Music News: Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross receive Presidential Medals of Freedom


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
US President Barack Obama looks on after presenting Bruce Springsteen with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

At a White House ceremony on Tuesday, Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross were among 21 recipients of Presidential Medals of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The stories he has told," said President Barack Obama about Springsteen, "in lyrics and epic live concert performances, have helped shape American music and have challenged us to realize the American dream." (Rolling Stone)

Vegan leather: That's a thing

On his way to play a Wednesday night show near Detroit, Morrissey has written to General Motors asking the auto manufacturer to offer vegan leather in two of their Chevrolet models. "GM is named in PETA's brand-new investigation of cattle ranches," writes Morrissey, "on which animals are branded on the face, electro-shocked, and beaten before they're slaughtered and used to make leather interiors for car companies, including yours."

Specifically, Morrissey asks that the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt, two cars with electric motors, be offered with vegan leather since they "are being marketed to eco-conscious buyers." (Pitchfork)

Kanye updates

Kanye West’s Monday hospitalization was reportedly due to "temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration." West's representatives are currently declining to comment on the matter. (Billboard)

Meanwhile, West's fellow musicians are wishing him well. Theophilus London and Janelle Monáe were among the stars sending West good wishes via Twitter. Performing on the BBC, Chance the Rapper took the opportunity to send West his prayers and love. "I think everybody goes through it," said Chance. "And I think right now, probably what he needs more than anything is his real, close friends and family around."

Hip-hop great books farewell shows

Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def, has booked a series of East Coast shows that he says will be his last U.S. shows ever. Starting on Dec. 21 at New York's Apollo Theater and continuing at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center through Jan. 2, Bey "will perform songs from a different album each night," reports Billboard, "alongside new material, while each performance will feature surprise special guests." Bey, 42, announced earlier this year that he plans to retire from music.

Amazon to get into ticket business

Now that Amazon sells everything from books to music to the kitchen sink, what's next? Concert tickets, that's what. Having launched Amazon Tickets in the U.K., the online retailer has now posted a series of job openings that indicate it intends to expand across Europe, into Asia, and eventually possibly into the U.S. According to one job posting, the company aims to "position Amazon Tickets as the world's premier destination for purchasing tickets." (Recode)

James Corden to host Grammys

After five years, LL Cool J is stepping down from his Grammys host gig. Your new host: karaoke king James Corden. The 59th annual Grammy Awards take place Feb. 12. (Billboard)

22, A Million: Behind the numbers

Artist and designer Eric Timothy Carlson talked to the Walker Art Center's blog about his work on Bon Iver’s album 22, A Million.

"Between the numerology, the metaphysical/humanist nature of the questions in 22, A Million, and the accumulation of physical material and symbolism around the music," says Carlson, "it became apparent that the final artwork was to be something of a tome. A book of lore. Jung's Red Book. A lost religion. The Rosetta Stone. Sagan's Golden Record. Something to invest some serious time and mind in. Something that presented a lot of unanswered questions and wrong ways. A distant past and future. An inner journey somehow very contemporary."

Haim thank a teacher

As part of the California Lottery's Back to the Start campaign honoring teachers, Haim returned to their L.A. high school to surprise their history teacher with a special thank-you. (Pitchfork)

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