MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

 

JA RULE - BOTCHED FESTIVAL

 

Ja Rule is offering profuse apologies after a festival he helped organize in the Bahamas fell apart just as it was beginning. Ja Rule tweets he is ``heartbroken'' the Fyre Festival was cancelled at the last minute this weekend. He says, ``It was not a scam as everyone is reporting,'' and while he does apologize, he adds, ``This is NOT MY FAULT.'' Blink-182 pulled out as headliner just days before, saying they did not think they would have what they would need to give a quality performance. Other acts dropped out, saying they had not been paid. Attendees say accommodations were nothing more than leaky tents, the site was full of half-constructed plywood structures and the promised gourmet food consisted of soggy ham sandwiches. Festival co-organizer Billy McFarland is pledging full refunds, plus guests this year will get V-I-P passes to next year's festival. 

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BILLY RAY CYRUS- JUST ``CYRUS''

 

Billy Ray Cyrus is dropping the ``Billy Ray.'' He tells Rolling Stone magazine as of his birthday on Aug. 25th, he will simply be known as ``Cyrus.'' He says he always went by that and he begged Mercury Records to let him just be Cyrus. He says he's going to the hospital in Bellefonte, Kentucky, where he was born and legally changing his name. Cyrus is marking 25 years since the release of ``Achy Breaky Heart'' by doing a remake of the song with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, a Spanglish version and an electronic dance music version with Bootsy Collins. 

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BRAD PAISLEY -  ``LOVE AND WAR''

 

Brad Paisley has put out what he is billing as the first visual album in country music. His ``Love and War'' visual album came out Friday, a week after the audio version was released.So is he just copying Beyonce and her ``Lemonade'' visual album?

Hardly. Paisley says he didn't even see all of ``Lemonade,'' and he has no idea how it begins or ends. He says he's used the ``Love and War'' music as a script. He enlists the help of Mick Jagger and John Fogerty, and he finished a song Johnny Cash had started, but his favourite moment on the visual album is his little boy asking, ``So what's it all about?'' Paisley says that's the question he hopes everyone asks by the end. 

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MARY J. BLIGE - ``STRENGTH OF A WOMAN''

 

Mary J. Blige did not intend for her ``Strength of a Woman'' album to be her divorce record. She says when she started writing songs, it was when she was trying to save her marriage. When it all fell apart last August, Blige started rewriting some songs, but she decided to keep some of the more hopeful ones. Blige says she needed the light at the end of the tunnel in order to get through the darkness. Blige says she has not given up on love, but she has ``definitely given up on marriage for a while.'' ''Strength of a Woman`` is out now. 

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JEFFERSON STARSHIP - NAME DISPUTE

 

Guitarist Craig Chaquico has filed a lawsuit to stop a new version of Jefferson Starship from using that name. Chaquico says in his lawsuit that the band's members agreed to retire the Jefferson Starship name in 1985 after founding member Paul Kantner left in 1985. The band then became Starship. Chaquico's lawsuit says he allowed Kantner to use the name Jefferson Starship for several years, but that right ended when Kantner died in 2016. A representative for the new version of Jefferson Starship did not return a request for comment. Jefferson Starship formed in 1974 with members of Jefferson Airplane, which broke up in 1972. 

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SNOOP DOGG - ``COOLAID THE MOVIE''

 

Snoop Dogg has released a movie that's part autobiography, part visual album. ``Coolaid The Movie'' traces his story from his boyhood when he dreamed of being a pro football player, his troubled youth in gangs and selling drugs and then becoming a star. It also touches on his 1996 acquittal on murder charges. It features special visuals to go along with new music, including a track featuring Too Short. ``Coolaid the Movie'' is out now on iTunes. 

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THE CHAINSMOKERS - PROM

 

Huntley High School outside Chicago got a couple of surprise guests at prom on Saturday: The Chainsmokers. The Chicago Tribune reports Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall played one song for the surprised students before heading to their scheduled concert a few miles down the road. Principal Scott Rowe says a Huntley student emailed a representative for the band expressing his disappointment that he had to skip the concert for prom. Rowe says The Chainsmokers' appearance was arranged in secret. He says it was one of the hardest secrets he's ever had to keep because he knew ``the kids were going to go berserk for it.'' 

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(The Canadian Press)

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