Music News: Moving new Elton John videos premiere at Cannes

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A still from Majid Adin's 'Rocket Man' video
A still from Majid Adin's 'Rocket Man' video (YouTube)

This week at the Cannes Film Festival, Elton John and longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin introduced their picks for the winners of a music video competition featuring "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," and "Benny and the Jets." Among them: filmmaker Majid Adin reimagines "Rocket Man" to address the refugee experience, while Max Weiland creates a montage of Angelenos singing along to "Tiny Dancer." (Rolling Stone)

BREAKING: Explosion at U.K. Ariana Grande concert

After this feature was published, a deadly explosion was reported at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. See more details here.

How concert tees got cool

Billboard has just published an extended interview with Dell Furano. You probably don't recognize his name, but you might be wearing his legacy: the industry publication calls Furano "the guy who made concert tees cool."

When he started his career in merch-making, 40 years ago, Furano remembers, "it was not cool selling merchandise, so we had to be careful. Groups would say, 'Okay, you can sell, but don't embarrass us. Stand in a corner.'" Legendary promoter Bill Graham saw the potential in merchandise sales, and partnered with Furano and his brother Dave Furano to create distinctive shirts and posters for bands like the Grateful Dead.

The band that marked a major turning point in merch sales, says Furano, was New Kids on the Block. When that boy band toured in 1987-88, "it was dolls, action figures, breakfast cereals, a McDonald's promotion, sneakers — all kinds of apparel. We made a big deal with JCPenney, and we took their family members on tour to different stores to host events. New Kids was a watershed artist."

Rihanna to make movie based on a tweet

Netflix has reportedly purchased the rights to make a movie based on a viral tweet suggesting a caper film starring Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o. Selma director Ava DuVernay is reportedly attached to direct. Yes, really. (Pitchfork)

Tell us what you really think, Roger Waters

It's no secret that Roger Waters is no fan of President Donald Trump — but in case you had any doubts, his new Us + Them Tour will clear them up. Rehearsal footage shows that during performances of the Pink Floyd song "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," mocking onscreen imagery of Trump will be accompanied by a giant drone-controlled flying pig bearing the message "welcome to the machine." (NME)

Fyre Festival story continues

With the Fyre Festival organizers facing a criminal investigation and over a dozen civil suits, the New York Times has published a report that paints the festival as something akin to a pyramid scheme: the organizers kept selling features like elaborate housing and cash-charged wristbands even as it became clear they wouldn't be able to keep their promises.

The saga's not over yet: contractors say they remain unpaid, and the Bahamanian government has impounded several companies' gear, saying the festival organizers owe $330,000 in customs fees. The gear in limbo includes the touring equipment for planned headliner Blink-182. "It's killing me," says a local carpenter whose utilities were cut off, he says, after the festival failed to make a promised $5,000 payment for his services.

Bon Jovi surprise college grads

Bon Jovi surprised graduates of Fairleigh Dickinson University last week by showing up at the New Jersey institution's commencement ceremony to perform the song "Reunion" from the band's latest album, This House Is Not For Sale. The performance was the result of the university winning an MTVU social-media contest.

Jon Bon Jovi said the song was about graduation and life's journey. "Whatever your vision and version of your life is gonna be going forward, do it in pencil because the great thing is the journey is about to happen. You may take some twists and turns along the way that lead you to somewhere you never even dreamed of going." (Rolling Stone)


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