Biz Markie Dead: ‘Just a Friend’ Rapper Was 57

In 1988, Markie released his debut album, Goin’ Off, which peaked at No. 90 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and included his first Billboard hit, with “Make the Music With Your Mouth” peaking at No. 84 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1987. But Markie’s big breakthrough to the mainstream came with his sophomore album, 1989’s The Biz […]

A Queen of 19th-Century Opera Gets New Attention

Composers sought her out for important premieres: She was the first Fidès in Meyerbeer’s “Le Prophète” and Charles Gounod’s first Sapho. When Berlioz resurrected Gluck’s “Orfeo” for the Parisian stage in 1859, Viardot was the diva for whom he rewrote the title role. A decade later, Brahms chose her as the soloist for the premiere of his Alto Rhapsody. After […]

Tencent Music Stock Down 9.2% After Regulator News

Tencent Music sits in a web of relationships and ownership stakes with the world’s largest music companies. It has a joint venture with Universal Music Group and an agreement to form a joint record label with Warner Music Group. It also has licensing deals with UMG, WMG, Sony Music and independent label rights group Merlin. What’s more, Tencent Holdings, which owns a majority of Tencent Music, is part […]

Biz Markie, Hip-Hop’s ‘Just a Friend’ Clown Prince, Dies at 57

Biz Markie, the innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, D.J. and producer whose self-deprecating lyrics and off-key wail on songs like “Just a Friend” earned him the nickname Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, died on Friday. He was 57. His death was confirmed by his manager, Jenni Izumi, who didn’t provide a cause. He had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in […]

Biz Markie Dead: Hip-Hop Reaction

After Biz Markie’s death was announced Friday (July 16), reactions from his hip-hop peers — including Questlove, Q-Tip and Wyclef — started to pour in, in remembrance of the jovial “Just a Friend” rapper. “Biz built me,” Roots mastermind Questlove started his touching tribute on Instagram, recalling how the veteran MC taught him where to dig for the best records, or […]

For U.K. Bands, Touring Europe Is Now a Highway to Brexit Hell

LONDON — When the British rock band Two Door Cinema Club began playing shows across Europe a decade ago, the group’s three members would jump in a van, throw their instruments in the back and drive from their then hometown, Belfast, Northern Ireland, to sweaty clubs in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris. “We did that hundreds of times,” Kevin Baird, the […]

Megan Fox Made a Pro/Con List Before Dating MGK

She didn’t reveal what she wrote down on either side of the list, but it’s safe to assume the winner of the head-versus-heart battle. Last June, Fox and MGK appeared on the Give Them Lala … With Randall podcast for their first interview as a couple and talked about meeting on the set of their upcoming film Midnight in the Switchgrass and how the stars aligned for […]

Pop Smoke’s Memory Lives On, and 14 More New Songs

“Faith,” the second posthumous album from Pop Smoke, includes collaborations with Kanye West, Dua Lipa, 42 Dugg, Future and others. But this track, early in the album, is jarring and stark. Not simply because it’s still eerie to hear Pop Smoke rapping with a blend of menace and joy, but because of its chilling beat — produced in part by […]

Saweetie & Justine Skye Songs of the Summer Concert: Watch Now

The concert — presented by Samsung and powered by Billboard‘s Songs of the Summer chart — is free for Samsung Galaxy owners, while non-Galaxy owners can pay $10 to stream it. Galaxy owners can redeem a code from the Samsung Members app to watch the show on their device, while non-owners can purchase a ticket and then stream it from […]

Clairo Takes a Defiant Leap on ‘Sling’

“Sling,” the second album from the introverted but openhearted musician Clairo, was inspired by two relatively common pandemic-era life changes: In the past year, the 22-year-old songwriter and producer born Claire Cottrill relocated to upstate New York, and adopted a dog. Fans have been acquainted with Joanie, a part chow chow/Great Pyrenees mix, via Clairo’s Instagram since she was a […]

Executive Turntable: Epic Records Promotes New VP

Since starting at Epic, Foster has developed a list of credits spanning work with R&B artist Giveon and leading the digital marketing strategy for 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s chart-topping album Savage Mode 2. Before joining the label, he held marketing positions at Warner Music Group, Combs Enterprises, Exposure and Universal Motown Records — where he kicked off his career […]

Jazz Musicians Unite With One Goal: Celebrating Frank Kimbrough

A couple of months ago, as the long, lean era of pandemic stillness was just beginning to open to new possibilities, some of the finest jazz musicians in New York could be found shuffling in and out of a Lower East Side recording studio as if through a revolving door. At one point, several of them — including the saxophonist […]

Round Hill Music Raises Another $86.5 Million

Round Hill Music Fund Royalty Ltd. has sold another 86.5 million shares at $1 a share bringing total capital raising from its listing on the London Stock Exchange bringing total funding to $416.6 million since it went public back in November 2020. Since then the fund has acquired a portfolio of song catalogs owned by a Round Hill Music commingled […]

John Mayer Performs Two Numbers From ‘Sob Rock’ on ‘Fallon’

John Mayer is back, no doubt about it. At the stroke of midnight, the blues-rocker dropped his latest album Sob Rock, his first since The Search of Everything, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Mayer gave late-night TV viewers a taste of what to expect when he performed two songs from it, “Shouldn’t Matter but It […]