Music News: AARP welcomes 50-year-old musicians with 'birthday covers'


AARP 'birthday covers'
AARP 'birthday covers' honoring Dave Matthews and Janet Jackson (AARP)

Music stars occasionally appear on the cover of AARP's magazine — Bob Dylan and Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) are notable examples — but the American Association of Retired Persons has been honoring even more musicians, and other celebrities, by putting them on honorary "birthday covers" of the magazine.

The organization confirmed to Spin that covers featuring artists including Janet Jackson, Dave Matthews, and Darius Rucker are just "celebratory posts for social media" and never adorned any actual magazines. Are you famous enough to be celebrated by AARP? Find out when you reach that half-century mark.

Duluth musician survives fall

Duluth guitarist Mark Anderson is being considered incredibly lucky after he survived his truck's fall from the Blatnik Bridge on Monday. The truck crashed through a guardrail after slipping on new-fallen snow, and landed on its tailgate after falling 30 or 40 feet. Anderson suffered a concussion, cuts and bruises, and minor bone breakages, but he's on the road to recovery. "Everybody here thought it was a miracle," said Anderson's girlfriend Connie Everett. "The doctor wanted him to pick his Powerball numbers." (Duluth News Tribune)

A benefit to defray Anderson's medical expenses is planned for Jan. 21 at Izzy's BBQ Lounge and Grill in Superior.

Prince inheritance decision still pending

Judge Kevin Eide says he's not yet ready to definitively declare who Prince’s heirs are, but he says that the star's six surviving siblings will be among them. The siblings are currently split over who should be named the estate's co-executor: entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan or Van Jones, also an attorney and a well-known CNN commentator. (Star Tribune)

Today's political news

Bruce Springsteen cover band the B Street Band have been taken aback at a firestorm of criticism they've received since it was announced that they'll be playing the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala next Thursday. Despite the event's name and timing, the band point out, it's a nonpartisan celebration that isn't officially connected to president-elect Donald Trump. They also point out that they were booked for the gig four years ago — after they rocked the house for Barack Obama’s second inauguration, and long before anyone could have known the outcome of the 2016 election.

"I like publicity," says the band's Will Forte, "but I didn't want this kind of publicity. The last time we had this much publicity is when we almost played the Craigslist Killer's wedding up in Boston." (Rolling Stone)

Teenage classical singer Jackie Evancho has also come under criticism, in her case for agreeing to sing the National Anthem at the inauguration. The New York Times reports on an interesting dimension to that story: Evancho's older sister Juliet Evancho is transgender, and the Evancho family are currently suing their Pittsburgh school district over Juliet Evancho's right to use women's restrooms.

Transgender advocates aware of the family's situation have been using social media to point out that vice-president-elect Mike Pence has been "widely denounced for allowing discrimination against gay people" as governor of Indiana. Jackie said she decided to sing "for her country," and adds that "if people are going to hate on me it's for the wrong reason."

Another music-world figure who's recently come under fire for hostility to gay rights is AEG owner Philip Anschutz, whose Coachella festival just announced another blockbuster lineup. Anschutz says that he's not anti-LGBTQ and that he's immediately ceased donating to any groups he's discovered to hold anti-gay positions, but Pitchfork finds that his foundation donated to groups with anti-LGBTQ stances as recently as 2015.

President Obama's time in office is almost through, but one musician who's not letting him off the hook is drummer John Densmore (the Doors), who says that Obama should pardon activist Leonard Peltier and should apologize to Native Americans for centuries of injustices visited upon them by the U.S. Government. "I've been proud having him as our prez," writes Densmore in Rolling Stone, "but now he could rocket out of office like a comet with one more just takes huevos."

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