| LYOR COHEN, POST WARNER MUSIC: WHO WILL REPLACE HIM, AND WHAT'S HIS NEXT MOVE? The announcement of Lyor Cohen's imminent departure from Warner Music Group sent a tremor through the music industry on Monday and sparked speculation on the inevitable management shuffle around the industry: Who will replace the colorful hard-nosed WMG exec ( Roger Ames, Roger Faxon, Cameron Strang?) and where will the soon-to-be-former recorded music chairman and CEO land (Sony, Universal, a reinvigorated Capitol?)?
BUSINESS MATTERS: NEW-LOOK MYSPACE STILL PUTTING HEAVY EMPHASIS ON MUSIC: MySpace has gone to art school. The social network's long-delayed remodel got a sneak peak at the MySpace home page Monday and was previewed in a 2:18 video. In contrast to the original MySpace, a clash of colors and styles, the new version is the work of a thoughtful, skilled graphic arts team. Lines are clean. There is an emphasis on big, bold images. It's a pleasure to view.
PSY VOWS TOPLESS SHOW IF 'GANGNAM-STYLE' REACHES NO. 1: A chubby South Korean singer who has taken the pop world by storm, topping Apple's iTunes downloads and getting 270 million Youtube views, has vowed to perform his "Gangnam Style" hit topless if it reaches number one on the Billboard Chart. The rapper who does the foot-stomping "horse dance" and goes by the name Psy, returned on Tuesday to the upmarket Seoul suburb that he put on the world music map. "If it ranks number one in the Billboard chart," Psy said, "then I will perform 'Gangnam Style' topless in a place where everyone can watch."
FEIST WINS POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE FOR METALS ALBUM, HIDES UNDER TABLE: A stunned Leslie Feist won Canada's $30,000 Polaris Music Prize on Monday for her fourth album Metals -- then, unsure of what to do next, she hid under her table. Eventually, the Calgary-reared, Toronto-based singer/songwriter emerged and took the stage to accept her prize. But the 36-year-old was shocked: "This was my worst fear -- oh my God," said a laughing Feist, "... You'd think from a lifetime of terrible speeches I would remember at one point to write something down, but I never do because it seems presumptuous to prepare."
SPOTIFY NOW PAYING SOUNDEXCHANGE FOR MOBILE RADIO STREAMS IN U.S., LOWERS ROYALTY BILL: Spotify is lowering its royalty obligation in the U.S. The digital service is now paying webcasting royalties to SoundExchange for the streams on the free Internet radio service on its mobile app it launched in June. Spotify is taking advantage of the statutory license in the U.S. The company was one of many listed on a September 13 SoundExchange blog post.
HOW ALEX WILHELM TURNED HIS BLOG INTO A MAJOR-LABEL A&R GIG: For many top-level A&R execs in the music industry, a major place to find unsigned talent over the past four years has not been the clubs of Los Angeles or New York, but rather a website run out of a bedroom in a small town in Germany. The site, called Crazed Hits -- which is now on hiatus -- was created by Alex Wilhelm, a 22-year-old music fan with a whole lot of time and a knack for knowing a hit. And it didn't take long for the American music industry to take notice...
ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC HONORS CHESNEY, JACKSON, GILL, MORE: Country stars past, present and future filled the stage at Ryman Auditorium Monday night for the sixth annual Academy of Country Music Honors ceremony, which recognizes industry and specialty award winners not featured during the academy's April ACM Awards. Winners included Kenny Chesney who won the Crystal Milestone Award for his touring success. Alan Jackson who won the Jim Reeves International Award and Vince Gill who won a Career Achievement Award, an honor Gill said he "didn't understand."
JUANES, ROMEO SANTOS AMONG LIKELY LATIN GRAMMY CONTENDERS: When it comes to the Latin Grammy Awards, and most entertainment awards shows in general, nothing succeeds like past success. So you can expect to hear the names of Colombian superstar Juanes (a 17-time Latin Grammy winner), Mexican veteran rockers Maná (which sold out four nights at Staples Center earlier this year) and pop-bachata king Romeo Santos uttered early and often at this morning's 13th annual Latin Grammy Award nominations at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. You may even hear Juanes read out his own name, since he'll be among the nominations' presenters. Check back with Billboard.biz for a full report.
SAM SNIDERMAN, FOUNDER OF LEGENDARY CANADIAN RECORD STORES, DEAD AT 92: Iconic Canadian record retailer Sam Sniderman, whose Sam The Record Man store started in 1937 and grew to 140 stores nationwide at its peak, died Sunday in Toronto. He was 92.