Billboard’s 2020 Women In Music Hall of Fame Honorees Speak Out

This was the year Roc Nation client Megan Thee Stallion claimed superstardom, at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Savage” (featuring Beyoncé) and as the featured artist on Cardi B’s “WAP,” which topped the Hot 100 for four weeks. Rostermates Lil Uzi Vert, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey all reached new peaks. And Roc Nation, after partnering with the NFL to use its platform for entertainment and social justice, in February co-produced the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Reprise: A Roc Nation Album raised funds for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Foundation for Criminal Justice, and JAY-Z successfully lobbied for passage of probation reform legislation in California. Through it all, says Perez, she has managed the stress of the year by “focusing on things within my control and making sure we are better positioned for whatever the new normal is.”

Song That Inspired Me in the Past Year: “Alicia Keys’ ‘Love Looks Better on You,’ because it recognizes that love is the best option.”

Danielle Aguirre (Co-executive of the Year 2018)
Executive vp/general counsel, National Music Publishers’ Association

Courtesy of NMPA

Danielle Aguirre

The NMPA this year continued to focus on reaching settlements and deals for licenses to “provide needed revenue for our members and songwriters,” says Aguirre, noting that the organization has finalized global settlements and/or licenses with Peloton, TikTok, YouTube, Snap Inc. and others. Aguirre also continues to oversee the NMPA’s battle against Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora in the wake of the tech companies’ appeal of a 2018 Copyright Royalty Board decision to raise publishing royalties. In November, the NMPA joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International in a motion asking the CRB to set interim royalty rates at the current levels.

Crucial Issue Facing the Music Industry: “How to protect live-music venues and slowly bring people back to live events. Live music is what I miss most about these last months.”

Jacqueline C. Charlesworth (Co-executive of the Year 2018)
Partner, Alter Kendrick & Baron

Chris Reed

Jacqueline Charlesworth

“It will be exciting to see the launch on Jan. 1 of the new Mechanical Licensing Collective created under the Music Modernization Act,” says Charlesworth, whose efforts — along with Aguirre, Dina LaPolt and Susan Genco — to achieve passage of the landmark music licensing law led to their shared recognition as Executive of the Year honorees in 2018. Charlesworth remains on the front lines of copyright battles, filing a brief late last year with the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of two groups to support increased royalty rates for songwriters. In July, she testified before a Senate subcommittee on what she called the “broken” Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which governs copyright online. “A little over a year ago,” she says, “I left a big firm and moved to Los Angeles. I’m extremely grateful to have built a thriving music and copyright practice out here, even in the midst of a pandemic. And I’m especially proud of my work on

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Dua Lipa: There’s more pressure on young women in pop music to prove themselves

Singer-songwriter Dua Lipa has had another breakthrough year with her new hit album, “Future Nostalgia,” and she just racked up six more Grammy nominations. Despite the success, there is more pressure on young women in pop music than others to prove themselves, Lipa told correspondent Roxana Saberi in an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning,” to be broadcast Sunday, December 6.

“As a female artist, especially in the pop genre, people immediately think you’re manufactured … no one believes that you write these songs yourself,” Lipa told Saberi. “We’re met with so much more criticism in terms of, like, what we wear, what we’re doing, what the performance looks like, how we’re dancing, how we’re singing, if we’re singing.”

dua-lipa-3-cbs-sunday-morning-1280.jpg
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter talks with “CBS Sunday Morning” about her hit album, “Future Nostalgia.”

CBS News


The British star, 25, is proving herself where it counts. She’s already won two Grammy Awards – including Best New Artist for her self-titled debut album – and four of her songs have each topped a billion plays on Spotify.

Saberi caught up with Lipa in London where she was isolating during the pandemic with a crew of dancers and musicians in preparation for a live-streamed performance. Five million people tuned in to the paid virtual concert last week.

To watch Dua Lipa perform the song “Levitating” click on the video player below: 


Dua Lipa – Levitating Featuring DaBaby (Official Music Video) by
Dua Lipa on
YouTube

Before the pandemic hit, Lipa was planning a new concert tour around her new collection of dance music. The new music was a way for her to deal with the pressure put on her as a young woman in the music world, she said.

“It was creating an album that served as a form of escapism … making music that makes you want to dance, that makes you want to have fun,” Lipa said.

Lipa also talked with Saberi about her life during the pandemic; her childhood in Kosovo; living in London; and her path to the pop charts. While living in Kosovo, Lipa, then 15, told her parents she wanted to pursue singing in London. She convinced them she could do it alone.

“I was, like, I want to do music, but I want to do it on a global scale. I have to go back to where everything is happening. And that for me was London,” Lipa said.

“It was quite a one-way street, a one-way conversation,” said her father, Dukagjin Lipa.

“She had everything planned. Even I think she planned this, all this thing to happen,” said her mother, Anesa Lipa. She added, “It was her destiny, yeah.”

You can stream Dua Lipa’s album “Future Nostalgia” by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):

For more info:

       
The Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also streams on CBSN [beginning at 9 a.m. ET] and CBS All Access, and

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Women in music face so much more criticism than men

Dua Lipa believes female musicians face “so much more criticism” than their male counterparts.



Dua Lipa holding a sign posing for the camera


© Bang Showbiz
Dua Lipa

The ‘Don’t Start Now’ hitmaker has insisted she feels the need to hold herself to a higher standard than many of her male pop rivals, because the music industry often writes female artists off as “manufactured”.

In a preview clip of her interview on ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ – which will air this Sunday (06.12.20), she said: “As a female artist, especially in the pop genre, people immediately think you’re manufactured … no one believes that you write these songs yourself.

“We’re met with so much more criticism in terms of like what we wear, what we’re doing, what the performance looks like, how we’re dancing, how we’re singing, if we’re singing.”

Dua’s comments come after the 25-year-old singer made similar claims during a separate interview last month.

She said at the time: “That’s just being a woman in the industry. A lot of people see it, particularly in pop music, that you’re manufactured or whatever, so you have this underlying pressure or anxiety to constantly prove [yourself] to people, especially when you write your own lyrics.

“You have to work a little bit harder to be taken seriously.”

Dua added that whilst making her self-titled debut album, she felt she “needed to prove” that she “was not just going to sit there in the room and wait for somebody to write a song for me”.

The ‘Levitating’ hitmaker also spoke about standing up for herself against sexism in the industry, as she recalled one instance when a director asked her to wear a skirt during a music video.

She explained: “You’re on a music video and the director goes, ‘I definitely think you need to wear a skirt’ – because someone wants to see, you know, ‘UK’s pop star in a cute outfit. I’m like, ‘Well, I’m going to wear trousers because it’s f****** freezing.’ I know how to stand my ground and hold it down.

“We’re so used to pushing it away and saying something just to turn it off and be, like, this isn’t a big deal. I’ve always been someone to check [a person] straight away. If someone’s saying something [that I don’t agree with], ‘I’m not going to do that, I’m going to do this.’ ”

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Billboard’s 2020 Women In Music Hall of Fame Honorees Speak Out

Chosen by Billboard as first among their peers in prior years, these former Executive of the Year honorees reflect on the achievements, activism and unprecedented challenges of 2020.

Desiree Perez (Executive of the Year 2019)

CEO, Roc Nation

This was the year Roc Nation client Megan Thee Stallion claimed superstardom, at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Savage” (featuring Beyoncé) and as the featured artist on Cardi B’s “WAP,” which topped the Hot 100 for four weeks. Rostermates Lil Uzi Vert, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey all reached new peaks. And Roc Nation, after partnering with the NFL to use its platform for entertainment and social justice, in February co-produced the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Reprise: A Roc Nation Album raised funds for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Foundation for Criminal Justice, and JAY-Z successfully lobbied for passage of probation reform legislation in California. Through it all, says Perez, she has managed the stress of the year by “focusing on things within my control and making sure we are better positioned for whatever the new normal is.”

Song That Inspired Me in the Past Year: “Alicia Keys’ ‘Love Looks Better on You,’ because it recognizes that love is the best option.”

Danielle Aguirre (Co-executive of the Year 2018)

Executive vp/general counsel, National Music Publishers’ Association

The NMPA this year continued to focus on reaching settlements and deals for licenses to “provide needed revenue for our members and songwriters,” says Aguirre, noting that the organization has finalized global settlements and/or licenses with Peloton, TikTok, YouTube, Snap Inc. and others. Aguirre also continues to oversee the NMPA’s battle against Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora in the wake of the tech companies’ appeal of a 2018 Copyright Royalty Board decision to raise publishing royalties. In November, the NMPA joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International in a motion asking the CRB to set interim royalty rates at the current levels.

Crucial Issue Facing the Music Industry: “How to protect live-music venues and slowly bring people back to live events. Live music is what I miss most about these last months.”

Jacqueline C. Charlesworth (Co-executive of the Year 2018)

Partner, Alter Kendrick & Baron

“It will be exciting to see the launch on Jan. 1 of the new Mechanical Licensing Collective created under the Music Modernization Act,” says Charlesworth, whose efforts — along with Aguirre, Dina LaPolt and Susan Genco — to achieve passage of the landmark music licensing law led to their shared recognition as Executive of the Year honorees in 2018. Charlesworth remains on the front lines of copyright battles, filing a brief late last year with the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of two groups to support increased royalty rates for songwriters. In July, she testified before a Senate subcommittee on what she called the “broken” Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which governs copyright online. “A little over a year ago,” she says, “I left a big firm and moved to

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Complex turned its fashion and music festival into a futuristic video game

Since 2016, ComplexCon has been a place where streetwear enthusiasts can gather in one place to buy exclusive gear, listen to amazing live music, and gorge at high-end food trucks. As with most live shows, though, the event isn’t taking place in 2020 — at least, not in the traditional way. In lieu of an in-person festival in Long Beach, Complex has built a video game where users can shop, watch talks and performances, and, yes, order from local restaurants.

It’s not a sprawling virtual world where millions can gather in one place, but rather a single-player experience designed to mimic the feeling of being at a live show. ComplexLand is a video game where the main activity is shopping, and you chase after sneaker drops like a hero in the latest open-world blockbuster.

ComplexLand will take place from December 7th–11th, and it’s completely free. The experience was built in WebGL, meaning it’s accessible via a web browser, either on desktop or mobile. Once you create an account, you’re dropped into a sort of abstract, futuristic cityscape and immediately prompted to create an avatar, choosing from various brandname hats and sneakers.

From there, the experience opens up, with a big world full of NPCs to talk to and points of interest to explore. To emulate some of the social experience, there will also be a persistent chat where attendees can talk about the day’s events. Most importantly: there are plenty of places to shop.

Complex’s head of collaborations, Neil Wright, says the creative team was inspired by Travis Scott’s appearance in Fortnite earlier this year, but they felt one key thing was missing. “Aesthetically, I thought it looked really cool. It was so over the top and whimsical in a way that was really creative,” Wright explains. “I think, for us, the one thing that it lacked was the commerce aspect. If you wanted to buy any of the merch, you had to go to Travis’ website. You had to go elsewhere for it. So when we were building this world, we wanted to make sure that commerce was top of mind.”

ComplexLand is essentially a game built entirely around shopping. Yes, you can watch talks where Fat Joe and Lil Yachty discuss the best sneakers of the year or listen to T-Pain’s thoughts on the future of esports. (All of the talks will be broadcast via YouTube Live.) But you’re also running through a sci-fi city in search of the latest gear. Complex has partnered with fashion brands like Adidas, BAPE, and Tokidoki for virtual booths that users can visit to shop for exclusive sneakers or hoodies. Everything is branded and shoppable: there are artists booths where individuals can sell their work, or you can pop by a Perrier booth plastered with Takashi Murakami’s iconic smiling flowers.

The experience also gamifies that ever-present part of streetwear culture: the limited drop. As players are exploring the world, they’ll get notifications that a new drop is about to happen. From there,

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Without Ethel Smyth and classical music’s forgotten women, we only tell half the story | Classical music

In 1934, all of musical England gathered to celebrate the 75th birthday of one the country’s most famous composers – Dame Ethel Smyth. During a festival spanning several months, audiences crowded into the Queen’s Hall, London, to hear her symphonic cantata The Prison, or settled in at home to listen to the BBC broadcasts of her work. At the festival’s final concert in the Royal Albert Hall, the composer sat beside Queen Mary to watch Sir Thomas Beecham conduct her Mass. By this point, Smyth was nearly completely deaf, and could barely hear a note of her own music. But she could understand the uproarious applause that surrounded her when the concert ended, acknowledging the lifetime she had given to music.

After her death in 1944, Smyth spent several decades out of the limelight, but she is now coming back on to concert programmes and recording schedules. The CD release that blew me away this year was Chandos’s world premiere recording of The Prison, delivering stellar performances from Dashon Burton, Sarah Brailey, James Blachly and the Experiential Orchestra and Chorus. And Smyth is not alone in enjoying a resurgence of interest. Thanks to decades of work by campaigners, performers, and musicologists, diversity is now firmly on musicians’ agendas. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it feels as if we might be reaching a turning point. The BBC and Classic FM have been running programmes about composers of colour, publishers are turning their attention to figures currently absent from their catalogues, and both #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have led to institutions being held to account on their commitments to gender and racial equality.

The history of classical music is much more complex and diverse than the impression given by the canon as we know it now.

This is a wonderful opportunity. One of the best things about classical music is its diversity. There is so much music written by so many people, that if we only hear the same small number of works we’re missing out on the richness that classical music can provide. Barbara Strozzi, Johannes Brahms, Julius Eastman, Jessica Curry and Errollyn Wallen are all technically “classical” composers, but what a world of difference between their sounds. It doesn’t seem a coincidence that numbers of classical music listeners are increasing at the same time as names on programmes – and the people performing them – are starting to better reflect our world.

Dame Ethel Smyth conducts the Police Band in 1930 during the ceremony to unveil the Pankhurst Statue in Victoria Tower Gardens, London
Dame Ethel Smyth conducts the Police Band in 1930 during the ceremony to unveil the Pankhurst statue in Victoria Tower Gardens, London. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

Classical music is diversifying not just on account of contemporary composers, but thanks to increased awareness of figures who were famous in their day but have since been forgotten, covered up or sidelined. The history of classical music is much more complex and diverse than the impression given by the canon as we know it now.

Reinserting figures such as Smyth into our concerts and

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Fashion takes a front-row seat in the music world

Bravado, the merchandise and brand management, division of Universal Music Group, is changing the narrative on artist merch. With teams in 40 countries, the business provides merchandising and brand management services to some of the world’s biggest names in music, including The Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Elton John, Ariana Grande, and The Weeknd. The company helps artists design apparel and accessories that reflect their aesthetic, often in partnership with renowned designers. You may not even find them at shows. Fans buy artist collections at experiential pop-up shops, artist websites, and luxury stores, such as Maxfield, Bergdorf Goodman, and Selfridges.

Fashion, Not Memorabilia

Bravado changed the game in this fashion genre, earning a spot among Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies list. The designs are coveted by fans, who will wait in line for them at a bricks-and-mortar store or wake at odd hours of the night to buy from a limited-time digital shop. CEO Mat Vlasic, founder and former head of Sony Music’s Threadshop, sees Bravado’s impact beyond the music industry. Every time he picks up his 9-year-old from school, his son and his friends may be wearing limited-edition merchandise from Travis Scott’s Astroworld Collection or Billie Eilish hoodies.

Bravado has earned the standing of #13 on our 2020 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies List as well as #2 in the Music category.

That wasn’t the case four years ago. When Vlasic joined Bravado in 2016, the merchandising industry was rooted in memorabilia. Fans bought a shirt at a show the same way they might buy a souvenir from a circus, Vlasic explains. He knew audiences were yearning for tangible ways to connect with artists, especially since most fans buy or stream their music online. He also knew artists’ fashion choices influence culture, and even fashion designers, so there was an intrinsic connection between music and fashion. That was part of his pitch when he called a buyer at a high-end retailer about selling Justin Bieber merchandise for the first time. “My thought was, ‘He influences all the designers within the store. Why shouldn’t he be there beside them?’”

Fashion icons of the future

Fashion and music trends change fast, so speed to market is important for Bravado. A few months after Vlasic’s first phone call to the buyer, Bieber’s collection was alongside Prada and Gucci. Today, Bravado is equal parts fashion and brand management. Vlasic likens the business to a fashion house for artists, with the infrastructure, connections, and experience to bring concepts to market quickly. He notes their model can be used to support a wide range of artists and brands including visual artists, Instagram influencers, YouTube stars, and video gamers who are looking to strengthen their personal brand and connect to fans around the world.

Bravado changed merch by borrowing best practices from the fashion world. Today, some designers take cues from them. “There’s been explosive growth in luxury fashion that isn’t fueled by the runway,” Vlasic says. “It is hoodies, t-shirts and jackets, emblazoned with different

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Hit by pandemic restrictions, wedding industry faces the music in Uttar Pradesh

Instead of perfume, it is the smell of sanitiser that pervades the air. The groom is welcomed by a mustachioed guard holding a thermal device to test his temperature before the bride’s sister brings the aarti thali (plate).

It is next to impossible to convince the female guests to put the masks on. After all, they have spent thousands of rupees on make-up. This wedding season, life in a banquet hall has been reduced to a long list of dos and don’ts and the stakeholders are feeling the pinch.

As the guests come and go, the manager is busy reminding the parents of the groom and the bride to keep the number to 100, the prescribed limit by the government. The reference point is a Meerut case where the manager of the banquet hall, along with fathers of bride and groom, were booked for flouting COVID-19 norms. Nobody wants to be labelled a “super spreader”. “Keep them floating”, is the new mantra but is hard to practise. How would you ask the groom’s friends jiving to “Mere yaar ki shaadi hai” to maintain social distance. The beat constable comes in and reassures that as long as there is no crowd on the road, he will keep looking the other way.

Heavy losses

“We are running heavy losses. This is a business where commitment has to be kept and right now we are fulfilling just that,” says Pradeep Sharma, general manager of Rudrakshaa banquet hall on Vaishali Metro premises in Ghazia-bad. Unlike dozens of wedding farms that dot the stretch that connects GT Road to NH-9 in Ghaziabad, Rudrakshaa has put billboards reminding guests to follow COVID protocol, including downloading the Aarogya Setu app.

Giving a sense of the changed scenario, Mr. Sharma says his banquet hall has a seating capacity on the ground floor for 270 people. “For maintaining social distancing, we reduced it to 200 but now we offer only 100, following the government guidelines. We can’t survive with these numbers as our input costs on lighting, staff salary, maintenance and rent remain the same.”

The surge in COVID-19 cases after Deepavali, he says, has come as a double whammy for the wedding industry. “We were sinking after the April season was washed out. We expected to breathe easy this season but now we are choking again. After December 12, for the next four months, there is no work as there is no auspicious date for weddings. If we see a surge in April as well, the industry would be finished,” he says.

“Aeroplanes and buses are running to full capacity but a banquet hall, which has a capacity to accommodate 1,000 guests, can host only 100.” This many people, he says, could be seen outside a wine shop near his hall. “This is unjustified and I appeal to the government to relax the restrictions,” says Vivek Mohan, who runs a wedding farm on NH-9 on lease.

Cancellation fear

He, however, agrees that the surge in COVID-19

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See BTS’ Major Fashion Moment at the 2020 American Music Awards

BTS is back at the American Music Awards, and they’re having a major fashion moment. The members of the group RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook arrived at the AMAs red carpet wearing matching black and white ensembles, once again making an award show splash.

See BTS’ Major Fashion Moment at the 2020 American Music Awards

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The K-Pop band hit the AMAs stage for the first time in 2017, and performed their single “DNA.” It was the first time the group performed in the United States and it was met with hundreds of screaming fans in the audience thrilled to see the Korean group’s popularity make it to the states.

The K-Pop band, whose fans are known as ARMY, were nominated for their very first AMAs in 2018, when they took home the prize for Favorite Social Artist. It was the very first year the AMAs honored performers based on their fan support on social media platforms, and came one year after BTS won Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards. The group beat out Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Shawn Mendes for the title.

Your Guide to K-Pop From BTS and Beyond

The following year, in 2019, the band returned to the AMA stage, where they once again claimed the Social Artist title, as well as the Favorite Duo or Group in the Pop/Rock category prize and the Favorite Tour award.



Rap Monster et al. posing for a photo: Big Hit Entertainment


© Big Hit Entertainment
Big Hit Entertainment

This year, BTS is once again fighting to hang onto their Favorite Social Artist prize, and is again nominated for the Favorite Duo or Group award. They will also perform their new song “Life Goes On” off their latest album Be.

Explained J-Hope in a video posted to the AMAs Twitter account, “Back in 2017, we were more nervous because it was our first time performing on a US show, or TV.”

The band said that they’ve “matured” and “improved” since that initial performance—so expect even more fans to scream at the sight of this K-Pop group this time around!

Check out the video above!

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Nipsey Hussle’s The Marathon Clothing Store Was Vandalized | Music

Nipsey Hussle’s Marathon Clothing store was reportedly vandalized this week.

On Tuesday (November 17), footage surfaced on social media showing the front of the establishment with broken doors and windows as well as graffiti sprayed on it. The store is located on Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in South Central L.A.

It isn’t clear who caused the destruction or any motive. That said, there’s been increased violence in the area since Hussle’s death. Last year, the Los Angeles Times reported the area experienced a man being fatally stabbed and numerous tourists being robbed.

Last August, in preparation for construction on a mixed-use development called Nipsey Hussle Tower, A fence was erected around the strip mall. Nipsey opened the Marathon Clothing store in June 2017.

On March 31, 2019, Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in the strip mall he owned. Shortly afterward, the LAPD arrested Eric Holder and charged him with the fatal shooting of the rapper.

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