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George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," died on Friday at age 81. Biz has extensive coverage of this country luminary’s extraordinary career: From his impressive country chart dominance to tributes by Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley and many others to touching Grand Ole Opry homages, radio airplay and more.
Tastemaking French dance music act Daft Punk racked up the U.K.’s biggest weekly singles sales total for any act in 2013 to get their first No. 1 in the territory with “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. On the album chart, Sandé's debut album “Our Version Of Events” spent its 63rd consecutive week in the U.K. top ten, beating the Beatles’ 62-week run of 1963’s “Please Please Me.:
EVOLUTION OF A COLOSSUS: ITUNES AT 10 YEARS
The Apple iTunes music platform is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its April 28, 2003 and Billboard has compiled a comprehensive editorial package on the digital music retailer, including: “Evolution of a Colossus,” a year-by-year timeline, the 12 Best iTunes Ads, a Spotify playlist of iTunes biggest hits, 7 ways iTunes changed the landscape in the words of music execs, a guest post by Jason Herskovitz on Apple's choice ahead and more.
AOL Music is shutting down, according to a series of tweets from staffers at the company that were essentially confirmed by tweets from AOL Radio. The first came from Dan Reilly, editor of AOL’s music site Spinner.com, which said, “Well, we all just got laid off. AOL Music is finished.” Nearly all of AOL Music took a hit, according to the tweets from AOL Radio. There have been layoffs at AOL Music as well as the blogs Spinner, The Boot, Noisecreep and The BoomBox. AOL Radio clarified in a tweet that the Slacker-powered AOL Radio service will continue to operate. Reps for AOL have not returned comment.
Who are the rising young executives driving our business forward? Billboard's new Power Players special feature "40 Under 40" will identify these individuals -- and we invite our readers to make their nominations for the industry's best and brightest under the age of fory.
FANTASIA, PHOENIX HEADING FOR TOP FIVE ON THIS WEKK’S BILLBOARD 200 CHART
Fantasia is heading for her third top 10 album, as "Side Effects Of You" is on course for a No. 2 bow next week on the Billboard 200 chart. And alternative rock band Phoenix looks to start in the top five with its latest album, "Bankrupt!"
An impressive group of some of the most influential players in the history of the touring industry filled Irving Plaza last night to pay tribute to pioneering agent Frank Barsalona, who died last year.
CALIFORNIA TICKETING LEGISLATION
FAVORS LIVE NATION
Live Nation got a boost on Tuesday when the California Assembly upheld language in a bill that allows for paperless ticketing technology and creates a penalty for people who use software -- called bots -- to circumvent security measures placed by issuers to prevent automated efforts to acquire event tickets.
Nettwerk Music Group has raised $10.25 million in equity growth financing from private equity firm HBC Investments, previous investor Beedie Capital and Nettwerk's four founding partners, Terry McBride, Ric Arboit, Dan Fraser and Mark Jowett.
The 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm and broadcast live on Telemundo on April 25, saw a surge in ratings from last year’s edition, according to Nielsen numbers, and also generated record social activity.
ROLLING STONE’S PLAY L.A.’s ECHOPLEX, CAPACITY 650
In a surprise gig described early in the set by Stones singer/dancer/showman Mick Jagger as “the first show of our North American tour,” the band played the Echoplex, a basement club with a capacity of 650. In the crowd were friends, family and a few hundred lucky, patient fans who’d won a ticket lottery earlier in the day. The band performed 60 minutes' worth of classic material that focused on their work from the late 1960s through the early ‘80s, including “Love in Vain,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Respectable” and “Miss You.”
Los Angeles Times
Michael Diamond (a k a Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), the surviving members of the hip-hop group, have signed a deal with Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, for a book celebrating their history and aesthetic. A title has not been chosen, but it is planned to come out in fall 2015, the publisher is expected to announce this week.
New York Times
The most complete account of Michael Jackson's final months is about to unfold in a cramped Los Angeles courtroom nearly four years after the pop superstar's death. Lawyers for Jackson's mother will attempt to convince a jury that the company promoting the pop superstar's 2009 comeback concerts is responsible for his untimely death. The attorneys will try to prove that AEG Live hired and controlled the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson's demise. AEG Live denies any wrongdoing and contests that they hired the physician who for months was giving Jackson doses of a powerful anesthetic in the singer's bedroom to help him sleep.
The Sony DADC plant in Carrollton, Georgia will shut down operations on May 3, as the last employees leave a facility which for 35 years made the city a major player in the distribution of recorded entertainment media. The Carrollton plant was opened by CBS Records, which was acquired by Sony Corporation of America in 1987. When CBS broke ground for the facility, in 1978, music was mostly distributed on 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl discs, as well as cassette tapes.
Douglas County Sentinel
At this past weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner, Barack Obama’s satirical speech made several pop music references: First he walked out to the music of DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" and joked, "How do you like my new entrance music?" Rush Limbaugh warned you about this -- second term baby!" During the monologue he referenced Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent controversial trip to Cuba. "This whole controversy with Jay-Z going to Cuba; it's unbelievable," said Obama. "I've got 99 problems, and now Jay-Z's one!" Later on Obama commented on the budget sequester issue, saying, "Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can't stop talking about how much they hate it. It's like we're trapped in a Taylor Swift album."
Police say that ten members of the musical group La Reyna de Monterrey have been killed and five injured in a road accident in northern Mexico. A police official said the driver of the vehicle that was carrying the band dozed off Saturday morning causing the vehicle to strike the side of a truck then cross over into the other lane and crash head on with a tractor-trailer.
STOP THE PRESSES
- The Many, Many Weird Guest Appearances of Sir Elton John
- Fatboy Slim: 'Daft Punk have given us all a kick up the arse'
- Mamma mia! Abba get their own museum
- Chris Brown -- Hates Drake, But LOVES His Music
- A hypnotherapist's view on Trance
- If We Tell Artists And Writers To STFU, Who Will Guide Our Moral Compass?
- A $12,000 music box for the Sith Lord who has everything
- Rihanna and Chris Brown’s Relationship Divides the Public
- Moombahton in Guatemala: house meets reggaeton meets the unknown