Music News: Michelle Obama honors Chance the Rapper at BET Awards


Chance the Rapper performs at Rock the Garden 2016 (Nate Ryan/MPR)

At Sunday night's BET Awards, Chance the Rapper received the Humanitarian Award for his charitable work on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools and other causes. The award was preceded by a video message from former First Lady Michelle Obama, who said, "With these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter, that they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and they have so much to contribute to their community and our country."

Accepting the award, Chance, 24, said, "It feels a little early to be getting something like this, but my God doesn't make mistakes." (Pitchfork)

Today's Prince news

Disputes over rights to Prince’s music are creating uncertainty around when, and even whether, we'll be able to hear more music from his Vault at Paisley Park. Universal is currently trying to extricate itself from a deal that, the company says, hinged on the Prince estate's misrepresentation of an earlier deal with Warner Bros.

"Given how prolific Prince was, and how many musicians he collaborated with," reports the New York Times, "it is likely that many tracks in the vault lack thorough contracts about rights. That may be a source of concern for any company that may want to use that material, particularly in light of the Universal conflict."

Meanwhile, Nile Rodgers says that a song called "Prince Said It," about his conversations with Prince, was planned for the forthcoming Chic album — but that it's now been pulled because "after he passed away, it felt wrong." (Rolling Stone)

U2 pay tribute to Leonard Cohen

Performing in Toronto on Friday night, U2 honored the late great Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Billboard reports that Bono spoke about Cohen "right before 'Bad,' calling him 'an addiction' and injecting 'Suzanne' and 'Hallelujah' into the song, and later before 'One Tree Hill,' when he told a story about attending his 79th birthday."

Empire State Building dances for the Dead

On Saturday night, the band Dead & Company — an act featuring three former members of the Grateful Dead — played a show at Citi Field in Queens. During an encore performance of "Touch of Grey," the Empire State Building lit up in synchrony with the music. Watch the aerial video, and you'll have a much better view of the light show than people who were actually at the concert — Citi Field is ten miles away from the Empire State Building, and faces in the wrong direction to boot. (Billboard)

Citi Field

Rush get an R.O.U.S. named after them

Characters in The Princess Bride live in fear of creatures called R.O.U.S.: Rodents Of Unusual Size. One such real-world rodent is the capybara, the largest rodent in the world. Rush have just been honored by the High Park Toronto Zoo, which has named three newborn baby capybaras Geddy, Alex, and Neil after the members of the Canadian trio.

These aren't just any capybaras: their parents, Bonnie and Clyde became famous last year when they escaped from the zoo and were at large in the city for over a month.

"Ahhh, so this is what happened when their mom and dad ran away!" says Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. (Billboard)

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