R. KELLY MENTIONS GOD AND DOES RAUNCHY SHOW IN GREENSBORO
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — R. Kelly’s concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, went on just as Kelly planned it to be: some references to God, then rubbing a fan’s cell phone between his legs. The concert had demonstrators outside who wanted the show canceled because Kelly is accused of abusing several women. He denies those allegations. The social media campaign #MuteRKelly has called for an investigation and a ban on his music. Kelly’s stagehands passed out shirts that said, “Turn Up R. Kelly.” Kelly told the audience it’s been a rough week and “sometimes, some storms ain’t gonna stop.” He still did his sexually suggestive songs and persuaded a fan to wipe his face, tongue and crotch with a towel.
APPLE NO LONGER RECOMMENDS R. KELLY’S SONGS
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Apple Music has quietly stopped promoting R. Kelly’s music on its featured playlists. The streaming service still has Kelly’s songs in its library. Apple declined further comment. Pandora declined comment on how it’s treating Kelly’s music, but it says it will not promote “artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues.” Spotify announced last week it would no longer recommend Kelly’s music or feature it on its curated playlists, although Kelly songs are still available on Spotify. Kelly has been the target of the social media campaign #MuteRKelly, which calls for a ban on his music and an investigation into the sexual and physical abuse claims several women have leveled against him. Kelly denies the allegations.
BOYHOOD HOME OF VAN ZANTS IS NAMED A HISTORIC SITE
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The house where the Van Zant brothers of Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special grew up is now a Florida historic site, and soon, you could be able to stay there. The Florida Times-Union reports a historical marker noting the Jacksonville home where Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant grew up was unveiled on Saturday. Current owner Todd Smith is restoring the house to look like a 1970s time capsule and pack it full of music memorabilia. He’d like to turn it into a short-term rental house for fans of the bands. While the house is modest, Smith is planning for heavy security. He says the historic marker is an attractive target for souvenir hunters.
FRIGHTENED RABBIT SINGER SCOTT HUTCHISON IS FOUND DEAD
LONDON (AP) — The family members of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison say they are “utterly devastated” that he was found dead at a Scottish marina Thursday evening. Hutchison was 36. He had sent out tweets late Tuesday saying, “Please hug your loved ones” and “I’m away now. Thanks.” Hutchison had struggled with depression. A cause of death was not given. Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand tweets that Hutchison’s death is “a terrible loss.” Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian writes, “The whole music community of Scotland was praying for a different outcome.” Frightened Rabbit is known in the U.S. for their 2016 adult alternative hit “Get Out.”
KEITH URBAN SAMPLES MERLE HAGGARD FOR “COMING HOME”
NASHVILLE (AP) — Keith Urban did not intend to write a song based on Merle Haggard’s song “Mama Tried.” He thinks Haggard’s spirit pulled the song out of him. Urban says songwriting partner J.R. Rotem was playing around with a sample from the intro of “Mama Tried.” Urban sat down and wrote the chorus to “Coming Home” right after hearing it. Urban says his other songwriting partner, Julia Michaels, suggested the line, “I know it’s only one call away but it’s not the same.” Urban says that summed up his whole feeling of being an Australian in Nashville and not being able to pop home like anyone else could.
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STEVIE WONDER RESPONDS TO KANYE WEST’S SLAVERY COMMENTS
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Stevie Wonder is calling out Kanye West for saying slavery is a choice. Wonder brought up the subject without prompting after a show outside Los Angeles Thursday. Wonder says, “We all know that slavery was not a choice.” He says anyone who knows their history knows “that’s just foolishness.” He says saying slavery is a choice is like saying the Holocaust was not real. West told TMZ two weeks ago, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice.”
UNRELEASED PRINCE SONGS WILL STREAM ON TIDAL
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service will get first crack at Prince’s unreleased music. The Prince estate and Tidal announced Friday an unreleased Prince album will stream on Tidal for 14 days and be available for download after seven. It will then be released as a physical product after that. The release date will likely be in 2019. Financial details were not disclosed. A Minnesota judge ruled last week it was in the best interest of the estate to allow the deal. Some of Prince’s siblings thought they could get more money through litigation. Tidal had streamed Prince’s album “Hit n Run,” but then got caught up in a lawsuit after Prince’s death over other Prince songs that were streamed on Tidal.
POST MALONE HAS SECOND WEEK AT NUMBER ONE
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Post Malone’s “Beerbongs and Bentleys” takes first place on the Billboard 200 album chart for a second week. It moved 193,000 units in the past week. J. Cole’s “KOD” is in second, followed by Leon Bridges and “Good Thing.” Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” is fourth. Shinedown debuts in the number-five position with “Attention Attention.”
SMOKEY ROBINSON APPEARS BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE
WASHINGTON (AP) — Smokey Robinson will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. He will offer insight into protecting and promoting music in the digital era. Songwriter Josh Kear, who wrote “Blown Away” for Carrie Underwood and “Need You Now” for Lady Antebellum, also will testify.
TAJ MAHAL AND KEB’ MO’ WIN AT BLUES MUSIC AWARDS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo had a big night at the Blues Music Awards on Thursday. Their collaboration “TajMo” won album of the year and the award for contemporary blues album. Mahal also won entertainer of the year and best acoustic artist. Keb’ Mo’ won for contemporary blues male artist. Other winners include Mavis Staples, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, and Beth Hart.
KELLY CLARKSON AND JENNIFER HUDSON WILL RETURN AS “VOICE” COACHES
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson will be coaches on the next season of “The Voice.” They will join veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for the season that starts this fall. As for the current season, Shelton, Kane Brown and Panic At The Disco will perform on tomorrow’s show.
by Margie Szaroleta