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Inside the Dirty Business of Hit Songwriting

Inside the Dirty Business of Hit Songwriting

Sixty-four years ago, as Elvis Presley’s career reached its supernova stage, the 21-year-old singer’s team hit on a strategy that enabled him to profit from songwriting without actually writing songs. His management and music publisher had added Presley’s name to the credits on a couple of his early hits, but the singer wasn’t comfortable with the practice and frequently told interviewers that he had “never written a song in my life.” Instead, as recounted in Peter Guralnick’s authoritative biography “Last Train to Memphis,” his team set up an arrangement whereby the King skipped the credit...

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Jem Aswad
7 days ago
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Coachella Music Festival Moving to 2022: Sources

Coachella Music Festival Moving to 2022: Sources

The  Valley Music and Arts Festival is moving from October 2021 to April of 2022, two industry sources with knowledge of the situation tell Variety. It is expected that the country-music themed Stagecoach festival, which takes place the weekend after Coachella’s two weekends, will move as well.Reps for Goldenvoice, the event’s promoter, and AEG Presents, its parent company, either declined or did not respond to Variety’s requests for comment.The move, if it is officially confirmed, marks the , which takes place over two weekends at the Empire Polo Ground in Indio, Calif., have been...

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Jem Aswad
Mar 18
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The Weeknd: ‘I Will No Longer Allow My Label to Submit My Music to the Grammys’

The Weeknd: ‘I Will No Longer Allow My Label to Submit My Music to the Grammys’

UPDATED: When the 2021 Grammy Award nominations were announced in November, thousands of people were stunned to see that — one of the most commercially and critically successful artists of the past year, whose single “Blinding Lights” just became the first song ever to spend a full year in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 — was not nominated for any awards.The , the biggest in Grammy history, could only be explained as the work of the “secret committees” of industry veterans, executives and artists who determine the nominees in certain, but not all, categories. The work of the committees...

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Jem Aswad
Mar 11
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The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ Becomes First Song to Spend a Full Year in the Billboard Top 10

The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ Becomes First Song to Spend a Full Year in the Billboard Top 10

’s “Blinding Lights” has been smashing records practically since it was first released late in November of 2019 — and on Monday it broke what might be the most momentous one of all: It became the first song to spend a full year in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.That dwarfs the previous record, for Post Malone’s “Circles,” which hung in for 39 weeks (it’s a bit of an inter-family record, since Post happens to be the Weeknd’s labelmate on Republic Records). “Blinding Lights” also holds the record for the longest a song has spent in the Top 5, with 43 total weeks.And with 65 full weeks in...

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Jem Aswad
Mar 8
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Bunny Wailer, Co-Founder of Bob Marley’s Wailers, Dies at 73

Bunny Wailer, Co-Founder of Bob Marley’s Wailers, Dies at 73

, a founding member of ’s Wailers and a legendary reggae singer whose career reached across seven decades, died early Tuesday, his manager confirmed to the ; a rep for the Wailers’ longtime U.S. label did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment. He was 73.“He died about 8:00 this morning. I’m still right here with him,” his manager, Maxine Stowe, told the Observer from the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston. No cause of death was cited, but Wailer had been in poor health since suffering a second stroke last July.Born Neville Livingston, Wailer was the sole surviving...

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Jem Aswad
Mar 2
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Bruce Springsteen Pleads Guilty to Alcohol Consumption in Closed Area; DUI and Other Charge Dropped

Bruce Springsteen Pleads Guilty to Alcohol Consumption in Closed Area; DUI and Other Charge Dropped

In a court hearing Wednesday regarding his pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in a restricted area but the driving under the influence and reckless driving charges were dropped for lack of evidence. The singer was fined $500 plus fees.“Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today’s court appearance,” a statement from his rep reads. “The prosecutor was unable to provide the necessary evidence and facts as it related to the charge of Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Reckless Driving and therefore, dismissed both of those charges. Mr Springsteen, who has no previous criminal...

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Jem Aswad
Feb 24
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Jeep Reinstates Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Ad After DUI Charge Is Dismissed

Jeep Reinstates Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Ad After DUI Charge Is Dismissed

In the wake of for driving under the influence last November, Jeep has reinstated its high-profile Super Bowl ad starring the singer.After news of the arrest emerged earlier this month — just days after the ad first aired — Jeep removed the ad from YouTube and other sites, in a commentary against drunk driving. In a hearing on Wednesday, Springsteen pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in a restricted area, but the driving under the influence and reckless driving charges were dropped for lack of evidence. The singer was fined $500 plus fees.”As we stated previously, we paused the...

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Jem Aswad
Feb 24
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Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson: ‘I Failed’

Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson: ‘I Failed’

In the wake of accusations of sexism and misogyny against regarding his treatment of former girlfriend , and the “wardrobe malfunction” with at the Super Bowl in 2004, he has apologized to both women in an Instagram post.“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he wrote. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.“I...

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Jem Aswad
Feb 12
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R. Kelly’s New York Trial Delayed Again Due to COVID Concerns

R. Kelly’s New York Trial Delayed Again Due to COVID Concerns

’s has been delayed for a fourth time due to COVID-19 concerns, according to the .The singer had been scheduled to go on trial April 7 on racketeering charges — which allege he ran a criminal enterprise designed to recruit women for sexual misconduct — but at a status hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly stated that holding such a trial is “not realistic at all,” considering the pandemic. She rescheduled the date for Aug. 9, a month before Kelly is scheduled to go on trial in Chicago, where he is charged with multiple sexual abuse counts.Kelly is being held at the Chicago...

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Jem Aswad
Feb 9
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New York's SummerStage Announces Return to In-Person Concerts This Summer

New York's SummerStage Announces Return to In-Person Concerts This Summer

New York’s concert series has announced plans to return to live, in-person concerts and performances at outdoor venues this summer.According to the announcement, “Pending adjustments to current NYC restrictions, free music and dance performances will return to Rumsey Playfield in Central Park this summer and performances will also be held in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park/Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.“Performances will follow all state and local regulations regarding large-scale outdoor events, including limited capacity, masks and socially distanced seating. Admittance will require a free...

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Jem Aswad
2 days ago
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