Chris Willman
Chris Willman
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Kanye West Declares Himself 'New Moses,' Says He Won't Release New Music Till Freed From Universal and Sony/ATV Deals

Kanye West Declares Himself 'New Moses,' Says He Won't Release New Music Till Freed From Universal and Sony/ATV Deals

The presidential candidate also demanded apologies from J. Cole and Drake, called for a meeting with Jay Z, made ambiguous statements about Travis Scott's deal with McDonald's, and referred to the NBA as a "modern day slave ship."UPDATED: took a break from his presidential campaign to make some declarations about his music career Monday, saying that he will refuse to release any new music until his record company, , and his publisher, , free him from their deals.He quickly followed that up by saying that and must apologize to him — although whether this was a further condition for releasing...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Sep 15
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British Pop Star Sam Fender on 'Bonkers' Experience of Playing U.K.'s First Major Socially Distanced Gigs

British Pop Star Sam Fender on 'Bonkers' Experience of Playing U.K.'s First Major Socially Distanced Gigs

Fender admit he had hesitations about playing "the biggest human cattle market" but ultimately found the shows thrilling. And he had some words for Piers Morgan, who called the concept "“sooooo weird."British music star found quite a platform when he played sold-out, back-to-back shows at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. He found 500 platforms, in fact. The outdoor shows had fans gathering in groups of five in that many elevated pens, for a total capacity of 2,500 on the massive field each night. Jealous American music fans looked at photos and news...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Aug 16
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Don’t expect to see concerts before 2022, a Lollapalooza co-founder, top touring exec says

Don’t expect to see concerts before 2022, a Lollapalooza co-founder, top touring exec says

Marc Geiger, until recently the head of music at WME, and one of the founders of Lollapalooza, sounds like he’s not expecting to be attending any festivals in 2021. Asked on when he expects concerts to return, Geiger said, “My guess is late ’21, more likely ’22.” And he told Lefsetz that the problem of insurance going forward is “a biggie” when it comes to reasons for that long a delay, although “there are probably 20.” Advertisement The music exec elaborated: “Whether it’s testing or it’s the government, it’s too infinite of a well to go down. But in my humble opinion, it’s going to be...

chicagotribune.com
Chris Willman
Jul 18
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Vanilla Ice Cancels Austin Concert After Uproar: 'I Didn't Know the Numbers Were So Crazy'

Vanilla Ice Cancels Austin Concert After Uproar: 'I Didn't Know the Numbers Were So Crazy'

has put a planned weekend concert outside of Austin on ice after catching heat for promoting what looked to be a non-socially-distancing show amid a marked uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses.In what may count as one of the major “duh” moments of the year, the rapper has backtracked on his claims that his concert would be a carefree return to the pre-coronavirus ’90s, and he went on social media to announce the cancellation.“Guys, I’m gonna give you a little update on the concert in Austin,” he said in a video he uploaded to Twitter. “Basically, I’m not going. I listened to my fans; I hear all you...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Jul 2
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Country stars Chase Rice, Chris Janson spark outrage with videos of packed concert crowds

Country stars Chase Rice, Chris Janson spark outrage with videos of packed concert crowds

Country singer Chase Rice is taking heat after sharing video footage of a concerts he played in east Tennessee Saturday night, with footage showing large, packed outdoor crowds rocking out shoulder-to-shoulder with no sign of social distancing or masks. Rice posted video of his riled-up audience in east Tennessee, taken from the stage, as part of an Instagram post with the caption: "We back." The video clips remained up Sunday on his Instagram story, even as it became the subject of angry voices on social media. Advertisement One of those was country hitmaker Kelsea Ballerini, who ripped...

chicagotribune.com
Chris Willman
Jun 29
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Country Stars Chase Rice, Chris Janson Spark Outrage With Videos of Packed Concert Crowds

Country Stars Chase Rice, Chris Janson Spark Outrage With Videos of Packed Concert Crowds

Country singer is taking heat after sharing video footage of a concerts he played in east Tennessee Saturday night, with footage showing large, packed outdoor crowds rocking out shoulder-to-shoulder with no sign of social distancing or masks.Rice posted video of his riled-up audience in east Tennessee, taken from the stage, as part of an Instagram post with the caption: “We back.” The video clips remained up Sunday on his Instagram story, even as it became the subject of angry voices on social media.One of those was country hitmaker , who ripped into Rice in a tweet. “Imagine being selfish...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Jun 28
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Tom Petty Family Members Unite to Denounce Trump for Using 'I Won't Back Down' at Rally

Tom Petty Family Members Unite to Denounce Trump for Using 'I Won't Back Down' at Rally

Four of ’s family members came together Saturday night to quickly release a statement blasting the president for using the rocker’s “I Won’t Back Down” at his Tulsa campaign rally, saying Petty “would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”The statement said that “was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind. Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind.”The declaration was signed by Adria and Annakim Petty, his two...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Jun 21
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Country Group Lady Antebellum Drops 'Antebellum' From Name

Country Group Lady Antebellum Drops 'Antebellum' From Name

The trio says it is "regretful and embarrassed" not to have taken associations with the slavery era into account when choosing the name a decade and a half ago., one of the most successful groups in country music, announced Thursday that it is dropping the word “antebellum” from its name “after much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest discussions with some of our closes friends and colleagues.”The trio will henceforth be known as Lady A, the nickname most fans and colleagues have used almost from the start.The trio says it is “regretful and embarrassed” not to have...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Jun 11
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Taylor Swift Accuses Trump of 'Stoking Fires of Racism,' Vows 'We Will Vote You Out'

Taylor Swift Accuses Trump of 'Stoking Fires of Racism,' Vows 'We Will Vote You Out'

Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterhas taken the gloves off when it comes to President Trump. The pop superstar quoted his risible “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet, which threatened protesters in Minneapolis with gunfire — and received a warning label from Twitter that it promoted violence — before making a vow to help turn out the vote against him this fall.After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you...

variety.com
Chris Willman
May 29
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How Andrea Bocelli's Easter Live-Stream Became an Unexpected Global Blockbuster

How Andrea Bocelli's Easter Live-Stream Became an Unexpected Global Blockbuster

When ’s Easter performance at Duomo di Milan was first conceived, it was being thought of primarily as a local event — or localized to Italy, at least. The live-stream’s instigator, the mayor of Milan, came up with the idea with the intention of uplifting his home country, the one hardest hit in some of the critical weeks of the pandemic.It became a global tune-in event, of course, for a lot of people who viewed it as a substitute for church and a lot more who might never have darkened the door of one. Nearly 3 million people around the world logged on to to view the half-hour sacred music...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Apr 14
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Adam Schlesinger, Emmy Winner and Fountains of Wayne Cofounder, Dies of Coronavirus Complications

Adam Schlesinger, Emmy Winner and Fountains of Wayne Cofounder, Dies of Coronavirus Complications

, a musician and songwriter highly regarded for his work as a member of and an Emmy-winning songwriter for TV’s “,” has died as a result of complications, Variety has confirmed. He was 52.Schlesinger died Wednesday morning. He was divorced and is survived by two daughters.He had previously been reported Tuesday morning as “very sick and heavily sedated” by his attorney of 25 years, Josh Grier. He had been in an upstate New York hospital for more than a week at that time, Grier said.An EGOT contender, Schlesinger has been nominated for Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and won the latter two...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Apr 1
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National Recording Registry Inducts Classics by Dr. Dre, Mister Rogers and Cheap Trick

National Recording Registry Inducts Classics by Dr. Dre, Mister Rogers and Cheap Trick

Whitney Houston, Glen Campbell, Memphis Minnie and the Village People are also having records inducted into august company., meet . Memphis Minnie, meet “Dusty in Memphis.” “Wichita Lineman,” wave hello to the “Fiddler on the Roof.” “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” say hi to .And perhaps in the time of coronavirus, all these classic records can help — in the words of Eddy Arnold — “Make the World Go Away.”They’re all among the 25 records that have been selected for induction into the ’ were announced Wednesday, with a list that runs from 1920 into the 21st century and from classical to...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Mar 25
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KROQ's Kevin Ryder, of 'Kevin & Bean' Fame, Says He Was Fired, Escorted from Building

KROQ's Kevin Ryder, of 'Kevin & Bean' Fame, Says He Was Fired, Escorted from Building

Kevin Ryder, a staple of morning radio on L.A. station for the past 30 years, says he has been fired from the station and escorted from the building by security guards.Jimmy Kimmel, an alumnus of the “,” was among those weighing in on Twitter with dismay. “Shame on you ‘management’ for caring so little about the people who gave you so much,” tweeted the late-night host. “Especially now.”Shame on you "management" for caring so little about the people who gave you so much. Especially now.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel)The surprise move follows by four months the departure of Ryder’s longtime “”...

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Chris Willman
Mar 18
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Coachella, Stagecoach Festivals Likely Moving to October

Coachella, Stagecoach Festivals Likely Moving to October

Multiple sources tell Variety that both weekends of the Coachella Festival as well as the Stagecoach Music Festival that follows have been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Goldenvoice is informing agents currently and deducing who is available on consecutive weekends in October — starting with Oct. 9. Organizers have yet to release a statement, but insiders say the decision was inevitable as coronavirus panic continues to sweep the live entertainment sector. Dominos are falling in the festival world, as the Coachella and Stagecoach postponements follow quickly on...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Mar 10
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Why Isn't SXSW Canceled Yet? It May Come Down to Insurance and the City

Why Isn't SXSW Canceled Yet? It May Come Down to Insurance and the City

Was the official cancellation of the in Miami Thursday a one-off, for now, for a music industry that’s weighing its options on a case-by-case basis… or an inevitable bellwether for the fate of other upcoming festivals like South by Southwest and ? And if it’s the latter, why wouldn’t , which begins in a mere week, pull the plug sooner rather than on the eve of thousands of badgeholders getting on a flight?There’s no wide consensus to the answers to these questions yet, but one element that’s clearly a factor is letting civic and government authorities ultimately make the call, which stands...

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Chris Willman
Mar 10
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Neil Young Calls Trump 'a Disgrace,' Says Sanders Will 'Make America Great Again'

Neil Young Calls Trump 'a Disgrace,' Says Sanders Will 'Make America Great Again'

plans to keep on resistin’ in the free world. Just weeks after the Canadian rocker officially became a dual citizen of th eUnited States as well, he’s penned an excoriating letter to , calling him “a disgrace to my country” and endorsing Bernie Sanders for president.The sentiments themselves are not a surprise. Young has laid into the president before, notably for his unauthorized use of Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a subject the musician takes up again in the open letter. But the length and heat of Young’s missive suggests citizenship has only emboldened him in his ire for the...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Feb 22
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Taylor Swift Opens Up About Overcoming Struggle With Eating Disorder

Taylor Swift Opens Up About Overcoming Struggle With Eating Disorder

Taylor Swift tells Variety more about "how unhealthy that's been for me — my relationship with food," a subject boldly broached in her Sundance documentary, "Miss Americana." In the new Taylor Swift documentary, “Miss Americana,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night, there’s a montage of derogatory commentary about the singer that has appeared on cable shows over the years. One of the less nasty remarks: “She’s too skinny. It bothers me.” As it turns out, it eventually bothered Swift, too. In one of the most revealing and surprising segments of the Netflix film,...

variety.com
Chris Willman
Jan 30
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