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Andrew Flanagan

The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyonce, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyonce features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year's best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" and her own "Black Parade." The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner's songwriters.

Mac Davis, a songwriter and performer who began a decades-long ascent in music and entertainment in the early 1960s, died Tuesday in Nashville following heart surgery. His death was confirmed by his manager, Jim Morey. He was 78.

Ronald "Khalis" Bell, a co-founder, songwriter, saxophonist, vocalist and producer of the chart-topping group Kool & The Gang, died Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68.

Bell's death was confirmed by a Universal Music publicist, though no cause was provided.

While it's still unknown when musicians and touring artists will again be able to perform in venues, those based abroad and hoping to tour the U.S. will face increased costs to do so legally.

Malik Abdul-Basit, a rapper best known for his work with The Roots as Malik B., has died. He was 47.

A lawsuit over the fiery loss of recording materials, spurred on by a New York Times Magazine investigation published last year, has ended. For now.

Bandcamp, the digital storefront and streaming music platform used by hundreds of thousands of artists and thousands of record labels, will forgo collecting its share of revenue from sales on the site made this Friday, March 20, the company announced on Tuesday. The initiative will be active from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m Pacific time.

Flavor Flav, prototypical hype man of the legendary and socially forward rap group Public Enemy, has been, it would seem, let go.

David Roback, a guitarist and songwriter best known for working alongside singer Hope Sandoval in the group Mazzy Star, has died. The news was confirmed to NPR in a press release from Roback's management sent on Tuesday evening. He was 61.

Andy Gill, a guitarist renowned for his sharp, inverted approach to the instrument who founded the post-punk group Gang Of Four and later became a respected producer, died in a London hospital Feb. 1 from a respiratory illness, the group announced in a statement. He was 64.

The 62nd Grammy Awards nominations are here, and it appears to be Lizzo's year to lose.

The singer, songwriter, flutist and rapper was nominated across five of the night's top categories, including song of the year, record of the year, best new artist, best pop solo performance and best R&B performance.

Lil Nas X was nominated for best new artist, album of the year (for his debut record, 7), and record of the year, where his Gen Z opus "Old Town Road" is up against Post Malone, Bon Iver, Swae Lee, H.E.R., Ariana Grande, Lizzo and Billie Eilish.

At the place where music, technology and politics converge, you'll find ... discord. A group of more than 380 musicians — including well-known indie artists like Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Damon & Naomi, Zola Jesus, Downtown Boys and Sheer Mag — pledged in an open letter on Thursday to cut all business ties with Amazon over the work of its gargantuan Amazon Web Services subsidiary.

Woodstock 50, the music festival intended as a celebration of the era-defining 1969 concert, has instead spent months unravelling in public. Now, if it takes place at all, the festival won't take place in the same area of upstate New York as the original Woodstock. In fact, it won't take place in New York at all, or even an adjacent state.

Seth Hurwitz, chairman of the mid-Atlantic concert promotion company I.M.P., said Thursday that the organizers of Woodstock 50 have approached the Columbia, Md., venue Merriweather Post Pavilion about hosting the event.

The country-pop record company Big Machine Label Group, one of the most successful independent labels in the country — and the longtime label home of megastar Taylor Swift — has been sold. It was purchased by Ithaca Holdings, an umbrella company owned by Scooter Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, among others. According to anonymous sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the deal is valued at more than $300 million.

After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system.

Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.

Leon Redbone, the perpetually anachronistic, famously mysterious artist who rose to prominence as a performer on Toronto's folk circuit in the early '70s, died Thursday while in hospice care in Bucks County, Pa.

Redbone's family confirmed his death through a publicist. No cause was given, and Redbone's age was a subject of speculation for decades.

Earlier this week, a large group of successful songwriters sent Daniel Ek, the co-founder and chief executive of Spotify, a short and pointed letter in which they wrote of being "hurt and disappointed" and accusing Spotify of having "used us and tried to divide us."

Roger Charlery, best known as Ranking Roger, singer of the widely influential U.K. group The Beat — known as The English Beat in the U.S. — died Tuesday afternoon, at 56. The singer was diagnosed with brain tumors and lung cancer last year. His death was announced on the website of The Beat, and confirmed to NPR by the group's manager, Tarquin Gotch.

Updated 4:31 p.m. ET: An initial statement by 21 Savage's legal team mischaracterized the rapper as having been released from ICE detention. His representatives clarified to NPR that he was granted bond ahead of release.

On Sunday night, the 61st Grammy Awards telecast did its best to balance several requirements — making amends to an entire gender, widening its palette of winners and honorees, and doing its best to award those who are affecting the mainstream now, not five years ago. Within the narrow lens of prime-time awards shows, it seemed to make some progress on each count, without drifting too far from its comfort zone.

Chris Brown, who was arrested along with two other individuals earlier this week in Paris following an accusation of rape, is said to be countersuing his accuser for defamation. All three were released on Tuesday, and appear to have stayed in the city since the accusations became public.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its newest class of inductees Thursday, one year to the day after the 2018 class was announced. From 15 nominees, seven remain. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • The Cure
  • Def Leppard
  • Janet Jackson
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Radiohead
  • Roxy Music
  • The Zombies

On Friday, the Recording Academy announced its nominees for the Grammy Awards, which will be held on Feb. 10.

Kendrick Lamar, who helmed the Black Panther soundtrack, leads this year's field with eight nominations; Americana artist Brandi Carlile surprised with six nominations, including in the categories of album and record of the year. Country artist Kacey Musgraves earned four nominations, for album and country album of the year. Previous Grammy favorite Taylor Swift was shut out from all categories except best pop vocal Album for reputation.

Pete Shelley, the Manchester-born co-founder, singer and guitarist of the influential British punk band Buzzcocks, died Thursday in Tallinn, Estonia, at the age of 63.

The news was confirmed, "with great sadness," by the band's publicist. A cause of death was not provided.

Formed in 1976, Buzzcocks went on to have a substantial impact on the sound of the still-nascent genre of punk, adding pop sensibilities and space to breathe to a fast-and-hard sound that had, up to that point, largely been defined by The Ramones.

A preview screening and discussion of the upcoming Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly — in which accusers "and people from R. Kelly's inner circle," according to a description of the project, make new allegations against the singer — was evacuated on Tuesday evening, after multiple anonymous threats were called in to NeueHouse, the Manhattan venue hosting the event.

In the afterword to Absolutely on Music, a book of conversations between novelist Haruki Murakami and the conductor Seiji Ozawa — who has won practically every major award there is for his work — Ozawa observed of the writer: "I have lots of friends who love music, but Haruki takes it way beyond the bounds of sanity."

Malcolm James McCormick, the chart-topping rapper known as Mac Miller, had fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol in his system at the time of death on Sept. 7, according to Los Angeles County's Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

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