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Some of the most powerful touring artists (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, One Direction, Tim McGraw, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Foos and Neil Young, others) are teaming with some of the industry's most powerful execs (including Kelly Curtis, Rob Light, Marc Geiger, Judy McGrath, John Silva and Marsha Vlasic) to unite behind the Global Citizen Tickets Initiative, a new program from the Global Poverty Project launching today and designed to incentivize social activism with concert tickets.
Facebook posted quarterly earnings that neither thrilled or depressed investors, but who were reacting by bidding shares a few pennies higher in the after-hours session on Wall Street. Facebook, however, showed it is making inroads into mobile devices, with 75% of its users firing up its application on smart phones or tablets in the first quarter this year. Those mobile viewers are translating to rapidly growing pool of advertising dollars. Read more about Facebook's financials here.
Rapper Chris Kelly of the group Kris Kross was found dead at his Atlanta home this evening. The Fulton County Police said Kelly's death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose. An autopsy will be performed this morning. He was 34. The duo was best known for their multi-million selling 1992 album "Totally Krossed Out" and the major hit "Jump," which spent eight weeks atop the Hot 100. Mac Daddy, as Kelly was known, and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith famously wore their baggy clothes backwards. The duo was discovered by Jermaine Dupri. Read more about the group’s chart success here.
DEL BRYANT, BMI PRESIDENT AND CEO, ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Del Bryant, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) President and Chief Executive Officer, today announced his decision to retire in June 2014, starting an orderly leadership transition over the next 14 months. Bryant’s decision to retire comes after working in continuous service at BMI for nearly 42 years.
RedOne’s 2101 Records will now distributed through Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records and its operations based in the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. Capitol Music Group chairman and CEO Steve Barnett made the announcement today.
PepsiCo has pulled an online ad for Mountain Dew that was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women. In the 60-second spot developed by rapper Tyler, The Creator, a battered white woman on crutches is urged by an officer to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men and a goat character known as Felicia .
Guy Oseary’s A-GRade, a fund he launched in partnership with Ashton Kutcher and billionaire Ron Burkle in 2010, announced a $100 million valuation at Techcrunch’s Disrupt NY conference on Wednesday.
On next week's Billboard 200 chart, watch for country superstar Kenny Chesney to claim his seventh No. 1 as his new Life On a Rock should debut atop the list. Industry sources suggest the set could move around 140,000 or so by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, May 5.
A third of the U.S. population accounts for 70% of entertainment spending, according to numbers released today by Nielsen. The "high spender" group has slightly more females than males, very few teens and a higher share of Hispanics than exists in the total population.
Unsigned 20-year-old Chicago MC Chance the Rapper has already taken meetings with a number of labels, including Columbia, Republic, Def Jam, RCA, Atlantic, Shady and Capitol. Thanks to a new mixtape (listen here) and his team of Save Money collective, Pat Corcoran, Dan Weiner and CAA's Cara Lewis, a label deal may not be far behind.
NASHVILLE MOURNS COUNTRY LEGEND GEORGE JONES, MEMORIAL TODAY
Thousands of fans are expected to join some of country music's biggest stars in mourning George Jones. The late country music superstar's funeral will be held Thursday morning at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. Jones died last week at 81. Laura Bush will speak at the funeral along with friends and fellow country stars Barbara Mandrell and Kenny Chesney. Jones also will be serenaded by Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Wynonna Judd, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis. Check back with Billboard.biz for full coverage
Music rights management company BMG has concluded the acquisitions of legendary recorded music catalogues Mute and Sanctuary from Universal Music Group. The Mute catalog includes master recordings from such artists as Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Goldfrapp and Yazoo. Sanctuary’s catalog of 170,000 recordings contains works by the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Megadeath, The Kinks and Uriah Heep. The two acquisitions have now been fully approved by the European Commission.
The doctor convicted of involuntarily killing Michael Jackson appeared to be on trial again Wednesday as a lawyer for Jackson's mother tried to show the physician's desperate financial situation drove him to extremes in his treatment of the superstar.
Beastie Boys fans fought for the right to rename a Brooklyn Heights playground after the group’s late founding member Adam “MCA” Yauch -- and won. City officials and members of the legendary hip-hop band are expected to gather Friday at Palmetto Playground on State Street for a ceremonial renaming in honor of the Brooklyn Heights native, sources said. The site will be called “Adam Yauch Playground.”
New York Post
With Pandora dominating and Apple looming, Songza is adding listeners and introducing features that change the way people use Internet radio. The service had 4.7 million active users in March, up from 2 million active monthly users at the end of the summer, and has served over 560 million songs in the last 30 days.
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