Music News Digest, Nov. 12, 2018

Hot on the heels of the announcement of Michael Buble's 2019 tour comes word that the Canadian star is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 16. This will be the 2,650th star placed on the legendary sidewalk. Guest speakers at the event include Walk of Famer David Foster, Priscilla Presley and Tom Corson, Co-Chairman & COO of Warner Bros. Records. The event will also be webcast live.

– Music Canada Live's Erin Benjamin was a prime mover behind Saturday's After The Storm benefit for tornado victims in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. She posted this on FB yesterday: "5000 people. $50,000. Tears, hugs, high-fives and handshakes = mission accomplished." Held at The Arena at TD Place in Ottawa, the fundraiser featured The Jim Cuddy Band, Sarah Harmer, Matt Mays, Jim Bryson, Kellylee Evans, Kira Isabella, and more.

– Rascalz's Canadian hip-hop anthem "Northern Touch" turns 20 this year, and that milestone was celebrated with the release last week of a limited edition remastered “Northern Touch” four-track bundle. One of the tracks is A Tribe Called Red remix feat. Black Bear. Released as a single from the Rascalz's album Cash Crop, “Northern Touch” featured fellow hip-hop stars Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, Choclair and Checkmate and it won a 1999 Juno Award for Best Rap Recording.

 Memorial University in St. John's, NL, has announced a new music-focused program that is a Canadian first: a joint music and business program that will allow students to complete degrees in both music and business administration in five years. "This is the first program in the country, actually, that marries a full bachelor of music degree, with all the musical and artistic development that goes along with that, with a full bachelor of business degree as well, which provides a lot of skills and competencies to find new ways to apply that bachelor of music degree out in the world," Ian Sutherland, dean of the faculty of music, told The St. John's Morning Show. Source: CBC

– Shawn Mendes won the 2018 People's Choice Award for Male Artist of 2018 last night (Sunday), beating out Drake in the process. Mendes was also nominated for Album of 2018, losing to Nicki Minaj's Queen, and for Song of 2018 for "Ín My Blood," losing to BTS' "Idol"  in that category.

– Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was admitted to a New York hospital on Saturday night, shortly after he performed with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. Initial reports suggest he was suffering from congestion in the lungs. Perry's publicists said in a statement Sunday that the musician is alert and responsive in hospital and is expected to return to the road later this month. Sources: TMZ, AP

– Known as a member of Canadian country supergroup The Road Hammers,  Anthem / ole label group singer-songwriter Clayton Bellamy has a new project, Clayton Bellamy & The Congregation. A label press release terms the group's sound "a high-octane blend of gospel, R&B and riff-driven hard rock."  A debut single, “Commandment #11 (Love Someone)”, has just been released, with a first album, Welcome to the Congregation, being readied.

Music PEI is recruiting sponsors for the 18th annual Music PEI Awards, to be held during Credit Union Music PEI Week 2019, Jan. 23-27. Opportunities include naming rights for individual awards and advertising in the concert programs. Deadline is Nov. 28. E-mail Rob Oakie at roboakie@musicpei.com for details.

– Vancouver alt/pop band Youngblood made a splash by being one of three winners in the 2017 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class. The group then changed its name to Blonde Diamond, and debut EP Feel Alright was heavily streamed. A new EP,  Fantasy Love, came out last month. On the weekend, the group completed an eight-date tour of western Canada, supporting Dear Rouge.

–  Whenever an election campaign comes around, there'll be a story about an artist objecting to their music being used by a certain party or politician. During the recent US midterm campaigns, Rihanna protested Donald Trump's use of her hit "Don't Stop The Music" at a rally, and now performing rights agency BMI has come to her aid. It has removed the singer's work from a blanket 'political entities licence' agreement used for campaigns, and informed Trump's people that it should discontinue the use of Rihanna's music. Source: LA Times

– ole has concluded an exclusive worldwide deal with SB21 Music Publishing to acquire a 50% ownership stake in SB21’s catalog of over 2,500 songs. ole will now control all songwriter contracts and all administration rights to the catalog. The country-based catalog includes Luke Bryan’s recent #1 single “Most People Are Good” as well as recent singles by Danny Gokey, Jason Aldean, and Jordan Davis. Previous hits include tracks by Lee Brice and Rodney Adkins. ole describes itself as " the world’s fastest-growing independent music publishing and rights management company."

– The Western Canadian Music Alliance is seeking applications for a 13-month interim position for the role of Executive Director. The ED works for the Board of Directors and oversees the finances and day-to-day operations of the organizations and event staff of the core BreakOut West event and educational and marketing initiatives year round for the WCMA. Info here

– Presented by the Toronto Blues Society, the Women's Blues Revue has become an annual highlight for local blues fans. Coming to Roy Thomson Hall on Nov. 16, it is hosted by Shakura S'Aida and features Alana Bridgewater, Samantha Martin, Nicky Lawrence, Dione Taylor, Suzie Vinnick and Chloe Watkinson, all backed by the all-star Women's Blues Revue Band. Tix here 


Francis Lai, a French composer who won an Oscar for the Love Story soundtrack, died on Nov. 7, at age 86.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who led nationwide tributes to Lai, said he hopes to name “an emblematic place of our city” after the self-taught music legend who was born in the city in 1932.

Lai started as an accordionist but quickly rose through the ranks as a composer, writing songs for singers including Edith Piaf and Yves Montand. After meeting with French New Wave film director Claude Lelouch in the 1960s, Lai turned to the silver screen and produced his most famous work.

“He was the man of my life, an angel disguised as an accordionist,” Lelouch said in an interview with RTL radio. “We made 35 films together, and we had a love story that lasted 50 years."

Lai composed the scores for more than 100 films, as well as working in radio and television and writing around 600 songs for many leading singers.

He wrote “A Man and a Woman” for 1966′s Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. He won a 1970 Academy Award for the score of Love Story, one of the most enduring romantic movies of all time. Its theme song, “Where Do I Begin?” was covered by many artists, including Andy Williams and Shirley Bassey. The soundtrack album made it to No 2 in the US chart, while the theme tune was a No 9 US hit for Williams and reached No 4 in the UK. Sources: Billboard, The Guardian

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