia music festival, saying the lineup lacks diversity.

In-Flight Safety frontman John Mullane tweeted that he felt out of sorts after Truro's Rock the Hub festival revealed a lineup consisting almost entirely of all-male and ``nearly all-white''

bands. Mullane says he found himself apologizing to close friends about the lineup, and decided apologies weren't enough. He calls it a small gesture that he hopes will prompt more critical thinking when it comes to rock festivals including female and non-white performers. Rock the Hub released a statement saying they respect the band's views, adding it's open to examining its role in how it can best represent Canadian artists.

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AVICII FAMILY ISSUES ANOTHER STATEMENT

No one seems to be saying it out loud _ but there are some pretty clear hints that when Avicii died a week ago today, it apparently came at his own hand. The music producer's family has released a second statement _ suggesting that the DJ may have taken his own life. The statement says Avicii ``could not go on any longer'' and ``he wanted to find peace.'' Avicii was 28.

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EMMY HOSTS NAMED

They share a desk most Saturdays, anchoring the Weekly Update segment for ``Saturday Night Live.'' And come September, Michael Che and Colin Jost they will share a stage _ as co-hosts of the Emmy Awards. It will be first time a current SNL cast member was pressed into service as Emmy host since 1983. The person handling the Emmy hosting chores that year _ was Eddie Murphy. The Emmys are September 17th.

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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE CALL OFF DATES FOR JESSE LEACH'S SURGERY

Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach has been sidelined with vocal problems. The band is cancelling all concerts this week and next week because Leach is having surgery on his vocal cords. He is expected to make a full recovery but will need the rest. Killswitch Engage was on tour with Hatebreed, who will still honour the dates. Killswitch Engage's European tour will begin May 26th in Tallinn, Estonia.

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STEPHEN FOSTER STATUE REMOVED

 A 118-year-old statue of songwriter Stephen Foster has been removed from a park in Pittsburgh. The city's art commission voted last year to take it down because it shows a slave playing a banjo sitting at Foster's feet. A statue of an African-American woman will be put in its place. Foster's songs include ``Camptown Races,'' ''Oh! Susanna,`` ''My Old Kentucky Home`` and ''Beautiful Dreamer.``

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Trump-Shania-Twain

Donald Trump is cutting Shania Twain some slack, even though he says the Canadian singer ``made a mistake'' when she backed away from supporting him. The U-S president called in to the Fox News morning show ``Fox and Friends'' yesterday morning and responded to Twain's recent apology to her fans. The hosts asked how he felt about a series of tweets made by Twain earlier this week where she distanced herself from the president. Twain made the statement after an interview with British newspaper The Guardian quoted her saying she would have voted for Trump. Online condemnation led the singer to issue a swift apology saying the question caught her off guard and she should have offered more context.

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AVICII'S FAMILY ISSUE ANOTHER STATEMENT THAT TALKS OF HIS PAIN

 Avicii``wanted to find peace,'' according to his family. They have issued a second statement since his death last week saying Avicii was ``a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions'' and he ``could not go on any longer.'' They give no details on his death. Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, at the age of 28. The family says Avicii ``was not made for the business machine he found himself in'' and preferred to stay out of the spotlight. They say he stopped touring to ``find a balance in life to be happy and to be able to do what he loved most -- music.''

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JANELLE MONAE SAYS SHE'S DATED MEN AND WOMEN

Janelle Monae (moh-NAY') is saying what many people have wondered: she's a ``queer black woman in America.''

Monae tells Rolling Stone she's been in relationships with both men and women. At first she called herself bisexual, but then she says she learned about pansexuality and found things she identified with in that. Monae says she has been dropping hints about her sexuality in her music, citing the songs ``Mushrooms and Roses'' and ``Q.U.E.E.N.'' Monae says the original title of ``Q.U.E.E.N.'' was ``Q.U.E.E.R.'' and the background vocals still reflect the original title.

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CHRIS CARRABBA AND BRANTLEY GILBERT HONOR HERO OF WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTINGS

Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Brantley Gilbert will sell a special T-shirt at their shows that says ``I Believe in Heroism.'' The shirt will honour James Shaw Jr., who's being hailed as a hero for stopping the gunman who shot four people dead at a Waffle House in Nashville early Sunday. Shaw met with Gilbert and Carrabba on Wednesday. The shirt shows a picture of Shaw's hand that was burned when he grabbed the gun. Gilbert says he wants to remind people that heroes can be real-life people.

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CARDI B CALLS OFF PERFORMANCES UNTIL SHE DELIVERS 

Cardi B's pregnancy is forcing her to cancel some concert dates. Cardi B says in an Instagram video Broccoli City Festival in Washington this weekend will be her last date for a while. She says ``shorty keep growing'' and she can hardly breathe.

She plans to be good to go for the Bruno Mars tour that starts in September.

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ZAKK WYLDE WILL BACK OZZY OSBOURNE ON OZZY'S FAREWELL TOUR

Zakk Wylde says the one takeaway he has from his time playing with Ozzy Osbourne is to play what you love. Wylde says when Black Sabbath hit the scene, no one was playing what they were.

He says every new band is told to play like whatever band is popular at the moment, but that's misguided.

Wylde will be part of Osbourne's band for Osbourne's farewell tour, which begins tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. Wylde jokes they're doing the tour because they're broke after Osbourne insisted they bet everything they have on Conor McGregor in the McGregor-Mayweather fight last year.

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2018

 

MEEK MILL - FREED

Meek Mill says the last five months have been ``a nightmare'' and he plans to focus his attention on getting his convictions overturned. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed Mill in November to immediately issue an order releasing him on unsecured bail while he appeals his convictions. Mill's lawyers and even the prosecutors had said Mill's arresting officer had credibility issues. Mill had been serving two to four years in prison for violating probation on a gun and drug conviction from nearly a decade ago. Mill says he's been blessed with the resources to fight ``this unjust situation'' and he plans to help other people of colour who don't have those resources.

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OBIT - BOB DOROUGH

If ``Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here'' or ``Conjunction Junction'' ever got stuck in your head, you can thank musician Bob Dorough for that. He wrote both songs for the ``Schoolhouse Rock'' cartoons. He also wrote all the Multiplication Rock songs and performed on ``My Hero, Zero,''

''Three is a Magic Number`` and ''The Four-Legged Zoo.`` Dorough had a jazz career as well. He recorded several albums and was performing into his 80s. He wrote the Mel Torme' hit ''Comin' Home Baby,`` and Miles Davis recorded his song ''Devil May Care.`` Dorough died of natural causes Monday at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. He was 94.

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ZAC BROWN BASSIST - THIRD CHILD

Bassist Matt Mangano of Zac Brown Band is a dad for the third time. His wife, Emily, gave birth to a boy on Monday, according to his Instagram. They've named him Mason Thomas Mangano.

The couple's other children are 6-year-old Elliott and 2-year-old Maia.

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PATTI SMITH -  FILM DEBUT

Patti Smith's surprise guest at her concert to celebrate the premiere of a documentary about her was Bruce Springsteen. The film ``Horses: Patti Smith and Her Band'' premiered Monday in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival. Springsteen walked on to perform their collaboration, ``Because The Night.'' Michael Stipe came to the stage to help perform ``People Have The Power.''

Smith calls it ``a nice little film'' and she's happy with how it turned out. The documentary will be available for streaming in May.

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U2 - REALITY APP

U2 actually does want you to pull out your phone during their concerts. The band has released an augmented reality app that will work when users point it at the 30-metre-long LED wall on stage of their upcoming tour, before the band even comes out. U2 are promising something special during the first song, too. Users can try it out beforehand by pointing it at the cover of the U2's ``Songs of Experience'' album cover image. U2's tour begins next Wednesday in Oklahoma with shows in Montreal in June.

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

 

WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTING - TAYLOR SWIFT

 The suspect accused of killing four people at a Waffle House in Nashville early Sunday believed Taylor Swift was after him. Authorities arrested 29-year-old Travis Reinking yesterday. In May 2016, Reinking told authorities in Tazewell

County, Illinois that Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone, according to a report released Sunday. Reinking had agreed to go to a local hospital for an evaluation after repeatedly resisting the request, according to the sheriff's report. Reinking had other red flags as to his mental state, including getting arrested last July at the White House for trying to meet U-S President Donald Trump.

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AVICII'S - FAMILY GRATITUDE

 Avicii's family is thanking fans for their support after he was found dead Friday in Muscat, Oman.

Avicii's family says in a statement they appreciate initiatives to remember him, like public gatherings, church bells ringing his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence. Swedish public broadcaster S-V-T quotes an anonymous police official in Oman as saying that two autopsies on Avicii revealed nothing suspicious.

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PRINCE - FAMILY SUES

Prince's heirs have sued Walgreens and the Illinois hospital that treated the music superstar after he suffered from an opioid overdose. The lawsuit, filed in Illinois, claims a doctor and various pharmacists failed to give Prince reasonable care, contributing to his death. The suit Trinity Medical Center in Illinois failed to properly treat and investigate Prince's April 15th, 2016 overdose. For example the suit claims the hospital didn't test pills Prince said he was taking. The pills were marked Vicodin _ but prosecutors believe some of them contained the much more powerful drug fentanyl.

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SCOTTY McCREERY - PROPOSAL SONG

Scotty McCreery calls his song ``This Is It'' ''a blueprint for how everything went down`` when he proposed to his girlfriend. McCreery says he approached his producers about helping him write a song for proposing to his girlfriend, Gabi Dugal.

McCreery says, ''There were some waterworks when she heard it.`` He got their families involved and he played the song later for them.

He says even the parents were ''a little misty-eyed.`` The song appears on McCreery's latest album, ''Seasons Change.``

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THREE BEYONCE ALBUMS - BILLBOARD 200 ALBUM CHART

Beyonce's appearance at Coachella has inspired music buyers. Billboard magazine reports in the week following her April 14 performance at Coachella, sales and streams of the album and song catalogue of both Beyonce and Destiny's Child jumped 83 per cent. Three of Beyonce's albums have re-entered the Billboard 200 Album chart: ``Lemonade,'' at number 91, her self-titled album at number 138 and ``I Am...Sasha Fierce'' at 160. Beyonce performed again at Coachella on Saturday, but any sales or streaming information influenced by that will reflect on next week's chart.

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JANET JACKSON - MORE TOUR DATES

Janet Jackson wants to keep her concerts going.

Her ``State of the World'' tour finished in December, but now she's announced new dates. It will resume July 11th in Austin, Texas. She will play a number of music festivals, including Essence, FYF and Outside Lands.

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(The Associated Press)

MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018

 

JULIAN LENNON - CHILDREN'S BOOK

Julian Lennon has released the second of his trilogy of books to educate children about saving the planet. ``Heal The Earth'' came out on Earth Day yesterday. It's about a group of children flying around the world learning about saving coral reefs and planting gardens and trees. Lennon says his fondest memories of reading books are sitting on the lap of his mother or grandmother, ``going on an adventure together.'' He says the books don't shove too much detail at children but start the conversation about making the right choices. His previous book was ``Touch the Earth,'' and the next one, out next Earth Day, will be ``Love The Earth.''

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METALLICA - FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS

Metallica is hoping to channel the power of their fans into something good next month. The group has announced its first Day of Service on May 23rd. They are inviting fans to sign up for volunteering for the day at a food bank in their communities.

It's part of Metallica's All Within My Hands charity foundation, which was founded last year. Metallica had teamed with the charity Feeding America as part of last year's concert tour to raise money in the fight against hunger. Details can be found at Metallica-dot-com.

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STRYPER - WALMART BAN

 You won't find Stryper's new album ``God Damn Evil'' at Walmart. According to the band, Walmart and several Christian retail chains banned the album because of the title.

Stryper frontman Michael Sweet says in a statement the title is ``simply a prayer request asking God to damn or condemn all the evil around us.'' He says they assumed Walmart would understand their point and it's frustrating for something to be misinterpreted. A representative for Walmart did not return a request for comment.

``God Damn Evil'' came out Friday.

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HANK SNOW - ELVIS PRESLEY - POSTER

 A rare vintage poster advertising a 1955 concert featuring Hank Snow, Faron Young and Slim Whitman, with a newcomer named Elvis Presley as an opening act, has sold at auction for 42, 500 dollars. The News and Observer of Raleigh quotes Giles Moon of Heritage Auctions as saying he had expected the poster maybe to sell for about 20-thousand. Moon says both the buyer and the seller prefer to remain anonymous. The poster for the Raleigh show on May 19th, 1955, is believed to be the only one in existence.

Presley was still playing package shows at that time, and it would be almost a year before ``Heartbreak Hotel'' hit number one.

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JASON ALDEAN - NUMBER ONE

Jason Aldean has notched his fourth number-one album. ``Rearview Town'' debuts in the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart, moving 183-thousand units. Cardi B's ``Invasion of Privacy'' falls to second place. Breaking Benjamin's ``Ember''

debuts in third. ``The Greatest Showman'' soundtrack is fourth, and John Prine is fifth with ``The Tree of Forgiveness.''

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BETTE MIDLER - ``HELLO, DOLLY!''

Bette Midler will return to ``Hello, Dolly!'' on Broadway. She will reprise her role as Dolly Levi for six weeks beginning July 17th. The production will close Aug. 25th. Midler played the role last spring and won a Tony for best actress for playing Dolly. Bernadette Peters took over the role and will leave the show July 15th.

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ARIANA GRANDE - DEBUTS SONG

 Ariana Grande made her debut performance of her new single during a surprise appearance at Coachella over the weekend. She performed ``No Tears Left To Cry''

during Kygo's set on Friday. Grande released the song on Friday, her first since a suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester, England, killed 22 people last May.

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AVICII - REACTION

The tributes for Avicii have been international. In Stockholm, hundreds of people gathered for a memorial service that featured his music. Sweden's royal family and prime minister extended condolences. In the Dutch town of Utrecht, a cathedral played Avicii songs like ``Wake Me Up'' and ``Hey Brother'' on the bells. Madonna, Martin Garrix, Imagine Dragons, Zac Brown Band, Skrillex, David Guetta and Aloe Blacc have posted heartfelt tributes. Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on Friday at the age of 28. Details on his death were not given. Avicii had suffered from acute pancreatitis brought on by excessive drinking. He had his gall bladder and appendix removed in 2014. He announced last year he was retiring from touring to concentrate on making music.

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NILE RODGERS - AVICII'S DRINKING

Nile Rodgers considered Avicii his ``little brother,'' but their strong friendship was not enough to keep Avicii from drinking. Rodgers last performed with Avicii three years ago. Rodgers says Avicii was drunk that night and Rodgers called him out on breaking a promise to stop drinking. Rodgers says he couldn't stick around to watch Avicii perform because Avicii's drinking was breaking his heart. Rodgers calls Avicii ``one of the greatest natural melody writers'' he's ever worked with.

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AVICII - SALES SKYROCKET

 Sales of Avicii's music have exploded after news broke of his death. Billboard magazine reports Avicii sold about a thousand song downloads in the U-S on Thursday and 25-thousand on Friday. About eight-thousand of those were downloads of ``Wake Me Up.'' His digital album sales were negligible on Thursday but about two-thousand on Friday. Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on Friday.

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ROBERTA FLACK - ILL

 A representative for The Jazz Foundation of America says Roberta Flack is ``doing well'' after she suddenly fell ill before an appearance at New York's Apollo Theater on Friday.

Jazz Foundation spokeswoman Bobbi Marcus says Flack was in the theatre's green room about to go onstage to receive a lifetime achievement award from the foundation. Marcus says Flack suffered some kind of ``episode'' that those close to her feared was related to a stroke she had two years ago. Marcus says Flack was treated at a hospital and transferred to another one, where she's being kept for observation. Marcus says Flack is expected to be released soon.

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PRINCE - INVESTIGATION

It wasn't just Prince's joints from energetic performances that were hurting him, according to newly released details about his death two years ago. Documents relating to his death investigation that were made public last week show he suffered from hand pain. Backup singer Judith Hill had told investigators Prince said on board an airplane after an April 14, 2016, concert in Atlanta he was depressed, incredibly bored and thought he was going to fall asleep on stage. The plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where Prince as treated for an opioid overdose.

Prince had told Hill at the hospital he had just mixed two pills and wouldn't do it again. When she said, ``No more pills, right?'' he would not agree because he said it meant his hands would hurt too much to perform.

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TAYLOR SWIFT - STALKER

For the fourth time in two months, Taylor Swift is dealing with a home invader. Police in New York say a stalker broke into her townhouse and took a nap. Officers investigating a break-in on Friday found 22-year-old Roger Alvarado of Homestead, Florida, asleep in her home. He was charged with stalking, burglary, criminal mischief and trespassing. Swift was not home at the time.

Alvarado was arrested at that same address in February on charges of breaking the front door with a shovel. Last week, police say they arrested a Colorado man with a knife, rope and ammunition outside Swift's home in Beverly Hills, California. Earlier this month, a Connecticut man was charged with robbing a bank and throwing the money over the fence of Swift's home in Westerly, Rhode Island.

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SHANIA TWAIN - DONALD TRUMP

Shania Twain has apologized for saying if she were American she would have voted for Donald Trump for president, even though he's offensive. Twain made the comments in an interview with The Guardian published over the weekend. Twain told the British newspaper ``Do you want straight or polite? I would have voted for a feeling that is transparent.'' After receiving backlash, Twain took to Twitter to explain herself, saying she was trying to express how Trump connected with a certain segment of the U-S population. She also says she's against any discrimination and doesn't share Trump's moral beliefs.

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CARRIE UNDERWOOD - INJURY

Carrie Underwood didn't mean to make a big deal about her face after she fell outside her home in November.

Underwood tells The Bobby Bones Show on SiriusXM Radio she was taking her dogs out when she missed one step and tripped. She says she thought she had just busted her lip but she freaked out when she saw her face. She put out the statement that she might look ``different'' because she wasn't sure how things were going to turn out. She says she didn't want to be spotted at a grocery store with her face injured without some kind of explanation.

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(The Canadian Press)

MUSIC NEWS: FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018

 

 

PRINCE KILLED BY COUNTERFEIT PILL

Authorities in Minnesota say it appears Prince thought he was taking a common painkiller before he died -- not a counterfeit pill that contained the much more powerful drug, fentanyl.  Carver County officials say no charges will be filed in the musician's death.  County attorney Mark Metz said Prince had suffered pain for years -- and had become addicted to prescription meds aimed at relieving his agony.  Metz says while it appears some of Prince's associates may have enabled his drug habit and tried to protect his privacy, there's no direct evidence that anyone specifically gave Prince fentanyl -- a drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.  Metz says the investigation concludes Prince ``had no idea'' he was taking a counterfeit pill that would kill him.

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PRINCE - DOCTOR

 A doctor who had been prescribing drugs for Prince has settled a case with the feds.  Dr Michael Todd Schulenberg allegedly wrote a prescription for pain pills for Prince

-- but did so in the name of his bodyguard, instead.  It was done to protect the musician's privacy and the prescription that was written wasn't linked to Prince's death.  But it's a civil violation of federal drug law to write a prescription for someone using someone else's name.  Dr Schulenberg has agreed to pay 30-thousand dollars to settle the violation, but the doctor's attorney says Schulenberg settled to avoid the expense and uncertain outcome of litigation.

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PRINCE'S COUSIN APPRECIATES THE INVESTIGATION

Prince's cousin knows it was frustrating to wait two years to find out if anyone would face criminal charges in the musician's death.  Charles Smith says he appreciates that the investigators ``turned over every rock (and) looked under every leaf.''  He says a rush job would have been insulting.  Smith says the family had only heard rumours about Prince's drug use and never knew the extent of his pain.  Prosecutors have decided not to file charges in connection with Prince's death.

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MICHELLE WILLIAMS IS ENGAGED

 A little over a year ago, Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child went to a spiritual retreat in Arizona to get over a bad breakup.  She's now engaged to the pastor who ran the retreat.

People magazine reports Williams is engaged to Chad Johnson.

Williams says she did not ``go to flirt with the pastor,'' but they kept in touch and eventually started dating.  He proposed after going to Williams' hometown of Rockford, Illinois, videotaping himself asking her family for their blessing, and then showing it to her.  Williams has already chosen a wedding gown.  They plan to marry this summer.  Williams jokes, ``I want to get married now, but he wants a wedding!''

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RANDY SCRUGGS DIES

Charlie Daniels says Nashville has ``lost one of its finest pickers'' with the death of Randy Scruggs.  The Nashville Tennessean reports Scruggs died Tuesday after an illness at the age of 64.  Scruggs was the son of banjo great Earl Scruggs.

His compositions include ``We Danced Anyway'' for Deana Carter and ``Don't Make It Easy'' for Earl Thomas Conley.  Rosanne Cash calls Scruggs ``a brilliant musician and a sweet soul, and my first serious crush.''

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THE ALARM'S MIKE PETERS LAUNCHES THREE-STOP TOUR ON TWO CONTINENTS IN ONE DAY

Mike Peters of The Alarm will do a transcontinental tour -- tomorrow.  Peters will perform at a record store in London, then one in New York, then one in Los Angeles, all in one day.  It's to promote Record Store Day, when musicians have special releases to drive traffic to independent record stores.  The Alarm will release a limited-edition E-P called ``Where The Two Rivers Meet'' for Record Store Day.

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(The Associated Press)