Last Week’s Biggest Music News

by Frederik Nielsen, May 6, 2018 . 3 min read

Last Week’s Biggest Music News

There is a lot going on in music right now, and this past week has been no exception. The Billboard charts revise their strategy, Gibson goes bust, Kanye busts the Internet, your songwriting credits will be in the crypto-dimension, and you can be anywhere you want to be – as long as you’re wearing space-goggles.

Billboard chart changes how it ranks music

CD sales have been out for a long time now, and naturally Billboard and other charts have begun to rank songs and albums depending on their streams. Now, however, they are switching it up. Streaming music for on a paid service will now count three times as much as streams from a free service. This means that a song being played on the paid version of Spotify will bump the artist up the Billboard charts three times faster than the same song played on the free version of Spotify.

Gibson goes bust

Say what now? Gibson guitars, as in the ones brandished by Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Slash, Bob Marley, Noel Gallagher, and Elvis? Yes, that Gibson. Bust. Bankrupt. Winding down. The legendary company, which was founded in 1902 as “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd.”,  has filed for bankruptcy. This is not only bad news for you Les Paul fans, but also for me and my KRK studio monitors. The upside, I guess, is that the value of Gibson guitars will now skyrocket.

Kanye breaks the Internet (again)

I know this is a touchy subject, so let’s not get political here. All that needs to be said is that Kanye West never stops being… interesting. And he never stops breaking the Internet. And he has a new album coming out. Actually, he has four new albums coming out. And he’s back on Twitter. And he has designed track pant boots, whatever that is. And his new Yeezy Slides look like they’re trying to rival Crocs. I’m just going to stop here.

The music industry goes crypto

The future lies in the blockchain. I can’t tell you where exactly it’ll be, because the whole point of blockchain technology is to keep everything decentralized. Now the turn has come to the music industry. JAAK wants to build a global network of intellectual property rights called KORD. Pitbull, meanwhile, has launched his own ICO (initial coin offering) called Smackathon, where users will be able to use Ethereum tokens to pay for music.

Live concerts are so yesteryear

Live concerts are an amazing experience…The feeling of witnessing greatness in the present. The atmosphere created by the interplay between the band and the crowd. The rush of being so close to your idols that you can almost hit them with the extra underwear you brought along. But you know what is also amazing? Sitting at home with a bag of chips. Melody VR wants to make sure you can enjoy both of those experiences at the same time. With their headset, you can be virtually present at any gig – you can even be on stage.

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As part of our roundup of the last year, we’ve also looked at some of the most shocking music news of 2019. Unfortunately, it was a year fraught with hoaxes, harassment, and untimely deaths.

1. Jussie Smollett’s Hate Crime Hoax

The actor and singer from Empire claimed to have been attacked by two MAGA hat-wearing thugs in what was quickly labeled a hate crime. As Chicago’s Police Department dug into the story, it turned out that Smollett had actually hired two men to help stage the attack.

2. R. Kelly Was Deplatformed with #MuteRKelly

Buzzfeed exposed the alleged sex cult run by R. Kelly a few years back, and 2019 the R&B singer was further examined in the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly. Subsequently, the series prompted an investigation into R. Kelly’s alleged abuse of women and he now awaits trial.

3. Taylor Swift Battles Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records

The pop-singer Taylor Swift exchanged hard words with Scooter Braun online after the two fell out over her masters. Scooter Braun’s company had acquired the record label, and thus Taylor Swift’s masters. That led to Swift announcing that she’d rerecord the songs to regain ownership.

4. Ryan Adams Allegedly Exposed by New York Times

The prolific songwriter Ryan Adams was accused by The New York Times of abusing his fame to take advantage of an underage fan called Ava during a Skype call. Despite the singer denying the allegations of exposing himself to her, he is currently being investigated by the police.

5. A$AP Rocky Arrested in Stockholm During Tour

The American rapper A$AP Rocky was arrested during his tour in Sweden after he was accused of assaulting locals. The case received worldwide attention and even attracted the attention of US President Donald Trump. As a result, the story also prompted the movement and hashtag #FreeRocky.

6. Michael Jackson Faced Fresh Accusations Posthumously

The King of Pop faced many accusations during his life and career. However, they have even continued after his death. The documentary series Leaving Neverland brought out new allegations as Wade Robson and James Safechuck recounted their experiences at the ranch.

7. Britney Spears Row with Her Father

Although the pop-sensation lay low for a while, she made headlines again in 2019. Britney Spears quit her last Las Vegas gig before it even kicked off, and later claimed that her father had her sectioned in a mental health facility without her consent.

8. Nipsey Hussle Shot Dead in Front of His Own Clothing Store

The rapper Nipsey Hussle was arguing with Eric Ronald Holder Jr. over the latter allegedly snitching on the former. Holder Jr. then supposedly shot Hussle outside his store, which fatally wounded the beloved hip-hop star and prompted an investigation and eventual trial.

9. Plácido Domingo Caught Up in Harassment Claims

The 78-year-old Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo faced claims of sexual harassment which he put down to Spaniards being warm and affectionate. Although he hasn’t been formally accused, eight women claim that the abuse and harassment spanned over three decades.

10. Juice Wrld Dies After Seizure in Chicago

The world lost another rapper after Juice Wrld suffered a seizure at an airport outside Chicago. The young rapper had just turned 21 and was on his way to worldwide fame after a string of hits featuring other rising stars like Lil Yachty. His death follows those of Lil Peep and XXXTentacion.

What Could Happen in 2020?

Those were the most shocking music news stories of 2019 — what could happen in the new year? Leave your predictions in the comments section below and let us know.


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