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Music News: Ringo Starr and a Bee Gee to be knighted

Ringo Starr in 2015.
Ringo Starr in 2015.Kevin Winter | Getty Images

by Jay Gabler

January 02, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II has announced plans to bestow knighthood upon Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. He'll become Sir Ringo at an upcoming ceremony — along with Barry Gibb, the last surviving Bee Gee. "It's an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love," said Starr in a statement. (New York Times)

David Bowie's son launches book club

David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones is inviting his late father's many fans to read along with him as he undertakes a "literary marathon" of Bowie's 100 "must read" books. Bowie listed the titles in 2013, and Jones is giving fans until Feb. 1 to read the initial selection: Peter Ackroyd’s 1985 novel Hawksmoor. (Pitchfork)

Assault allegations continue to roil music world

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner has been accused of sexual assault by Jonathan Wells, who says that Wenner forced Wells into oral sex in 1983. Wells was subsequently offered a job overseeing book publishing at Rolling Stone Press, and suspects that the job might have been created for him with certain expectations in mind. "I knew when I started working there, there was always the question of a continuing sexual relationship," says Wells, who says he was subsequently terminated in 1985 after declining months' worth of overtures from Wenner.

Wenner said, in a statement responding to the allegations, that "I sincerely believed our relationship was totally mutual and consensual — absolutely, and without question. I am saddened to hear this is his memory of that evening, because it is different than mine." (BuzzFeed)

Orchestras including the New York Philharmonic are moving to cut ties with, and cancel performances by, star conductor Charles Dutoit, who has been accused of sexual assault by four different musicians, with the alleged incidents spanning a quarter-century from 1985 to 2010. "Dutoit's office said there is no truth to the allegations," reports Billboard.

Bataclan movie postponed by French TV

France 2, a national public broadcaster in France, has postponed a planned TV movie that set a fictional romantic drama against the backdrop of the 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan music club in Paris. Nearly 40,000 people have signed a petition calling for the broadcast of Ce Soir-Là (That Night).

"The film, which is still being edited, has not been seen by the channel's management," said the network in a statement. "France 2 has made the decision to postpone this project until the production has widely consulted all victims' associations." (Rolling Stone)

Ronson and Mars sued again over "Uptown Funk"

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have already been sued by three different artists over similarities between the 2015 hit "Uptown Funk" and earlier songs by the Gap Band, Collage, and Zapp. Now, the Sequence are joining the fray with a lawsuit alleging that "Uptown Funk" copies "significant and substantially similar compositional elements" from their 1979 song "Funk You Up." Currently, "Uptown Funk" has nine credited songwriters, including members of the Gap Band. (Pitchfork)