Andrew Flanagan

The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyonce, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyonce features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year's best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" and her own "Black Parade." The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner's songwriters.

Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to an announcement.

Mac Davis, a songwriter and performer who began a decades-long ascent in music and entertainment in the early 1960s, died Tuesday in Nashville following heart surgery. His death was confirmed by his manager, Jim Morey. He was 78.

Ronald "Khalis" Bell, a co-founder, songwriter, saxophonist, vocalist and producer of the chart-topping group Kool & The Gang, died Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68.

Bell's death was confirmed by a Universal Music publicist, though no cause was provided.

While it's still unknown when musicians and touring artists will again be able to perform in venues, those based abroad and hoping to tour the U.S. will face increased costs to do so legally.

At this point, in this year, on this planet, none of us have to search far to find that time has become fungible. In a single released just a month or so ago, "Stuck," Black Grapefruit captured that insecurity and confusion over the future: "Full moon last night / Woke up got high / News say we all dyin' / Guess I better get high again."

Then there's the other, equally powerful aspect of the era: the hope, visible and flitting back and forth just in front of all the turmoil, and the possibilities that could follow. Black Grapefruit thought about that, too.

Malik Abdul-Basit, a rapper best known for his work with The Roots as Malik B., has died. He was 47.

Bandcamp, the online music marketplace used by tens of thousands of independent artists and labels, has once again announced plans to donate its cut of one day's sales to a progressive cause, this time adding an annual commitment. On this and every subsequent Juneteenth — the June 19 holiday commemorating the end of African American slavery — the platform intends to direct its usual revenue share to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

A day after the music industry blacked itself out en masse, Warner Music Group, one of the world's three major record labels, announced today that it is back to business in a big way. But not as usual. As of today, the conglomerate will be a publicly traded company.

A lawsuit over the fiery loss of recording materials, spurred on by a New York Times Magazine investigation published last year, has ended. For now.

Bandcamp, the digital storefront and streaming music platform used by hundreds of thousands of artists and thousands of record labels, will forgo collecting its share of revenue from sales on the site made this Friday, March 20, the company announced on Tuesday. The initiative will be active from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m Pacific time.

Flavor Flav, prototypical hype man of the legendary and socially forward rap group Public Enemy, has been, it would seem, let go.

David Roback, a guitarist and songwriter best known for working alongside singer Hope Sandoval in the group Mazzy Star, has died. The news was confirmed to NPR in a press release from Roback's management sent on Tuesday evening. He was 61.

YouTube

Sufjan Stevens is as artistically ambitious as he is formally transient, moving from early,

Andy Gill, a guitarist renowned for his sharp, inverted approach to the instrument who founded the post-punk group Gang Of Four and later became a respected producer, died in a London hospital Feb. 1 from a respiratory illness, the group announced in a statement. He was 64.

YouTube

We last heard from Marshall Mathers in album form in the summer of 2018, when he surprise released his 10th album, Kamikaze.

The 62nd Grammy Awards nominations are here, and it appears to be Lizzo's year to lose.

The singer, songwriter, flutist and rapper was nominated across five of the night's top categories, including song of the year, record of the year, best new artist, best pop solo performance and best R&B performance.

Lil Nas X was nominated for best new artist, album of the year (for his debut record, 7), and record of the year, where his Gen Z opus "Old Town Road" is up against Post Malone, Bon Iver, Swae Lee, H.E.R., Ariana Grande, Lizzo and Billie Eilish.

At the place where music, technology and politics converge, you'll find ... discord. A group of more than 380 musicians — including well-known indie artists like Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Damon & Naomi, Zola Jesus, Downtown Boys and Sheer Mag — pledged in an open letter on Thursday to cut all business ties with Amazon over the work of its gargantuan Amazon Web Services subsidiary.

Woodstock 50, the music festival intended as a celebration of the era-defining 1969 concert, has instead spent months unravelling in public. Now, if it takes place at all, the festival won't take place in the same area of upstate New York as the original Woodstock. In fact, it won't take place in New York at all, or even an adjacent state.

Seth Hurwitz, chairman of the mid-Atlantic concert promotion company I.M.P., said Thursday that the organizers of Woodstock 50 have approached the Columbia, Md., venue Merriweather Post Pavilion about hosting the event.

Several years ago, NPR Music published a series of stories that measured up the aggressively nascent space of music streaming, which had finally — after either four, 15 or nearly 100 years, depending on where you mark the technology's beginnings — achieved an irreversible momentum, and which was rapidly and dramatically shifting people's relationships to music, and the arc of artists' careers. We titled it, appropriately, "Streaming At The Tipping Point."

The country-pop record company Big Machine Label Group, one of the most successful independent labels in the country — and the longtime label home of megastar Taylor Swift — has been sold. It was purchased by Ithaca Holdings, an umbrella company owned by Scooter Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, among others. According to anonymous sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the deal is valued at more than $300 million.

It's been a crazy-packed week of surprise singles, with new tracks dropping from Charli XCX, Mac Miller's first posthumous verse (with Anderson .Paak's Free Nationals) and country singer Sturgill Simpson's "The Dead Don't Die," a song he wrote

After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system.

Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.

Leon Redbone, the perpetually anachronistic, famously mysterious artist who rose to prominence as a performer on Toronto's folk circuit in the early '70s, died Thursday while in hospice care in Bucks County, Pa.

Redbone's family confirmed his death through a publicist. No cause was given, and Redbone's age was a subject of speculation for decades.

Earlier this week, a large group of successful songwriters sent Daniel Ek, the co-founder and chief executive of Spotify, a short and pointed letter in which they wrote of being "hurt and disappointed" and accusing Spotify of having "used us and tried to divide us."

Roger Charlery, best known as Ranking Roger, singer of the widely influential U.K. group The Beat — known as The English Beat in the U.S. — died Tuesday afternoon, at 56. The singer was diagnosed with brain tumors and lung cancer last year. His death was announced on the website of The Beat, and confirmed to NPR by the group's manager, Tarquin Gotch.

As it has annually for 17 years, the Library of Congress picked out a wide-ranging set of recordings — songs, albums, speeches, monologues, field recordings and some very old phonograph cylinders — to add to the National Recording Registry, bringing the total number of works within it to 525.

Pages