Music News: As election nears, music stars urge fans to vote


Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper performs at Rock the Garden 2016 (Nate Ryan/MPR)

With a high-stakes national election nearing, music stars from across genres are urging their fans to get out and vote.

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has recruited some of music's biggest names to perform at her events. Jay Z and Beyoncé appeared at a Clinton rally on Friday in Cleveland, and on Saturday in New York City, Elton John and Katy Perry campaigned with the Democratic nominee. Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will perform at Clinton's final pre-election rally on Monday night in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump says he doesn't need rock-star endorsements. "I didn't have to bring J-Lo or Jay Z," he said at a Friday night rally in Hershey, Pa. The next morning, Trump criticized Clinton and Jay Z for the language used by the rapper. On Sunday, Trump did accept one rocker's support. Ted Nugent opened the Republican nominee's rally in Sterling, Mich. — with, Billboard reports, the national anthem, "a rousing speech," a "crude gesture," and "an array of profanities."

On Monday, Chance the Rapper plans a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote concert in his hometown of Chicago; Chance will perform alongside fellow Chicago artists including Twin Peaks, and then Chance will lead a parade to the polls.

Local Natives have another strategy for encouraging their fans to vote: they're releasing a new song on Tuesday, but the song will be released via an app called Election FM that will only play the track if listeners are in the vicinity of their local polling place.

Many Americans are ready for this contentious election season to be over — including Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, who escaped their Clinton and Trump characters on Saturday Night Live to the tune of Arcade Fire’s "Wake Up." (Pitchfork)

On Sunday, Arcade Fire's Win Butler covered Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." at a get-out-the-vote concert in Port Chester, N.Y. — a show where the house band was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and where guest singers included Craig Finn among many others. (NME)

Remembering Jean-Jacques Perrey

French musician Jean-Jacques Perrey has died of lung cancer at age 87. Perrey is regarded as a pioneer of electronic music, which he started recording in 1952. He later became an early proponent of the Moog synthesizer, owning and playing the second Moog ever produced. "Jean-Jacques was truly the pioneer of popular electronic music," said his collaborator Dana Countryman. Perrey's song "Baroque Hoedown" was used for decades as the soundtrack of Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade. (Rolling Stone)

Sting to play Bataclan reopening

Paris's Bataclan nightclub — the venue that was the site of a deadly terrorist attack last fall during an Eagles of Death Metal concert — will reopen on Nov. 12, one day before the anniversary of the Paris attacks. Sting will perform, with proceeds going to support the families of attack victims. (Billboard)

Tom Petty named MusiCares Person of the Year

This year's MusiCares Person of the Year will be Tom Petty, who will be honored with an all-star tribute concert on Feb. 10 — two days before the 2017 Grammys. Among the performers at the concert will be Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Jackson Browne, Jeff Lynne, and more. (Billboard)

Freddie Mercury actor named

After a shakeup that saw Sacha Baron Cohen drop out of a planned Freddie Mercury biopic, a new lead has been cast: Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek will portray Mercury in the film, which will be titled Bohemian Rhapsody. (Rolling Stone)

Kanye cancels show, floats awkwardly

Kanye West has been winning raves for the unique floating stage he's using on his current tour. However, on Thursday it turned out that the stage makes things awkward when Kanye needs to cancel a show — as he did in Inglewood, Calif., citing voice problems. "Promising to 'do better next time,'" reports the AV Club, "West ordered that the music be cut, and was then forced to slowly float his way out of the venue, hovering above a packed crowd of fans chanting for him to return."

BBC honors MP's request — sort of

Andrew Rosindell, a Tory Member of Parliament in Britain, has called for the BBC 1 to resume its past tradition of playing "God Save the Queen" at the end of each day's programming. The TV program BBC Newsnight honored Rosindell's request — in a sense. (Indy 100)

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