Music News: Minnesota singer-songwriter Lonnie Knight dies at 68

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Lonnie Knight as seen in a 2013 video
Lonnie Knight as seen in a 2013 video (YouTube)

Lonnie Knight, a longtime local singer-songwriter, has died of esophageal cancer at age 68. Knight released a large body of solo work, and also played with storied Minnesota groups including the Castaways and the Hoopsnakes. He was asked to play on the Minneapolis sessions for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, but had to miss them because he was out of town. (Star Tribune)

Knight continued to play shows after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, including dozens in the last year alone. "There's something about playing that revitalizes me," he said in an interview last summer for the Local Current blog. "This would be a lot harder to do without playing."

Grammys to return to New York

The Recording Academy has announced that next year's Grammys will be held at Madison Square Garden, marking the ceremony's return to New York City after 15 years in Los Angeles. The move comes as the result of a herculean effort by Julie Menin, Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s commissioner of Media and Entertainment. The city had to arrange for millions of dollars in sponsorship and labor concessions, since it's much more expensive to host the awards in New York than in L.A. "New York," said Menin, "is the music capital of the U.S., and the world." (New York Times)

Chuck Berry museum may be in the works

The City of St. Louis has announced plans to turn Chuck Berry’s 1950s home into a museum. The city also plans to create a cultural district around the one-story brick home where Berry lived when he wrote classics including "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybelline," and "Roll Over Beethoven."

The house's "Greater Ville" neighborhood, notes Billboard, "was among the few areas of segregated St. Louis where blacks could own property in the early to mid-1950s. It was home to many famous figures in addition to Berry, including singers Josephine Baker and Tina Turner, comedian Dick Gregory and tennis star Arthur Ashe."

Stars honor John Lennon

Judy Collins, Jim James, and Esperanza Spalding were among the stars who paid tribute to John Lennon at a Kennedy Center fundraising gala on Monday night. The E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt rocked the hardest, reports Billboard, saying "It's rattle-your-jewelry time," before launching into the Beatles’ "Revolution."

Little Steven revives '77 Springsteen song

Speaking of Little Steven, he has a new album coming out: Soulfire (release date TBA) will be the rocker's first solo album in almost 20 years. He's shared one of the album's tracks, "Love on the Wrong Side of Town." The song, which Van Zandt cowrote with Bruce Springsteen, was originally given to Southside Johnny for his 1977 album This Time It's Real. (Rolling Stone)

Couple arrested for impersonating Adele management

Both members of a married couple have been arrested in Miami for allegedly pretending to be Adele’s manager Jonathan Dickins in an attempt to get free tickets to see Kendrick Lamar. They've been at it for a while, according to Miami police who were tipped off by the real Dickins after he got wind someone was using his name to request tickets and memorabilia from artists including Pharrell Williams and Rihanna. Justin Jackson, the male half of the couple, previously did time for posing as a Madonna rep and borrowing millions of dollars in jewelry that he then pawned. (Billboard)


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