Music News: George Michael remembered as 'brilliant artist'


A memorial to George Michael
A memorial to George Michael outside the singer's London home (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Musicians around the world are remembering the late George Michael as a trailblazing pop star.

Elton John called Michael "the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist." Paul McCartney wrote that "George Michael's sweet soul music will live on even after his sudden death." Madonna called Michael a "great artist," and Brian Wilson remembered him as "a very talented musician." Read more tributes at Billboard, and watch Michael co-star with James Corden in a 2011 sketch that became the inspiration for Carpool Karaoke.

Remembering Rick Parfitt

Guitarist and singer Rick Parfitt has died at age 68 after complications from a shoulder injury. Parfitt was best-known as a member of Status Quo, a long-running British rock band whose hits included 1968's "Pictures of Matchstick Men." (Rolling Stone

New Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels dropped a Christmas surprise: on Dec. 25, they released their new album RTJ3 weeks ahead of its previously announced Jan. 13 street date. (Pitchfork)

Today's Springsteen news

Bruce Springsteen has released his Nov. 22, 2009 show from Buffalo, New York as a live album. The show is notable as the final E Street Band performance by the late Clarence Clemons. The show is now available to purchase as a download from Springsteen's site, and a physical release will follow on Jan. 23. (Rolling Stone)

Springsteen also appears alongside a parade of music stars including Keith Richards, Yoko Ono, and Jeff Tweedy in the expanded version of a video supporting refugees around the world. (Billboard)

Iconic record pressing plant to move

The original Nashville plant of United Record Pressing is the facility that produced the first Beatles record in America, and it's where Berry Gordy was put up when local hotels wouldn't allow a black man to rent a room. After more than 50 years in operation, the record-production facility is moving — due, ironically, to the recent vinyl boom, which has given United more business than it can handle. As the pressing plant moves to a larger facility, the original building's owners say they have "every intention to honor and preserve it." (Billboard)

Dylan hacked

What would you do if you successfully hacked the Twitter account of Bob Dylan? The OurMine hacker group decided to falsely announce the death of Britney Spears, a hoax they also spread via the hacked account of Sony Music Global. The proper owners have subsequently regained control of their accounts — and, yes, Spears is alive and well. (Pitchfork)

Darnielle shares new music in book trailer

The always-literary John Darnielle (the Mountain Goats) has shared some new original music via a trailer for his forthcoming novel Universal Harvester. The book comes out on Feb. 2. (Pitchfork)

A "Hail Mary" play fails

Searching for the English words to the Catholic prayer Hail Mary, a Sri Lankan Christmas carol service accidentally included the words to "Hail Mary," a violent 1996 rap by Tupac Shakur. "Come with me, Hail Mary," goes the Tupac song's chorus. "Run quick see, what do we have here/ Now do you want to ride or die?" (Independent)

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