Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Nigeria: Musician Mr Eazi raises $20 million for African music creatives
Mr Eazi
Mr Eazi Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

Nigerian singer and entrepreneur Mr Eazi raised $20 million with his Africa Music Fund. The musician wants to offer funding and financial support for African music creatives. One of his main investors is Pan-African seed fund 88mph.

Mr Eazi said: "Artists cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don't understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians."

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Neil Young publishes open letter to Donald Trump
Neil Young performing with Paul McCartney on October 8, 2016
Neil Young performing with Paul McCartney on October 8, 2016 Credit: Raph_PH / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Neil Young, who previously voiced his aversion over the president's usage of his music, has published an open letter to Donald Trump on the official Neil Young Archives website.

Young writes: "Dear Mr. President: Although I have repeatedly asked you to please not use my music because it indicates that I support your agenda, you have always played my songs anyway at your gatherings, with no regard for my rights, even calling me names on twitter. I did notice that you played my music at your latest rally in Dakota despite my previous requests."

Young, who has condemned Trump and his actions on multiple occasions, further states that he wouldn't sue Trump as he was in charge of the Covid-19 response and wouldn't want to distract him from "protecting and saving American lives". He ends the letter with the suggestion that Trump might listen to his song "Looking For a Leader 2020," as Young believes "it would be an interesting addition to your next rally."

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Neil Young tweets "This is NOT ok with me" regarding Trump using his songs
Neil Young tweets "This is NOT ok with me" regarding Trump using his songs
Credit: Raph_PH / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A tweet by @NeilYoungNYA retweeted a video of footage of Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore, adding "This is NOT ok with me." He later added a second Tweet, stating "I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me." Trump played three Neil Young songs during his speech at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

"Donald Trump was not authorised to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement," so an official statement from Neil Young's management.

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New York Broadway to remain closed until end of 2020
Broadway theatre, New York City
Broadway theatre, New York City Credit: Ouyang

The Broadway in New York City will remain closed for the remainder of the year and are not expecting to open their doors until late Winter or early Spring 2021. The Broadway League, the organisation representing theatres, issued a statement that ticket holders would get a refund or could exchange their tickets for a future date.

All Broadway theatres have been closed since March 12, calling the closure "the only intermission."

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Bob Dylan becomes the first artist ever to have Top 40 Album in every decade since the 60s
Bob Dylan at the "In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement" concert in the White House, Feb 2010
Bob Dylan at the "In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement" concert in the White House, Feb 2010 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Bob Dylan's newest album "Rough and Rowdy Ways" debuted at Number 2 in the Billboard 200 charts. With his latest album hitting the Top 10 of the charts, Dylan becomes the first artist ever to have an album in the Top 40 Billboard 200 charts in every decade since the 1960s.

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The Rolling Stones threaten Trump with legal action for unauthorised use of their music
The Rolling Stones live in concert in Paris, 2017
The Rolling Stones live in concert in Paris, 2017 Credit: Raph_PH / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Rolling Stones have released a statement on Saturday, that the band are taking "further steps to exclude him using their songs at any of his future political campaigning". The Trump campaign previously used the Stones' song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" during their 2016 campaign, and again at last week's Tulsa Rally despite "cease & desist directives to Donald Trump in the past."

The band said they were working with the giant performing rights organization BMI and have notified the Trump campaign " that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement." According to BMI, there hasn't been a response from the Trump campaign yet.

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Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sold in auction for 6 million dollars
Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sold in auction for 6 million dollars
Credit: Julien's Auctions

The guitar from the Nirvana frontman, an acoustic-electric Martin D-18E, was originally produced in 1959. The value of 6,010,000 dollars sets a new worldwide record for a guitar sale.

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Forces' Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies at age 103
Vera Lynn in 1972
Vera Lynn in 1972 Credit: Punt / Anefo / CC0 (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Dame Vera Lynn, whose live performances of her hit songs including We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover entertained front-line troops during the Second World War, has died at age 103.

Dame Vera, affectionately known as a Forces' Sweetheart, became the oldest artist to top the UK album chart in 2020 when We'll Meet Again was referenced by the Queen during a speech to the British public who were struggling with being separated from friends and loved ones during the lockdown imposed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading the tributes, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Dame Vera's "charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours". Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer added that "her songs still speak to the nation in 2020 as they did in 1940".

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Rapper Scarface says that he still suffers from Covid-19 consequences three months after infection
Scarface Credit: Jeremy Perez Photos. (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The rapper Scarface has given an interview with Fox 5 DC in which he stated that he still suffers from consequences of his Covid-19 infection in March.

According to him his kidney functions haven't gotten back, he hasn't gotten his "full taste back and sense of smell yet" as well as general strength stating that he is "still a little weak". He also indicated that his lungs fully recovered and that he is "glad to be alive".

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Coachella Festival has been cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic
Coachella Logo
Coachella Logo Credit: Coachella

According to Riverside County officials, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival have been cancelled. On June 10 Dr Cameron Kaiser the Riverside County Public Health Officer has signed an order to cancel the popular festivals over concerns of a second Covid-19 wave. This comes after the festivals had been moved to October after a similar order in March. The festivals were planned to sell 250,000 and 85,000 tickets respectively.

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Fans of K-Pop band BTS match $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter
Fans at the BTS world tour concert 'Love Yourself' in Los Angeles
Fans at the BTS world tour concert 'Love Yourself' in Los Angeles Credit: LG (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In just 24 hours the fans of the K-Pop band BTS which call themselves "BTS ARMY" have matched the $1 million donation of the band for the Black Lives Matter cause. Under the hashtag #MatchAMillion the fans had tweeted and called for matching donations, reaching over 490,000 tweets. The matching donation of over $1 million will be split between several organizations that support Black Lives Matter and the fight against racism.

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K-Pop band BTS donates one million dollar to Black Lives Matter
BTS during the Love Yourself concert in Nagoya, 13 January 2019
BTS during the Love Yourself concert in Nagoya, 13 January 2019 Credit: I DARE U JK / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

South Korean K-Pop band BTS together with the band's management company Big Hit Entertainment has donated one million dollar to Black Lives Matter. Neither the band nor Big Hit Entertainment didn't announce the donation but confirmed it after Kailee Scales, managing director of Black Lives Matter, told Variety that they were "moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives".

BTS shared a message on Twitter earlier this week, stating "We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter".

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Kanye West announces that he'll pay the college tuition for George Floyd's daugther

A representative for Kanye West has announced that the artist has set up a 529 education plan to fully cover college tuition for Gianna Floy, the daughter of George Floyd who was murdered by the police. His death and the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have sparked protests against racism and police brutality across the United States and other countries. West has also donated $2 million to support the families of the three killed people.

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Music industry announces Blackout Tuesday in support of protests in the US
Foo Fighters Tweet about #blackouttuesday
Foo Fighters Tweet about #blackouttuesday Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Famous musicians like the Foo Fighters, Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel and Billy Bragg have announced that they will partake in a "Blackout Tuesday" protest under the hashtag "#TheShowMustBePaused" in order to support the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality in the United States. Musician Billy Bragg urged people on his Twitter to "Take a day out to reflect on what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community".

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Bolivian orchestra finally going home after months in Germany
Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos
Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos Credit: OEIN (Reproduction)

Musicians of the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos plan to go back to Bolivia after being stranded for about 80 days in the Rheinsberg Palace, a castle in Germany.

The orchestra had arrived in Germany on March 10 to perform at a music festival, but their three planned performances were cancelled in the days that followed, and as Bolivia's government announced it would close its borders, the orchestra scrambled to get home but failed.

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Spotify launches group feature to synchronize music with friends
Spotfy app
Spotfy app Credit: Heidi Fin

The music and podcast streaming service Spotify has launched a new feature called "group session" that enables users to scan a host tag provided by the app and then synchronize what is played in real-time. The feature is currently in beta and users share the basic controls like playing, pausing, skipping and queuing.

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Charity rejects $200,000 donation from rapper 6ix9ine

The rapper 6ix9ine had announced through an Instagram post, that he intends on donating $200,000 to the campaign No Kid Hungry which combats hunger and poverty issues in the United States. But the non-profit organization Share Our Strength, which runs the campaign, has publically declined the donation because of their policy to not accept "funding from donors whose activities do not align with our mission and values". He was previously convicted for multiple crimes, some of which involved minors.

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REFORM Alliance is donating 10 million surgical masks to jails and prisons

Jay-Z and Meek Mill's organisation REFORM Alliance is donating and sending out 10 million surgical masks and other protective equipment to jails and prisons across the United States. This comes after a $10 million donation of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who pledge $1 billion to Covid-19 relief funds.

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Little Richard, hitmaker and rock and roll pioneer dead at 87
Little Richard in concert
Little Richard in concert Credit: Robbie Drexhage (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Little Richard (87) died Saturday at his Tenessee home, after being sick for two months. His son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the death to the Rolling Stone magazine, yet the cause of it is unknown.

Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958 songs like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly” and “Lucille,” are at the core of Rock and Roll.

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Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk co-founder, dies aged 73
Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk) in a concert in Ferrara (Italy)
Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk) in a concert in Ferrara (Italy) Credit: Daniele Dalledonne (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Florian Schneider — cofounder of German electronic-music pioneers Kraftwerk — has died after a brief battle with cancer.

Kraftwerk, one of the most influential music groups of the past 50 years, is widely seen as among the first to popularise electronic music.

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After eight years wait Bob Dylan releases new original song

With the last release of an album containing original songs dating back to 2012, Bob Dylan has released a new original song. The work is 17-minutes long and retells the assassination of the American president John F. Kennedy.

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Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation donates $5 million to fight coronavirus

The foundation has announced that the money will go to different initiatives and groups in order to "to immediately mobilize a broad response working with on-the-ground partners". The goal is to support food banks, the acceleration of testing, to buy protective equipment and other measurements. The foundation is distributing the money to multiple countries including the United States, Haiti and Malawi.