Music News: Taylor Swift testifies in groping trial

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A message on a window in Denver
A window message echoing Taylor Swift's lyrics and made of Post-It Notes is displayed across the street from the civil case for Taylor Swift vs. David Mueller at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse on August 9, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Theo Stroomer/Getty Images)

One of the world's biggest music stars took the stand Thursday in a trial over an incident involving a former Colorado radio host in 2013. Taylor Swift testified that David Mueller "grabbed my bare ass" while posing for a backstage photo before a show in Denver. Called to the stand by Mueller's lawyer — who was surprised when Swift's own attorney didn't take the opportunity to ask any follow-up questions — Swift called the alleged groping a "devious and sneaky act."

Previous witnesses to provide testimony in the ongoing trial include Swift's mother and Mueller himself, who denied Swift's accusation and said that any contact with the singer's backside was accidental. Swift contradicted Mueller's account of touching what he though were her ribs. "He did not touch my ribs," said Swift. "He did not touch my arm. He did not touch my hand."

She further explained that she didn't raise an alarm immediately because she wanted to wait until she was out of earshot of other fans. "I want people to have a good time at my meet-and-greets and concerts," she testified. "I do not want people to stick their hands up my skirt and grab my ass."

The trial, underway in Denver, is expected to continue for several more days. Mueller has asked for $3 million in damages due to losing his job over the incident, while Swift is seeking a symbolic $1 judgment. (New York Times)

Wesley Snipes says he stole Prince's spot in MJ vid

Wesley Snipes says his role in Michael Jackson’s "Bad" film was originally planned for Prince. "Me and Prince were auditioning together, and I blew Prince out of the water," Snipes told Conan O'Brien. "Michael had told Prince that he had the role, and then he met me."

Prince, on the other hand, had a different explanation for his lack of involvement in both the video and audio for "Bad." In a VH1 interview, Prince said that Jackson and producer Quincy Jones hoped he'd record "Bad" as a duet. When he heard the opening line, "Your butt is mine," Prince said, he thought, "Now who's gonna sing that to who?"

Jones said that Prince assured Jackson, "You don't need me to be on this. It'll be a hit without me." And so it was, hitting number one for two weeks. (Rolling Stone)

Jack White goes to bat with new single

Jack White is releasing a new single — but to get your hands on it, you'll have to head to Comerica Park. As Rolling Stone notes, "the Third Man honcho will release a seven-inch, featuring a new song, 'Strike Out,' that will only be available to those who purchase a ticket to the Tigers' September 24th game against the Minnesota Twins. [...] Along with the song, the seven-inch will feature audio from an interview White recorded with Tigers legend and two-time World Series champ Kirk Gibson."

For the song, White's assembled a band he calls the Brushoffs. A portion of sales proceeds go to charity.

Nikki Sixx doubts legitimacy of Whitney Houston ousting the Crüe for number one

Mötley Crüe had a huge hit with their 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls — but the album never went to number one, blocked from the top spot by Whitney Houston’'s Whitney. In a new interview with Billboard, the band's Nikki Sixx says that's always seemed fishy to him.

Back then, you know, there was no SoundScan. Retail would report in with their top-selling bands, and then Billboard would accumulate the results from all these different chains — Licorice Pizza, Tower Records, all these places. And I remember I was on a conference call with [then managers] Doc McGhee and Doug Thaler, and they said, "Hey man, you guys are outselling everybody two to one. You're gonna have a No. 1 record." And I said, "That's great." I don't really think that having a No. 1 record mattered to us that much, but we were like, "That's f---ing cool!" But then Whitney Houston came out and she was No 1. And I remember that lit a f---ing flame to the f---ing bomb man. That lit the fuse. Because we were like "What the f--- happened?" All due respect to Whitney Houston, a very talented artist. But her label flew all the heads of retail out to Australia, first class. Five-star hotel. Free concert. F---ing wining and dining. Those were the days of cocaine and bad silicone jobs. And everybody had a real good time. And it was, "You just make sure that you report that the right record sold the most." And we were f---ing livid.

Today's Metallica news

Ray Burton, father of the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, is keeping his son's memory alive. As Consequence of Sound notes, "He stood in for his son when Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and last year he appeared in a promotional video for Metallica's career-spanning photo book. Now 92 years old (!), Burton is still going strong. In recent weeks, he has attended several dates of Metallica's 2017 Worldwired Tour, posing for photos with the band as well as their fans."

Ray Burton is donating a portion of his son's royalties to music education. Cliff Burton, the band's second bassist, died in a bus accident while on tour with Metallica in 1986.

Meanwhile, the band have teased an upcoming appearance on Apple Music's Carpool Karaoke series, hosted by comedian Billy Eichner. Their full episode will be released next Tuesday. (Billboard)


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