Music News Digest: May 19, 2017

A Tribe Called Red, Grimes, and Shawn Mendes lead the nominations pack in this year’s edition of the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards with four nominations apiece.

Close behind, with three nominations each, are Alessia Cara, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Pup, The Weeknd, and Zeds Dead.

Zeds Dead x NGHTMRE ft. GG Magree — Frontlines

Performers Arkells and Niall Horan each nabbed two MMVA nominations, while DNCE, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons, Jazz Cartier, and Post Malone garnered one nomination each. First-time nominees this year include Chance the Rapper, dvsn, and Jessie Reyez.

Jessie Reyez - Gatekeeper (Official Video)

This year's Wildcard nominees for the Fan Fave categories are:

Video – Arkells
Artist/Group – Alessia Cara
International Artist/Group – Beyoncé
Much Creator – AmandaRachLee, Candace Leca, Jaclyn Forbes, The Mike on Much Podcast, youtwoTV.

Amanda tells us her secret to beautiful hair

The shindig airs live on the music channel at 9 pm, June 18, with added exposure on ET, CTV,, and VRAK.

— The public are invited to Toronto's Q-107 40th Birthday party at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on June 2—where one lucky listener will walk away with $10K as they party with local rocker outfit Dwayne Gretzky, but last night was a much more intimate affair at Club 180 on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre and across the street from where the station launched on the 30th floor of 2 Bloor Street East back in 1977.

Alumni staff from the Allan and Gary Slaight era were invited to the event, as were a few select record company reps from years gone by.

Not only were the on-air staff represented but also co-workers in sales, promotion, research and clerical were in attendance.

Some are still on the air, many have retired, some do TV, some sell real estate and some work at retail. 

Mayor John Tory joined the festivities and he and current morning host John Derringer traded radio barbs as the former Newstalk 1010 host no longer visits the Q morning show.

Groundbreaker Jane Hawtin (first woman News Director) and John Gallagher spoke, as did Steve Anthony and the "Iceman" Bob Segarini. 

Guests were given Q-107 40th Staff shirts and a commemorative photo and audio discs. 

Spotted during the course of the evening were Gary Slaight, Mayor John Tory, John Derringer, Jane Hawtin, John Gallagher, Steve Anthony, Bob Segarini, Geets Romo, Gary Muth, Perry Goldberg, Chris Parfitt, Chris Allicock, Bob Mackowycz Sr., Jim McKenny, Andy Frost, Samantha Taylor, Jeff Woods, Wayne Webster, Cliff Lorimer, Craig Jones, Jim Zeppa, Jeff Chalmers, All Night Andre, Tony Viner, Al Joynes, Linda Freeman, Donna Saker, Beth Cotton. Lisa Glennie, Dave Barker, Helen Boyd, Dave Huszar, Gene Valatis, Keith Davis, Brian Smuck and Brian Hardie — Cam Carpenter reporting 

— Earlier we had mentioned that Blair Packham had overcome his jitters and returned to the studio to record a new album. It’s called Unpopular Pop. Here’s the music video for the feature track/single, "You (Yeah, You)” and for want of a better description, we’re calling it a rom-com.

— There was royalty in the house tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe, as Ronnie Hawkins regaled us with his Yonge Street stories, interviewed by Stu Jeffries. Spinning the tunes was DJ Moe Berg. Performing onstage with the Carpet Frogs were Andy Kim, Ed Pilling (Fludd), Greg Godovitz (Goddo), Gordon Deppe and Sandy Horne (Spoons), George Olliver (Mandala), Jay Douglas (the Cougars) and Cathy Young,” scribbler Nick Jennings posted on Facebook yesterday.

“A great night of music but a bittersweet ending for another Toronto venue, one of the most historic (Friar's) in the whole city,” he continues.

“How can this history survive amid soaring real estate and rampant redevelopment?”

He’s referencing 279 Yonge Street, current home of the Hard Rock Café and soon to be an over-sized Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Read more in Jennings’ ‘Lost Toronto’ online feature about the storied music hall that opened its doors in 1919

Bat Out of Hell, the musical comes to Toronto: ‘Buy a ticket, go to hell’

The Free's Carib-funk “Freedom Island” has won the inaugural annual Canadian Songwriting Competition. The grand prize includes $5K in cash and a week of accommodations at SOCAN House, either in LA or Nashville.

The contest gave away more than $35K in cash and prizes to winners in 14 categories. Proceeds of around $25K from entry fees are going towards the Foundation for After School Talent, a Canadian charitable organization with a mandate to provide grants to low-income families for their children’s extra-curricular activities. Other notable winners included Elizabeth Shepherd, Sam Cash, Julian Taylor, and AHI. A full list here

—The Lunch At Allen’s project has justifiably been termed a supergroup in that it comprises illustrious Canadian singer/songwriters Ian Thomas, Murray McLauchlan, Marc Jordan and Cindy Church. New studio album If It Feels Right, is set for release on June 16, and is their fifth full-length.

Extensive summer and fall touring begins in Campbell River, BC, on June 12 and concludes in Summerside, PEI, on Oct. 29. The group’s name is taken from the combo’s favourite Toronto restaurant hangout.

—The U2 and Mumford and Sons concert at BC Place in Vancouver last Friday elicited complaints from many concertgoers. Their chief beef was a lack of information about where to get into lineups, and the confusion meant many ticketholders missed a portion of the opening set.

Arena spokesman Duncan Blomfield admitted to Postmedia that the venue’s response to the situation was inadequate.



Chris Cornell, rock singer and frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died on May 17, in what has been ruled suicide. He was 52. Soundgarden had played a show in Detroit earlier that evening. That band formed in Seattle in 1984 and was considered a premier player in that city’s grunge scene. They scored major commercial success in the early ‘90s with the albums Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

Soundgarden broke up in 1997, then reunited in 2012. In 2001, Cornell teamed with members of Rage Against the Machine to form the supergroup Audioslave. He also released four solo albums.

His musical peers expressed sadness at his passing. Elton John termed him "a great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man," while Jimmy Page called him "Incredibly Talented. Incredibly Young. Incredibly Missed." 

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